Did Jesus Exist?

“Question everything you think you know”. Me, 2008

Looking at the genealogies of Jesus there seems to be lots of discrepancy there. Is there any explanation out there that all Christians can or do agree upon? Why would a God directed and inerrant writing have such a big discrepancy?

Do you think that there was an actual, God produced, historical Jesus? A half man, half God (or was It really God; this is confusing) that walked around the countryside proselytizing and raising the dead, curing leprosy, and other deadly diseases of the time? No one writes about him then. Mainline history is quiet about him until the fourth century AD. Christian followers didn’t write him of him until 30 to 80 years after his death. That is very perplexing. A self-proclaimed and acknowledged Son of God; born of a Virgin no less, who raises the dead, is ignored.

The writings don’t get pulled together as one, until 300 years after his death. Christianity, almost as we know it today, with the knowledge of the ‘One True God’ and Jesus, doesn’t get any real publicity until Constantine the Great, through the Edict of Milan, decides that Rome will be a Christian Empire in the year 313 AD. He commissions Eusubius to produce 50 bibles; it will be the first time both New and Old Testaments are combined. Eusebius was to do the picking of what writings to include in ‘New Testament’

“To the fourth century belong the earliest extant Biblical manuscripts of anything but fragmentary size”. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09627a.htm

About Eusebius of Caesarea, Edward Gibbon writes:

“The gravest of the ecclesiastical historians, Eusebius himself, indirectly confesses that he has related what might rebound to the glory, and that he has suppressed all that could tend to the disgrace, of religion.
Such an acknowledgment will naturally excite a suspicion that a writer who has so openly violated one of the fundamental laws of history has not paid a very strict regard to the observance of the other; and the suspicion will derive additional credit from the character of Eusebius, which was less tinctured with credulity, and more practiced in the arts of courts, than that of almost any of his contemporaries”

Eusebius himself writes:

“How far it may be proper to use falsehood as a medium for the benefit of those who require to be deceived” Eusebius Pamphilus of Caesarea, PE: Praeparatio Evangelica, Preparation for the Gospel,

“[Eusebius] Now you may find in the Hebrew Scriptures also thousands of such passages concerning God as though He were jealous, or sleeping, or angry, or subject to any other human passions, which passages are adopted for the benefit of those who need this mode of instruction.” Eusebius Pamphilus of Caesarea, PE: Praeparatio Evangelica, Preparation for the Gospel

Another critic of Eusebius:

“[Eusebius was] the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity.” Jakob Burckhardt, Swiss historian (1818-1897)

Paul, one of the most prolific writers of the New Testament, though he lived at the time of Jesus, never quoted the teachings of Jesus. He vaguely mentions an occasional ‘command of the Lord.’ Why would he not mention the raising of the dead and curing of the sick? This would have settled so much controversy.

If in actual fact Caesar Augustus did not really order a census while Quirinius was governor of Syria – if it turns out there really was only one Gadarene demonaic rather than two – then the entire Bible becomes worthless and every tenet of Christian faith falls flat. If one single discrepancy emerges, it’s all over. This makes Christian faith an easy target for skeptics, and drives believers to unimaginable lengths to ‘defend’ the Bible.” Mark Mattison, “Is the Bible inerrant?,” at: Link

CNN book review of “The Jesus Mysteries” 11.21.2000     Link

Go Here for latest posting

Add to Technorati Favorites

Advertisements

About the word of me
Interested in family and friends,grandchildren, photography, darkrooms, history, archaeology, scuba diving, computers, software, fast cars, journalism, writing, travel, ecology, news, science, and probably most other subjects you could think of. Did I mention family and friends?? I require iced tea or cold brewed coffee and a internet connection to be fully functional. Sometimes there are just so many words in my head they spill out.

23 Responses to Did Jesus Exist?

  1. Ruht says:

    https://thewordofme.wordpress.com/2008/03/07/did-jesus-exist/#comment-361

    There indeed was and is a Jesus Christ, he was and is divine, and the Bible is indeed 100% true, no matter how disturbing it may be to some, or how “foolish” it may seem to some.

