Jesus Was A Myth
If one follows the many earth sciences closely enough you are presented with facts that if followed deeply enough and cogitated about long enough, reveals to you that all is not as it seems.
For example, science tells us that actual humans (Homo-sapiens…us), have walked the earth for near 200,000+- years. Among scientists this is pretty much an un-disputed fact. Other, almost humans, walked the earth for several million years…some modern day European and Asian people have actual DNA from some of these ancient ancestors, meaning there was inter-breeding and viable, fertile offspring.
DNA and the old bones are telling this story…this is indisputable, non-judgmental, unbiased science that is narrating the story of our ancestors life, not a book written by goat-herders–millions of years after the real beginning of the tale.
All of the above, and more, leads us to the necessity to re-examine and measure many old tall tales that have been passed off as truth to billions of people…namely the Biblical myths of our earthly Genesis. Moses nowadays is thought to be pretty much a mythical figure. His “contribution” to the Bible (The Pentateuch) is probably a product of earnest Jewish scholars of the sixth or seventh century BC …long after the reputed time of Moses…trying to keep a tribe together
We know that the essential stories of Genesis…Adam/Eve, Noah, dispersion of language, slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, Exodus, exploits of Joshua, etc. are mythical or allegorical tales. Some people may think this is not a big deal, but some cogitation on the subject proves otherwise. In fact if these stories are not true, the consequences ricochet through time…to the story of Jesus, and then go even greater lengths to prove the whole chapter–maybe the whole book–is only myth.
Follow this: there was no Adam/Eve as portrayed in the Bible. The Bible gives clues that much of civilization and early technology was miraculously “there” almost as soon as the story got going. This irrevocably puts the stories into the fifth or sixth millennia BC…a time that is extremely well researched and known about by our earth sciences. The bone evidence and DNA evidence agree in their respective branches that there was never a time when our ancestors only numbered 2 in the case of Adam/Eve, and further out, the 6 mythical procreating members of the mythical Noah’s Ark.
As stated above man/womankind has walked the earth for 200,000 +- years…there was never an Adam/Eve couple six or eight or ten or fifty thousand years ago. No Adam and Eve mean no “Original Sin” which irrevocably means there was no need for a Jesus to die as “blood atonement” for non-existent sins. If you think about it God said, before Paul invented Original Sin, that children are not guilty of the sins of the father. Also the blood atonement think is kind of stupid…it’s nothing but theater, a contrivance to batten up a weak plot line.
With that thought in mind we go to some thoughts of people who are, or were, in the front lines of scholarship in matters of the Christian religion.
“It is important to recognize the obvious: The gospel story of Jesus is itself apparently mythic from first to last”…Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute
“We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world”…Gerald A. Larue, The Book Your Church Doesn’t Want You to Read.
“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel” …Bishop John Shelby Spong.
“According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality”…Maurice Bucaille, The Bible The Quran And Science
“Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it”…C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic, The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy
“Even if there was a historical Jesus lying back of the gospel Christ, he can never be recovered. If there ever was a historical Jesus, there isn’t one anymore. All attempts to recover him turn out to be just modern re-mythologizing of Jesus. Every “historical Jesus” is a Christ of faith, of somebody’s faith. So the “historical Jesus” of modern scholarship is no less a fiction”…Robert M. Price, Jesus: Fact or Fiction
“So unreliable were the Gospel accounts that “we can now know almost nothing concerning the life and personality of Jesus”…Rudolf Bultmann, University of Marburg
So Prof. Bultmann is saying that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are unreliable, so bad that we can’t be sure about Jesus. Just how much faith can we put in the Gospels? Let’s see what some other scholars believe…
“We know virtually nothing about the persons who wrote the gospels we call Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John”…Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, The Gnostic Gospels.
“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions”…Steve Mason, professor of classics, history and religious studies at York University.
“The gospels are so anonymous that their titles, all second-century guesses, are all four wrong”…Randel M. Helms, Who Wrote the Gospels?
“But even if it could be proved that John’s Gospel had been the first of the four to be written down, there would still be considerable confusion as to who “John” was. For the various styles of the New Testament texts ascribed to John- The Gospel, the letters, and the Book of Revelations– are each so different in their style that it is extremely unlikely that they had been written by one person”…John Romer, archeologist & Bible scholar, Testament.
“Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them”…Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College.
“Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars– from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus”… Jeffery L. Sheler, The Four Gospels
“The bottom line is we really don’t know for sure who wrote the Gospels”…Jerome Neyrey, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, Mass.
“The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus… The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information — not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life”…Moncure D. Conway, Modern Thought
Some really bad press for a few people from the Christian religion. They keep saying there is all this evidence that their religion is the true one. I’m wondering where it is.
A Christian may tell you, “I had/have a personal experience with Jesus, so I know he is real.” However if we apply this same logic to Muslim’s, millions of them will tell you they have had a personal experience with Allah; Does this mean that both Allah AND God are real, OR the same entity? Digging deeper we find that millions of people have had personal experiences with ghosts and talking with dead relatives…does this mean that ghosts are real? Hundreds of thousands or millions of people say they have seen UFO’s, and many say they have been abducted by aliens and experimented on or whisked away to a foreign planet.
Should we view all these cases as fake or real…or just the Jesus ones? Who, or how, can anyone tell the truth of these claims?
Personal experiences with invisible “beings” are not a real good source of truth, and I believe every Christian knows this…except when we’re talking about his own religion.
Did Jesus Fulfill Old Testament Prophecies
“I have examined all the passages in the New Testament quoted from the Old, and so-called prophecies concerning Jesus Christ, and I find no such thing as a prophecy of any such person, and I deny there are any.” Thomas Paine
Did Jesus fulfill the Old Testament prophecies? Did He bring peace on earth, or bring all the Jews back to Israel and end disease and oppression? Did He spread the knowledge of the One True God throughout all nations? Wasn’t all of this supposed to be done during the Messiah’s lifetime? And didn’t he promise to return before many of his people died?
A case can be made that the New Testament was written to fulfill those Old Testament prophecies. A man can be falsely imbued with the necessary myths to make the old well known stories appear to be consummated.
“Every case of alleged fulfillment of messianic prophecy suffers from one of the following failings: the alleged Old Testament prophecy is not a messianic prophecy or not a prophecy at all, the prophecy has not been fulfilled by Jesus, or the prophecy is so vague as to be unconvincing in its application to Jesus.” Jim Lippard
Prove There Is No Jesus He Says
Deacon: “So, to those of you who want to knock me off my faith, you are going to have to give me credible reason to believe that Jesus never even existed, and neither did the apostles, for you to knock me off my faith.”
And: “Consider it a challenge if you like. If you can provide me with such evidence of those two assertions that it overwhelms the record of the existing sources from which I currently draw my knowledge and on which I base my faith.”
My first reply to him is:
Jesus may have existed, but no one wrote about him in his time. There is real serious questions about Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John’s authorship of the gospels however…I am just going on what people a lot smarter than I say on these matters. Fallout from this position is that we may not know what Jesus actually said (if he existed).
For me however, I go to the Answers in Genesis people and their position that if Genesis in the Bible is not true…the whole of Christianity falls apart.
Well, most, if not all, of Genesis is demonstrably wrong according to what we know about our world now.
The AiG people go to tremendous lengths to try to prove their point, but they are unable to do so.
The science they try to push on an unsuspecting public has been screened time after time by reputable scientists and proven wrong.
They are the same people who opened the “Creation” museum in Kentucky and try to tell us that Jesus rode a dinosaur…well actually they say that dinosaurs roamed the earth with our ancestors and were on Noah’s ark.
Well, we have known for 400 years now that there was never a Noah’s ark and world-wide flood. Most of Christianity accepts this now. The main point of contention left is whether the Adam and Eve story from the Bible could be true.
We know for a fact (this is NOT a theory) that humans did not suddenly appear on earth six thousand years ago or ten thousand years ago or even fifty thousand years ago…this is NOT in question at all. The Adam and Eve story does not, and will not, fit into a scenario where they were created 200,000 years ago. The story also will not support the fact that there were several Homo specimens who preceded us and they had already learned about fire and mastered the making of stone tools before we came along 200,000+- BC
If Adam and Eve are not true…and I posit they were not…then the whole story actually does fall apart. No “Original Sin” no need for Jesus to somehow expiate our non-existent sins. That whole ‘blood’ debt thing is creepy anyway. And God inseminating Mary to conceive Himself so that He can be executed for sins that He created in this world is just plain out bonkers, a truly crazy conceptual idea.