    If there was no Jesus, then perhaps you can explain the following, at ‘The Secret Place’, in a thread entitled “The Hidden Manna”:

    http://z9.invisionfree.com/The_Secret_Place/index.php?s=6ee4b5e700ad363385379a0a8ad75157&showtopic=20

    Please explain how Christ knew this prophecy that the Bible says would not be revealed until the latter end of the Jews, meaning the latter end of the world, if Christ did not exist and he was not whom he said he was, and please explain how I was able to see this. I know how I ‘saw’ it, I know that God is real, and I know what happened to me, so my question is rhetorical for you to ponder.

    The Bible can only be properly interpreted by the person who wrote it – God – and he has deliberately “hidden” it to the natural man. And no one has the right to know its true interpretations until they are saved, or unless God reveals something to an unsaved person for God’s purpose, such as in leading such a person to him. The Bible’s true interpretations are eternal life, and those who have not life have not the right to the things of eternal life.

    God bless.

    Ruht

  2. thewordofme says:

    Hi Ruht, Thank you for your response.

    Mainline history is quiet about him (Jesus) until the fourth century AD. Christian followers didn’t write him of him until 30 to 80 years after his death.
    That is very perplexing. A self-proclaimed and acknowledged Son of God; born of a Virgin no less, who raises the dead, is ignored.

    Why do you think this was? Why would a god ‘hide’ his message to his followers? That makes no sense at all.
    Hallucination comes to mind when I am told someone has seen God or Jesus. Never any proof, just a personal testimony. With respect…that doesn’t cut it. 🙂

    The Bible and the explanations that man makes up to support it are just not consistent or logical. It’s full of allegory and outright lies. A real ‘God’ would not be so childish as he is presented in the Old Testament. I don’t trust the story of Paul either.

    I’m sorry I don’t understand the reference to the Jews and the end of the world.

    I ponder the Bible and Christianity every day. It is a mission of mine. I have so far been unable to believe it…but I persist, in study anyway.

  3. Justin says:

    Secular historians and Jewish historians wrote of Jesus. Over 500 eye witnesses saw him after his resurrection.

  4. thewordofme says:

    Where are their writings?

    Paul lived in the same times, in the same area, never spoke definitively of Jesus

    The world had to wait nearly 400 years before his story was widespread, and then you had to believe, or else. The earliest secular writer about Jesus was Eusebius…I thought

    All we have of the early writings are copies of copies of copies of copies….

  5. Justin says:

    We can trust the copies, because the copies say the same thing. They were remarkably preserved. As for a writer, Josepheus comes to mind (not sure on the spelling).

  6. thewordofme says:

    Regarding Josephus:
    From Wikipedia.
    “The recently recovered Arabic version, contain two passages about Jesus. The one directly concerning Jesus has come to be known as the Testimonium Flavianum. Its authenticity has been disputed since the 17th century, and by the mid 18th century the consensus view was that it was a forgery.”

    He is writing long after the time of Jesus…about>93 CE.<

    “The following passage appears in the Greek version of Antiquities of the Jews xviii 3.3, in the translation of William Whiston:

    “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.”

    “The FIRST secular writer to cite this passage of Antiquities was Eusebius, writing in about 324 CE, (4th. century)who quotes the passage in essentially the same form.”

    Eusebius was, of course, writing at the direction of Constantine to establish this new religion as mainline.

    Paul lives at the time of Jesus. What does he say about Jesus? All these early writings were after the death of Jesus and weren’t collected together until the 4th. Century.

    Now wasn’t Jesus raising dead people back to life and curing the number 1 and 2 diseases of the day? Wonder why no one was impressed enough to write about it at the time?

  7. Justin says:

    Rather than try to debunk a Wikipedia article, I will ask you to look yourself. Have you read The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel? If you do not have the money, I would save to send you a copy.