I don’t think there is any shame in admitting that one is wrong…many have done it over this information. It is overwhelming and factual and the Bible is fighting a losing battle against real facts and truth. There is no magic in this world…”
Addendum: So by using circumstantial evidence that we have known as facts for many many years now, one can in a roundabout way throw very serious doubt on the old Jewish myths. The Old Testament (Hebrew writing) is very essential to Christianity and the New Testament today…it is what the whole Christian shtick is based on.
He replies in essence that he believes none of this. So in reply to this I write
You write in your original post:
“So, to those of you who want to knock me off my faith, you are going to have to give me credible reason to believe that Jesus never even existed, and neither did the apostles, for you to knock me off my faith.”
Of what need is there for Jesus if there was no ‘original sin” to expiate??
The Jews of course are adamant that the messiah hasn’t come yet.
They do not write of ‘original sin’ do they…isn’t that a concept that Jesus never heard of??
Isn’t this a concept that was invented in Paul’s writing?
If the Gospels were written by “who knows” (Genesis also) (half of Paul’s epistles too) well after the death of Jesus, and the final Bible took the ‘Orthodox’ Church about 400 years to produce; do you think we, in our times, REEAALLYY know what is true and real, or is there just a small possibility that we got stuff wrong?…really wrong. Remember that the Bible is almost certainly a product of humans (without that “God breathed” thing going on)…way to many problems with it to have a gods official stamp on it.
If you ***really*** get into trying to find the real answers to religion you very quickly come across thousands of problems and questions…this leads you to apologetics which will drive you crazy with the twists and turns of logic and lame answers to serious questions…this in turn leads you to science and all of a sudden things begin to make real sense.
A real and true religion, it seems to me, would not need a search for answers because there would be no anomalies and little things that bother you because parts and more parts of the words are not matching, and the stuff we find out in real life would match up with what is written. The God would be self evident…not an elusive sky will-o-wisp. He could still live in the sky, but there must be some way of proving this God, because us humans are a contrary lot. The old apologetics that you must have faith does not cut it, and more and more young people are finding this out.
In closing; Jesus may have existed as a human person, but he was not “God” incarnate…there is no real proof.
Adam and Eve did not exist…this really puts a crimp in the need for a messiah. And if you don’t need a messiah…what is he?
It goes on…
I realize that you accept some science and that’s a lot further than most fundagelicals go.
I feel however that you somehow can’t accept where it is inevitably leading. I’m guessing that you just push to the back of your mind anything that might make you doubt where you are and where you want to be.
Non-scientific. Do you believe in the “Rapture?” I have it on good authority that if you aren’t “Born Again and believe in the Rapture” you will NOT go to heaven when the trumpet sounds.
I have it on good authority that if you DON’T believe in the Trinity…that God was Jesus and the Holy Spirit all rolled into one (or was it the other way round?) you will burn in hell forever.
I have it on good authority that if you DO believe in the Trinity you will burn in hell.
I have it on good authority that if you don’t believe the precise dogma of “X” denomination you will burn in hell…literally hundreds or thousands of answers to this one.
Do you believe in the Virgin Mary and her (as well as Jesus’) Immaculate Conception? Do you follow the dogma that Jesus had no brothers or sisters (Mary remained a virgin) i.e. an only child…If not I have it on good authority that you will burn in hell–forever.
I have it on good authority that if you don’t believe in Allah and follow the Koran…you will burn in hell forever and possibly be blown up here on earth by fanatic Muslims.
Really do you think this religion is in any way real when it cannot even agree and tell anyone how to comport yourself in this world and the afterlife, or in front of a supposed God.
Do you really believe the present (and past) state of religion on this earth makes any kind of sense??? Do you believe the machinations of untold thousands of religious people for their own personal aggrandizement and profit (think of televangelists and the Catholic Church here) speaks of something “Holy”???
So you think religion is supposed to be this way? All fractured and non-compliant with each other…each one “Knowing” that they are the “only” way to heaven. Each one imputing a God with their own sensibilities and likes and dislikes, each one thinking the “others” are going to burn in hell forever?
The Roman Catholics worship one way.
The Lutherans worship another way.
The Baptist worship another way.
The Pentecostals worship another way.
The Anglicans worship two other ways.
Those Mormon upstarts worship another way.
The Jehovah’s witnesses worship another way.
The Quakers worship another way.
The Orthodox Catholics worship another way.
This could go on for days…but I forget a lot of them.