  8. thewordofme says:

    Hi Justin,

    Again a quote from Wikipedia:

    “Critics of this book accuse it of bias, which they assert is contrary to the book’s own claims of being neutral and scientifically rigorous.[5][6] Paul Dorland complained that Strobel portrays himself as a skeptic who would ensure a balanced perspective on the issue, but no scientists who oppose Intelligent Design were interviewed in the book[5] and that the book claims to investigate scientific evidence for a creator, but most of the interviewees have their doctorates in philosophy or theology, rather than science.[5] The book was the recipient of a 2005 Gold Medallion Book Award in missions and evangelism.[7]
    Bill

  9. Justin says:

    That was actually a quote on The Case for Creation I believe. Nevertheless, I still would like you to read The Case for Christ. I’m sure you have read enough on your side that you can handle a one sided book for Christianity – especially one from a former atheist. Please read it.

  10. Trent says:

    I am a former Christian who turned atheist in a the last year or so. I read Strobel’s The Case for the Real Jesus. I’m sorry, but It is an awful book. He never asks the tough questions even though that is the very reason he claims to write the book. There is nothing in there that would convince any skeptic that’s able to think on his own. I think if you go into it wanting to believe it, it’s comforting and give you a sense that the faith is backed up by lots of evidence.

    Can you really consider Eusebius as secular?

    Philo is the most prolific Jewish writer at the time of Jesus – although he did live in Alexandria. He even conceived of a concept of “Logos” which stands “between the Lord and you; I am neither uncreated like God nor created like you, but midway between the two extremes, a hostage on both sides.” He was born in 20 BC and died in 50 AD. He never mentions Jesus – apparently never heard of him. At a time where Jesus is supposedly doing great miracles and grabbing the attention of both Jewish and Roman authorities. hmmmm…..

    The Josephus passage seems to be added later by Christians. Josephus was not a Christian, but the passage is basically a faith statement. No early church father are aware of the passage until Eusebius. It seems to me that Eusebius created the passage. The quotes from Eusebius are very concerning. He was obviously willing to mix the roles of historian and propagandist.

    All other early historical accounts of Jesus are really accounts of the early church. I don’t think anyone doubts that the early church did exists in the first and second centuries.

    At the same time, I think Christianity hijacks a lot of good concepts. Love, joy, compassion, thoughtfulness, inner-reflection, gratefulness – these are all good things and things that can certainly be had without believing in myths.

    Peace.

  11. thewordofme says:

    Hi Trent,
    Sorry I took so long to answer, had some business to conduct.

    Yes, you are right about Eusebius, on further investigation. He seemed to be on the wrong side of the debate about the trinity until Constantine and the Nicene Council convinced him to reconsider. He did write a lot of secular material though.

    Regarding Philo, 20 BC to 50 AD. He seemed to have a lot of heretical ideas about God, the universe, matter, and creation. Or at least the ‘Mother Church’ would have you believe it was.

    That paragraph from Flavius Josephus has been contested since the 1600’s. Some critical historians say it sounds too Christian to have been written by a Jewish man. They believe it may have been inserted in Josephus’ book by a later copyist, in the 3rd. or 4th. Century. Lots of ‘Conspiracy Theory’ stuff out there about the early Catholic church ‘bending’ the words and ‘losing’ manuscripts

    Pliny the younger in his letter to the Emperor Trajan (112AD) only writes of Christians, not Jesus.

    Tacitus 56-117 AD, in 116 AD mentioned the Christians in his Annals. He talks of Nero’s persecution of Christians after the Great Fire of Rome in 64AD He Wrote:

    “Nero fastened the guilt of starting the blaze and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their center and become popular.”

    You really have to wonder what was going on in this new religion. Lots of stuff hidden in the swirling mists of time. Can we really believe Paul and Eusebius; or are they guilty of conspiracy?

    The bible is most likely not divinely inspired. It has been rewritten multiple times, a number of texts were lost or purposefully destroyed, and certain texts were specifically selected to give the appearance that the bible was divinely inspired. When you add all the inconsistencies found in the work, to the heritage we are learning more and more about….Well, you wonder.

    New article in National Geographic online, that throws doubt on the actual birthplace of Jesus.

    Bethlehem of Judaea—or of Galilee? Link: http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/geopedia/Bethlehem

    Soooo many inconsistencies.

    You say: “Christianity hijacks a lot of good concepts. Love, joy, compassion, thoughtfulness, inner-reflection, gratefulness – these are all good things.”