Each of the above say they worship the same God, but each of them just knows they have the only true and real passage to heaven…all the others will burn in hell forever.
Is this really anyway to run a religion? Is this the indicator of the truth of God? Do you think God wants to be worshiped in 2000 different ways and wants all the hard feelings and strife that goes along with the strong dichotomies that exist in the Judeo-Christian religious world.
God is certainly not living up to His implied abilities. You know…being organized and efficient. Kinda’ laying down on the job as to being all loving…letting all these bad feelings towards each other simmer and blow up occasionally. If He created us He surely knows how we are.
My expectations of a God (sorry if I’m being to prideful here) is of one who is logical, intelligent, very kind to ALL, one who watches out for His experiments (us), and who has pride in His work and craftsmanship. AS well as all the other attributes given Him by philosophers over the centuries…omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, etc., etc.. Oh, and He would actually answer prayers occasionally…which He never does now.
“In the eleventh century, Isaac ibn Yashush, a Jewish court physician of a ruler in Muslim Spain, pointed out that a list of Edomite kings that appears in Genesis 36 named kings who lived long after Moses was dead. Ibn Yashush suggested that the list was written by someone who lived after Moses. The response to his conclusion was that he was called “Isaac the blunderer.”
History however has proven him to be correct. This is further proof that Moses did not write the Pentateuch.
The Failed Prophecy of Jesus
“For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”
“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other … Even so, when you see all these things, you know that it is near, right at the door. I tell you the truth; this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
“There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea. Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world, for the heavenly bodies will be shaken. At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near … Even so, when you see these things happening, you know that the kingdom of God is near. I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
We all know of course that this prophecy of Jesus that he would return before the present generation died never happened, and Christian apologists have been trying for over a thousand years to either explain it or somehow deny it.
Some have argued that Jesus’ use of the word generation (genea in Greek) does not signify a generation as most people understood, but that a secondary meaning of genea, namely, race, the Jewish race, could have been intended.
This however would seem to suggest the unlikely possibility that the many scholars who produced our major English translations of the Bible were incompetent and had not the ability to discern the true meaning of the word, despite their mastery of Greek and the textual context.
Another thing to consider here is that the apostolic gospels were written by anonymous authors…not the true Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
Now we take a verse from the Old Testament
“You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the LORD?” If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the LORD does not take place or come true, that is a message the LORD has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously. Do not be afraid of him.”
Now Moses is the reputed author of Deuteronomy and all fundagelicals believe this to be true, but consider this…Deuteronomy was the work of King Josiah and his reforms: M. L. de Wette initiated this view in 1805 by suggesting King Josiah had Deuteronomy created as a type of “pious fraud” to further his agenda of religious reform. Since then this has become the dominant view among most scholars. Proponents of this view point to the lack of penalties for attending feasts and theological theme of centralized worship. Richard Elliott Friedman, Who Wrote the Bible? (New York: HarperCollins, 1997).
So we have unknown authors writing of a reputed Jesus prophesying that he will be back real soon…riding up in the clouds and men of power will quake in their boots, and it never happened. And we have either King Josiah or Moses, hundreds of years’ earlier, teaching men that those who prophesy something that never happens are not to be believed.
I’m so confused..:-)
Jesus Died For You?
I think the following succinctly sums up the whole man made Christian melodrama…
“The belief that a walking dead Jewish deity who was his own father although he always existed, commits suicide by cop, although he didn’t really die, in order to give himself permission not to send you to an eternal place of torture that he created for you, but instead to make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh, drink his blood, and telepathically promise him you accept him as your master, so he can cleanse you of an evil force that is present in mankind because a rib-woman and a mud-man were convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree. Yeah, the whole thing would make Jesus die laughing, if he wasn’t already dead, and assuming he ever existed.”
Yes this makes perfect sense and is far more logical than those other God stories that men have always made up…you know, like the Hindu’s, Islam Taoist, Buddhist, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Wicca, etc..
Myths about Jesus…Myths in the Bible
“Many people– then and now– have assumed that these letters [of Paul] are genuine, and five of them were in fact incorporated into the New Testament as “letters of Paul.” Even today, scholars dispute which are authentic and which are not. Most scholars, however, agree that Paul actually wrote only eight of the thirteen “Pauline” letters now included in the New Testament collection: Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. Virtually all scholars agree that Paul himself did not write 1 or 2 Timothy or Titus– letters written in a style different from Paul’s and reflecting situations and viewpoints in a style different from those in Paul’s own letters. About the authorship of Ephesians, Colossians, and 2 Thessalonians, debate continues; but the majority of scholars include these, too, among the “deutero-Pauline”– literally, secondarily Pauline– letters.”
Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University
“When the Church mythologists established their system, they collected all the writings they could find and managed them as they pleased. It is a matter altogether of uncertainty to us whether such of the writings as now appear under the name of the Old and New Testaments are in the same state in which those collectors say they found them, or whether they added, altered, abridged or dressed them up”. Thomas Paine (The Age of Reason)
“All four gospels are anonymous texts. The familiar attributions of the Gospels to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John come from the mid-second century and later and we have no good historical reason to accept these attributions.”
Steve Mason, professor of religious studies, York University in Toronto
“The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel.” Bishop John Shelby Spong
“A generation after Jesus’ death, when the Gospels were written, the Romans had destroyed the Jerusalem Temple (in 70 C.E.); the most influential centers of Christianity were cities of the Mediterranean world such as Alexandria, Antioch, Corinth, Damascus, Ephesus and Rome. Although large numbers of Jews were also followers of Jesus, non-Jews came to predominate in the early Church. They controlled how the Gospels were written after 70 C.E.”
Bruce Chilton, Bell Professor of Religion at Bard College
“Other scholars have concluded that the Bible is the product of a purely human endeavor, that the identity of the authors is forever lost and that their work has been largely obliterated by centuries of translation and editing.”
Jeffery L. Sheler, “Who Wrote the Bible,” (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)
“The clerical confessions of lies and frauds in the ponderous volumes of the Catholic Encyclopedia alone suffice …to wreck the Church and to destroy utterly the Christian religion…. The Church exists mostly for wealth and self-aggrandizement; to quit paying money to the priests would kill the whole scheme in a couple of years. This is the sovereign remedy.”
Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity”
“Enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended gospels full of romantic fables, and fantastic and striking details; their fabrications were eagerly read and accepted as true by common folk who were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnostics were concerned in writing these fictions. The former had no motive other than that of a Pious Fraud.” Catholic Encyclopedia
Church historian, Johann Lorenz von Mosheim, writes: “The Christian Fathers deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.” Again, he says: “The greatest and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this leprosy.” “Ecclesiastical History”, Vol. I, p. 347.]
Many scholars think that Eusebius interpolated his writings. In Ecclesiastical History, he writes, “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.” (Vol. 8, chapter 2). In his Praeparatio Evangelica, he includes a chapter titled, “How it may be Lawful and Fitting to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want to be Deceived” (Vol. 12, chapter 32).
There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence that supports a historical Jesus; there are no artifacts or dwellings, no works of carpentry, no written manuscripts (by Jesus), nothing. All we have are writings from other people and there is no contemporary recording of the man/God nothing written while he was alive. All documents about Jesus came well after his supposed life on earth from people who had never even met him, from unknown authors, or from fraudulent mythical /allegorical writings. There are no Roman Records that show Pontius Pilate executed a man named Jesus.
“The gospels are all priestly forgeries over a century after their pretended dates.” Those who concocted some of the hundreds of “alternative” gospels and epistles that were being kicked about during the first several centuries C.E. have even admitted that they had forged the documents” Joseph Wheless, “Forgery in Christianity”
“Pauline/Roman Christians: When the Roman-backed instance of Christianity went in search of the ancient centers of Christianity, they discovered to their horror that the Ebionites and Gnostics pre-dated them. Their un-Christian answer was to edit verses, burn books, arrest and harass the other poverty-stricken Christians until no opposition was left. The form of Christianity that we have inherited from the Roman Empire is far from what Christianity originally was.”
“Types of Christianity: Who were the original Christians?” by Vexen Crabtree (2006)
According to the Gospels several things happened around the time that Jesus died on the cross.
His death was supposedly accompanied by a three hour blackout of the sun, earthquakes, and the rising of the dead. No record of these events is to be found anywhere outside the Bible.
When was Jesus?
Jesus was arguably the most famous person who ever lived. His birth, life, and death are written about in the most famous and bestselling book of all time, and tens or hundreds of thousands of priests, pastors, ministers, and common folk speak of, and tell stories and write of his life and ministry every day.