    I agree with you totally. They are, I think, qualities that are thoroughly human…although a lot of people seem to have lost or misplaced them.
    Really enjoyed your reply. Thank you…don’t be a stranger.

  12. Justin says:

    As far as Josephus, we still know about the uncontested part so the point is still made. Nextly, according to the Bible a Christian is someone who knows the Lord. Did you know the Lord and now you are denying it as an atheist? I don’t think so. The truth is you must have been a false convert which the Bible also speaks of.

  13. thewordofme says:

    Hi Justin,
    I have never been a false convert.
    At an early age I kind of believed in God, heaven, Jesus, Noah, Tower of Babel, etc.
    By the time I turned 13 or 14 I no longer believed in such myths. They seemed almost as funny as believing in the Easter bunny, Santa Claus, Elves and so on.
    The people around me, to the best of my knowledge, did believe, and most now living still do.

  14. ldugan says:

    “A real ‘God’ would not be so childish as he is presented in the Old Testament.”

    can i just ask what you meant by that?

  15. thewordofme says:

    Hi Idugan,
    Thank you for your reply.

    I consider some one…or some thing… that goes off in a fit of pique and kills off…the whole population of earth…and demands that the his imperfect creations fall to their knees and worship Him….pretty damn childish.

    Read the OT and think about it as you read…He is pretty crazy in His actions and precepts He passes down. I really don’t trust the Christian and Jewish God as he is portrayed in the literature. Something is seriously wrong there.

    I think man wrote the Bible, and not with divine guidance.
    Too todays thought, the things it preaches are seriously misguided.
    Sorry, too many seriouslys there.

  16. ldugan says:

    the way i see it is that God punished all those people and killed so many of them because they sinned against Him. God created the world and man to bring glory to Him and when man sins against their Creator it’s like making a revolt against Him.

    when a person sins its like saying “hey God. guess what? i’m too good for you and i think that i could do better than you.” so sometimes God has to show us and remind us that he is holy and we aren’t.

    also, what about all the people that didn’t die in the OT or NT for that matter. i have read the entire OT in a class i am taking and yes there are cases where it would seem that what God did wasn’t “fair” (but thats from a depraved mind set) and there are also many cases where God didn’t kill anybody even though they went directly against Him. for example moses when he disobeyed God he wasn’t killed but he was punished. and David who was not the “best” guy and yet God blessed him and David ended up being the best king Israel had.

  17. thewordofme says:

    Hi again Idugan,
    Thank you for taking your time to write to me.

    You write:
    “the way i see it is that God punished all those people and killed so many of them because they sinned against Him. God created the world and man to bring glory to Him and when man sins against their Creator it’s like making a revolt against Him.”

    It has been figured out that God killed or was behind the killing of at least a million souls on earth…that’s NOT COUNTING the roughly 50 million He killed in the ‘Flood’
    Which, by the way, He was sorry to have done…what, our God made a mistake?

    Why would a God want to create a world and humanity to bring ‘Glory’ to Himself? Just what does that phrase mean?
    This is the kind of thing found in the Bible that a true God would not say or do. It more likely sounds like humans in their intellectual infancy writing a fairy tale. Spinning stories around the campfire.

    Mankind set up the rules for God. He is inerrant, incorruptible, omniscient, omnipotent, all knowing, all loving kindness, always right, and so on. He can’t go through the Bible being wrong and cruel and saying one thing and doing another. But…He surely does that.

    You say: “when a person sins its like saying “hey God. guess what? i’m too good for you and i think that i could do better than you.” so sometimes God has to show us and remind us that he is holy and we aren’t.”

    No, when a person ‘sins’–he/she is just being human. You have to remember that our concept of sin came down from 3,500 year old Jewish men, in a totally different society and mindset than the whole rest of the world…and Jesus was a practicing Jew, not a Christian, in a very small part of the world that they thought was the center of the universe.