- Jesus was born either around 8-6-4 BC or 6-7 AD; A 15 year spread
- Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist during John’s ministry, which according to Luke 3:1-2 began in the “15th year of Tiberius” (around 28-29 AD) and may have lasted up until CE 32
- Jesus’ ministry lasted around one (1) year, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, or three (3) years if you believe the Gospel of John
- Jesus was executed by Pontius Pilate, the governor of Iudaea province between 26 and 36 CE
- Jesus was raised from the dead “on the third day”, and appeared to the disciples and others; and according to Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and John 20:17, ascended to heaven.
- 8 BC – Suggested birth (earliest estimate based on Matthew)
- 5 BC/4 BC – Herod the Great’s death
- 6-7 AD– Suggested birth (latest), Census of Quirinius
- 26/27 AD – Suggested death (earliest), Pontius Pilate appointed governor of Iudaea Province
- 36/37 AD – Suggested death (latest), Pilate removed from office
Luke’s account of the census (Luke 2:1-6) reads as follows:
“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrollment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David . . .”
Quirinius was governor of Syria in the years 6 – 7 AD. He did order a census. However, the assumption that Jesus was born in the year of Quirinius’ census (6 AD) leads to irreconcilable chronological problems in the later events of his life. It is highly unlikely that Jesus was born in the year of Quirinius’ census…most scholars put Jesus’ birth around 4 BC, a good ten years before the Quirinius census.
There was no census of the whole world, which basically meant the entire Roman Empire, declared by Augustus; at least, if there were, it’s not mentioned in any Roman documents that have been uncovered so far. The census was of Judea, Samaria, and Idumaea–not Galilee (where Luke puts Joseph and Mary). Quirinius used this opportunity to also conduct a census of Syria.
The notion that each male would have to register in the home town of a remote ancestor is not very believable. The entire world of the Roman Empire would have been turned upside-down. There would surely have been records of such widespread dislocations, and there are none. Most all scholars of the times in question agree that it is not reasonable to think that there was ever a decree that required people to travel for purposes of tax registration.
Why do we have Luke’s account of the family traveling for a census while Mary was pregnant with Jesus? Luke wanted to report that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the City of David, in order to fulfill various prophetic interpretations. He also wanted to report that Jesus grew up in Nazareth, presumably for historic reasons. So he wrote the story of Joseph going to Bethlehem where Jesus was born, for a census, and then returning to Nazareth (which probably did not exist at that time) where Jesus was raised.
Matthew does something similar, but has Joseph and Mary living in Bethlehem, and then fleeing to Egypt until Herod died, then returning to Bethlehem, finding another Herod in place, and so moving to Nazareth where there was actually a third Herod, namely Herod Antipas.
So we don’t really know when Jesus was born or died, we have no canonical stories of the early years of the boy, nor any information of his grown up years until he is about 25 to 30 years old and them we have more detailed info for 1 or 3 years and then he dies somewhere around 26 to 37 years AD….How real is this most famous man of all time? Most of the Mediterranean world was literate at this time… the Jews had been for 600 years or so. Where is the accurate information, where are his hundreds and hundreds of followers timely journals or testimonials?
Where was Jesus?
Jesus and Adam and Eve
Jesus comments in the Bible that he knows of Adam and Eve. If you go with the Trinitarian view of Christianity that would actually be God commenting on them…which of course “proves” that the Christian religion is true. At least that is what evangelical fundamentalists would have us believe.
There is just one BIG problem with that belief (along with hundreds of little ones). Adam and Eve, as described in the Bible, never existed. There is no doubt among earth scientists, at all, that the earth has had real humans, living all over it, for tens of thousands of years. There is not one bit of doubt among earth scientists that Neanderthals were living on earth for about a quarter of a million years. There is no doubt among real biologists that evolution has been going on for millions of years.
You can go back 6,000 or 10,000 years and there was at the very least a million or two people living on this planet.
Think of the consequences of no Adam and Eve; NO fall from grace, No expulsion from the Garden of Eden, NO original sin, NO need for Jesus to expiate our non-existent sins.
Think of where this leaves St. Paul…all that made-up theology is not needed any more.
Where does this leave the rest of the stories in the Bible?
Hi Idugan, how very nice to hear from you. Thank you for your reply.
I had to put this on a regular post; I could not get the reply pane to copy properly.
>>>First, of all Jesus is Holy because He IS God.<<<
Now you see, that is one of the things that is very confusing. Jesus was a created being. If my mom and dad have a child…that child is a creation…of my parents. If God creates a being such as Jesus or Satan…these are “children” of God…as are we. We are not our parents. And why would there be no mention of trinity for a hundred or so years after the death of Jesus? This whole trinity thing really smells. I’m sorry to be so blunt. But, as you may have heard a hundred times already, I believe Paul, or the Catholic Church, or both, made up the trinity.
If this trinity turns out to be true (Jesus being God), does this seal-the-deal that God is male? Not to be Sacrilegious, but didn’t Jesus go around kissing Mary Magdalene?
>>>Satan and his followers (“demons”) were thrown out of heaven after trying to say they were “better” than God. Third, the Holy Spirit, also, IS God…not created by God…and that is why He is holy.<<<
Now why would an “Angel” go around saying or thinking (remember God knows your heart) stupid things like that? Apparently Angels are intelligent. Does it make sense that a created, most likely very intelligent, being would think he was better than his creator? Remember this is someone who is (or was) actually in the presence of God. An insider so to speak, one who…EVERY DAY…sees/saw the actual, LITERAL power of GOD in person.
This sounds to me, very much like a human creation. An attempt to create a dramatic scenario, describing something that WE have no possible idea or understanding of. Again, to be blunt…this is a bad story line. Holy Spirit always seemed to me to be a phenomenon that humans experienced, not a ‘person or thing.’
>>>God is behind everything. He upholds and sustains EVERYTHING. So he is behind every birth, every breath, every storm, every step, and every death. It’s all in His plan. (Paul, a mere human, cannot TELL God to DO anything…)<<<
If in fact God was intimately involved with us humans…I could believe…maybe…that this might be true. I see a possible God making the universe (ours) 14 billion or so years ago and moving on to other things. Why on earth would a GOD want to mess around on the scale of us humans and our petty disputes and killing each other? This is just logic. A God who creates whole universes has better things to do. He’s probably in another dimension, creating new universes?
We humans are way too egotistical in thinking a GOD would care about petty human problems. And the religious leaders have an imagination problem; they can’t seem to get a real image of a REAL GOD in their mind well enough to see what a God would actually be like. The story as told now…is childish…it envisions a very petty and small God.
The sin and redemption shtick is getting very old. Spirits in the sky and evil demons went out many, many years ago. Have you ever experienced one? None of the people I know or have known have ever seen one. I don’t expect to either.
Did you ever notice that God doesn’t go around killing men, women, and children in the New Testament? He, or whoever was writing about Him, stopped reporting on His bad temper and bad habits.
Was Jesus a Christian?
Was Jesus a Christian in his lifetime?
Very interesting book review in Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper yesterday. Link Here
A new book: How Jesus Became Christian, by Canadian author Barry Wilson, 2008, Random House Canada, says: “Jesus was preaching as a Jew, a rabbi, and championed the Torah, prayed in synagogue and urged his followers to adhere strictly to Jewish law.”
Wilson says that Jesus did not want to abolish Jewish religion and life; he wanted to improve it. His followers began to think of him as a Messiah, and after his death his brother James and followers waited for him to return to create the “Kingdom of God”
After the death of James the Jesus Movement was in decline until Paul of Tarsus hijacked the cause. Paul did not know Jesus, but linked his writings, in an oblique way, to the long dead Messiah. Paul says that he received the Gospel not from man, but by “the revelation of Jesus Christ” on the road to Damascus, thru a “beam of light.” I think I saw one of Paul’s relatives on Hollywood Blvd. one day in the 1960′s.
Wilson terms “Paulinity” – “a Hellenized religion about a Gentile Christ, a cosmic redeemer” – rather than the Jewish-inspired religion of Jesus, which was embraced by the Gentiles of the Roman world in the period from the second to the fourth centuries.”
Paul is second most prolific writer in the New Testament. Authorship of 13 or 14 letters, or Pauline Epistles have been credited to him, some of which he actually wrote himself. His influence on Christianity and the New Testament has been highly underrated. Some think he invented Christianity, as we know it today.
Paul himself is very unwilling to talk about the character of his conversion, though in Galatians he uses it as authority for his independence from the apostles: Here
Paul removes his theology from Jesus’ apostles; he writes his own.
In the academic field (other than evangelicals, who insist that the bible was always the same, inerrant in all ways), there is not much doubt that the Christian writings have been changed significantly since the earliest days.
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