    You write:
    “also, what about all the people that didn’t die in the OT or NT for that matter. i have read the entire OT in a class i am taking and yes there are cases where it would seem that what God did wasn’t “fair” (but thats from a depraved mind set) and there are also many cases where God didn’t kill anybody even though they went directly against Him. for example moses when he disobeyed God he wasn’t killed but he was punished. and David who was not the “best” guy and yet God blessed him and David ended up being the best king Israel had.”

    What God was doing in he OT, was being inconsistent; a quality usually not associated with a real God who is dealing with His children

    I really don’t think I have a depraved mindset. I may disagree with your ministers theology and view of the world, but my level of kindness and caring is just as high as his and my level of wanting to bring ‘truth’ to the world is every bit as high as his.

    Moses gave practically his whole life to God, lead his people (Gods) through the desert for 40 years, and was tossed aside after one mistake…
    David was a murderer and a adulterer…he truly did not deserve the respect God showed him. Talk about abuse of power.
    His son Solomon was just as bad, who the hell wants or needs 700-1200 wifes. Talk about abuse of power.

    But, then I remember…it’s all fairy tales. Inconsistent, man made fairy tales.

  18. ldugan says:

    so do you or do you not believe in God? because you keep talking like God is real but yet you are trying to prove things against His Word

    God was “sorry” he created man because of His extreme disappointment. the human race was blessed by God and they turned on Him and refused to repent so God sent the Flood. the flood came upon the earth as a severe judgment of God against wickedness but God’s grace and mercy were also revealed in the preservation of Noah (and thence the human race).

    as for moses and david and solomon. yes i know that david and solomon were not the best people. i believe i said that before (at least about david). yes david slept with bathsheba, impregnated her, and then had his friend/her husband killed so that he would’t be “found out”. david faced consequences for this…the child conceived in adultery died and “the sword” never departed from his house (2 Sam 12:10-14). don’t forget that moses also killed an egyptian…but that’s off subject. yes moses made one mistake. he disobeyed God by striking the rock to get water instead of speaking to it. but he didn’t fall dead at that point (which God would have been just in allowing), he just couldn’t enter the promised land. yes solomon abused his power. and his sins eventually led to the destruction and division of his kingdom.

    God is not inconsistent. at different points He does different things to show us His character. when he judges someone he does it justly, when He shows mercy it’s because of His love for us.

    “No, when a person ’sins’–he/she is just being human.” i agree with that statement but only to a degree. it is our nature as humans to sin b/c we don’t want anyone but us telling us what we can and cannot do. but that doesn’t mean it is “right” to sin. the concept of sin came from when Eve trusted the serpent over God and ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and then gave the fruit to adam who also ate. that is where sin originated from. sin is the transgression of God’s will bu either omitting to do what God’s law requires or by doing what it forbids. it’s that simple.

    “…and Jesus was a practicing Jew, not a Christian, in a very small part of the world that they thought was the center of the universe.” the term “Christian” was first used at Antioch and it basically means little Christ so of course Jesus was not a “Christian” because that term was not even invented yet. and the people at Antioch originally meant that term as an insult but the disciples would’ve taken it as a good thing because it would have showed them that they were acting in the right way–like Christ.

    side note: don’t you find it interesting that an uneducated man’s (Jesus) message who never really left his remote area made it all around the world and has reached us 2000 years later? also, his disciples were just ordinary men. they gave up their lives for Jesus. literally. peter was crucified upside down. john boiled and sent to patmos. etc. why would the disciples/apostles die for something they knew to be a lie? (since some say the disciples made the whole thing up)

    I’m not doubting that you are kind and caring and want ‘truth’ as you put it. what i am saying is that until you truly believe the Word of God and trust in Jesus for your salvation you cannot know ‘truth’. i’m not a theologian or minister or anything so idk how else to put it.

  19. Pingback: A New Sunday Sermon…Kind of « The Word of Me..Weblog

  20. thewordofme says:

    Idugan, please see latest post.

  21. Pingback: Sunday Sermon Continued « The Word of Me..Weblog

  22. Hugh says:

    Well done. Keep up the good work… I love that you have an inquisitive, seeking mind.

    Great blogroll BTW. Drop by my place if you get a chance. It’s not much, but it’s a nice distraction.

  23. Pingback: Links of Reason at Lay Theism

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: