Did A Historical Jesus Really Exist

Did the Jesus who was supposed to be a God also really exist, or was he a mythical construct of people trying to get a religion off the ground?  The Christian religion arose in a time when people were inventing religions one after another.  There were hundreds of competing gods roaming around in the ancient times which Jesus was supposed to be born into.

The war of words and wildly different world-views between Christians and non-believers has been going on for nearly two millennia now, and may finally be coming to an end in our modern scientific age where the stories can be subjected to real investigation.

There is not the slightest bit of physical evidence to support a historical Jesus; no manuscripts written by him, no artifacts or works of carpentry, no surviving dwelling, nothing that is directly attributable to a man that was supposed to work magic and speak to hundreds or thousands of people, in a golden age of writing and recording the ancient world.

All the claims of a historical Jesus are derived from 2nd. Hand writings—that is non-eyewitnesses to the events.  All writings about Jesus come well after he was supposedly crucified and the ones that made it into the Bible are purposely mis-identified in the Bible as Apostles, when in fact we don’t know who wrote them. There are no Roman records that detail Pontius Pilate executing a man called Jesus.  All source material about Jesus is derived from hearsay accounts and come well after his death.

Laying the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Like, and John side by side we can see there are tremendous differences in the story.  These are not just “eyewitness” differences one would expect from different people seeing the same scene at the same time, they are fundamental differences that are not compatible.  What did Jesus say at the end? Did the women tell the Apostles that he was arisen–or not?  Who was at the tomb when the women came? Did the earth tremble and the sun go dark for three hours and graves spit out dead zombies?

We know the Gospels were written by anonymous authors and they were written from 35 to 70 years after his death.  We know they were originally written in Koine Greek, instead of  Aramaic, and that we only have copies of copies of copies instead of originals and we don’t even know for sure if we have the real words of the man—if he really existed.  We don’t have any secular writing that mentions Jesus…supposedly God Himself…that is contemporary to his (mythical) life.

All we have is hearsay…courts of  law do not allow hearsay as evidence, neither does modern scholarship, and we should not recognize the biblical writings as real evidence.  I don’t think an honest scholar can take any of the books from the New Testament as absolute ‘God breathed’ truth.

Now on top of all the above mentioned evidence is strong scientific circumstantial data that bears on the myth of Jesus.  As mentioned below in my blog post “Adam and Eve Are Dead…Finally” There is conclusive proof that Adam and Eve is nothing more than Biblical myth, and with no Adam and Eve around to commit “Original Sin” there is no need for Jesus to save us from their/our sin.  With no Adam and Eve, and no Jesus, we can just call the Bible what it really is…a book of fiction.  You know I’m right.  🙂

Lying for Jesus:
“What harm would it do, if a man told a good strong lie for the sake of the good and for the Christian church … a lie out of necessity, a useful lie, a helpful lie, such lies would not be against God, he would accept them.”  Martin Luther
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God Never Was

God would have had to either make the Ark by magic or help Noah make it by means of magic because there were no tools or materials available that were sophisticated enough, at the time, to make a seaworthy wooden structure that big.

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An Englishman named William Whiston1 wrote a book in 1696 (A New Theory of the Earth), wherein he calculated that as many as 500 million humans may have been born in the antediluvian period, based on early assumptions about lifespan and fertility rates. Now the Flood supposedly happened 10 generations from the creation of Adam and Eve. Ten generations of people that lived on average 600 to 700 years is a lot of time. However, if you believe Ussher and most of the old Christian apologists, the ‘Flood’ happened around 1600 to 1700 years after creation. So I guess the early humans waited 165+- years to have sex for the first time. His figures are probably wrong.

Modern scientists have estimated that around 2000 to 3000 BCE the earth had a population of anywhere from 5 to 50 million souls.2 Some scientists have postulated that the earth has been home to slightly over 100 billion3 humans in its long (4.5 billion years) history. Now this figure takes into account that modern humans have been walking the earth for well over 50,000 years, and the modern human population…50,000 years ago…was 2 million souls.

All the population data I have seen from righteous sources does not show a sharp decline to a low of 8 people (and believe me…that would show) in 2400 to 2300 BCE. All the worlds early historical records, that were being written at the time, do not show that all societies were totally wiped out, a catastrophe that would have taken thousands of years to overcome and come back to previous standards. None of the archaeological evidence shows this happening in our historical past, and the Flood times, if you believe religious materials, is in historical times.

Besides all the hundreds of other scientific proofs about the Flood’s non-historicity, the simple excavations and recording of archaeologists for the last 150 years or so has conclusively proven that no world-wide flood ever happened. The disruption would leave tremendous amounts of evidence and would disrupt our societies much more than they have ever been. Eight people is not a viable population that could have survived, and the DNA evidence rules it out…also rules out a 6000 year old Adam and Eve by the way.

Now I have had a Christian person tell me that the Genesis tales HAVE to be true because Jesus mentions Genesis, which means that he knew about the ‘Flood’ and therefore knew our history of Creation, Flood, Tower of Babel, etc., and of course the Trinitarians say that Jesus Was God, so he knew it ALL. So that seems to mean, at least to me, that if one disproves the Flood and other Genesis trivia…they have disproven God (and the divinity of Jesus). Of course there are hundreds of other things that disproves God…but this one above kind of seals it for me.

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1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Whiston
2. http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/index.cfm
3. http://www.prb.org/Articles/2002/HowManyPeopleHaveEverLivedonEarth.aspx

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Old Religious Flood Stories

So I’m talking with this guy about Noah’s ark and the Great flood. He tells me that most cultures, religions, and races have a flood myth.

I say to him “yeah, that’s because most old societies back then gathered and created towns and villages near a water source, and those sources would occasionally flood.”

“No,” he says, “I’m talking about the stories they tell about their god’s flooding the whole world and choosing some ‘good’ people to survive on a boat or raft. You know like Noah.”

I ask for examples, but he really doesn’t know any, he just knows that other religions and races have flood stories. We talk of other things for awhile and finally we go our separate ways.

Once at home I decide to research the flood stories on the Internet. I’ve heard this before, and never really researched it much. I found that many of the flood myths contain similar qualities

  • Humans are guilty of sin or transgression against the gods
  • A god or gods sends a flood as punishment.
  • Instructions are sent to an individual to build a boat or craft of some kind.
  • The instructions include ensuring the survival of all species…or at least some of them
  • The flood destroys the old race of sinners
  • After the flood, a new, less sinful race emerges to regenerate the species.

The Hebrew (Noah’s) flood is one of the few that can…kind of…be dated. Most of the Christian religious sects agree on a window of from 2700 to 2200 BC, with around 2300 to 2500 BC being the average. Of course, as I have wrote here before, there is absolutely no evidence for a world-wide flood anywhere near those dates. In fact there is no evidence for world-wide flooding at any past age.

The oldest story I have found is the Epic of Gilgamesh, tentatively dated at about 1000 or more years before the OT Hebrew legend. Since the Hebrew story has so many similarities to Gilgamesh, and the Gilgamesh story is out of Babylon, where the Jews just happened to spend a lot of time (think of the ‘Exile), and is where many scholars think the majority a lot of the OT was put to papyrus. By the way, you can see this late composition of the scriptures by noting that there are some glaring anachronisms in Genesis.

There are a number of flood stories that some scholars think have been polluted by early Christian proselytizers. These are primarily American Indian and South American Indian. (Minus the really old South American tribes) As you read some of the old stories you can see the Biblical influence.

So, yes there are many flood stories from around the world, but most of them disagree on the details, but some of them kind of agree. Why do you think this would be? Is there some kind of ‘group’ human memory going on here?

Believe me, if the people that research these kinds of things (geologists, archaeologists, etc.) ever found some kind of proof for a historical world-wide flood, and they have been looking down through the years, you would hear about it. A find of that magnitude would make him/her rich and famous.

There is a man, George Valas, of the National Technical Information Centre and Library, in Hungary who has an interesting theory. The full paper can be read: Here:

He writes:

“It is an old enigma whether the myths of Flood obtained in different mythologies created independently of each other in different parts of the world are based on real events or not. The paleoclimatologic research obtained in the late eighties that the melting was extremely violent in some periods of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition, creating “ideal” conditions for cataclysmic floods, more violent than we can imagine now. The period about 8250 B.C., the years after so called Younger Dryas episode of severe refreezing rises above the others of such periods with the second most violent melting of the whole Pleistocene-Holocene transition, with strongly increased seasonality concentrating the melting to a short period within the year, and a monsoon activity in the presently arid Middle East 30% stronger than it is observed in the contemporary monsoon zone. It is very likely that this coincidence of circumstances might cause such cataclysmic floods that may cause to born the myths of Flood.

A series of the largest natural catastrophes in the history of mankind can perhaps be discovered by comparison of recent results in paleoclimatology with traditions of religions. The origin of the biblical myth of the Flood is an ancient enigma that is complicated by similar myths in other beliefs in other parts of the world. An old hypothesis suggested that in the background of these myths there were real floods of cataclysmic size. Attempts to identify these real floods or find any connection between them have as yet been unsuccessful. However, recent paleoclimatic investigations have put this enigma in a new light, as a consequence of which it seems likely that all these floods took place during the last deglaciation period, during the transition from Pleistocene to Holocene. The most likely time for the biblical Flood is about 8,250 B.C. (10,200 B.P.), the end of the Younger Dryas cold episode.

Given that the text of the Old Testament should not be taken literally, one of the first questions is: Do verses 7:10-7:12, 7:17-7:24, and 8:2-8:11 of Genesis reflect some real event? Was there any real flood of unprecedented size in the background of the biblical myth of the Flood? Even though one of accepted answers is that indeed there was (Tokarev (ed.) 1982), attempts to identify the geological layers of that flood have been unsuccessful. One possible reason for this may be the incorrect dating of the supposed event.

The situation is complicated by other similar myths in other beliefs in other parts of the world, from Sumerian Ziusudra myth through different Indian and Chinese myths to a large variety of myths of flood among different native American nations and tribes (Tokarev (ed.) 1982). It is not likely at all that these myths are spread from one centre, because

i) There are too great differences between them (Tokarev (ed.)1982);

ii) The cultures in the Middle East, in India, in China, and in
Americas developed independently of each other in the last
20,000 years (Barraclough and Stone 1990).

A real flood of global size is simply impossible, because the amount of all water on the Earth is far not enough for a “global” flood: any real floods in the background of these different myths had to be different ones (except the Biblical and the Sumerian myths that can reflect the same event observed independently of each other by two different populations at two different places). Despite it being difficult to imagine that these different myths reflect events completely independent of each other, there is no evidence of any connection between these different floods.”

There is more to this paper, and it’s an easy read, you may want to follow the link. Here

That makes two theories now, if you also consider the Black Sea Deluge , that make infinitely more sense to explain this damnable flood story that the Hebrews wrote of and the Christians gloomed onto as the workings of Yahweh, Elohim, El, Jehovah, or whatever. The other cultures also attributed ‘their’ flood to their gods, but Christianity says they are false gods so their stories are not true…well maybe Yahweh is false too. These are just old stories and myths; they can’t be proven, but most of the assertions (Noah’s two or seven of every animal, only 8 people survived, etc.) can be disproved.

The Christians just keep trying to put a square peg into a round hole. Maybe they need to regroup and rethink the reality out here.

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Lady Explains Truth of Noah’s Flood

After months, even years of dangerous and terrifying web surfing, and suffering the slings and arrows of bad websites and false information, I came across one site that has the best explanation for Noah’s flood I’ve ever heard. 🙂

The logic and clearness of the explanation are exceptional for a writer that is obviously Christian and evangelical. If you are a religious fundamentalist, or evangelical, or Young Earth Creationist, or even Old Earth Creationist, I urge you to read the linked pdf file (Here) with as open a mind as you can muster, because this may just be the right story. (Caution-the pdf file is 14 pages long-you might want to have broadband for this)

All my adult life I have not believed in the Noachian Flood, because the evidence was never there, or what ever theories were being pushed sounded so unbelievable that I could not wrap my brain around it.

Now don’t misunderstand me…all I’m saying here is that if the Old Testament is a compilation of Hebrew folk tales…this is how the story should be interpreted. It doesn’t require the logic and mind-bending gyrations and back-flips that every other religious explanation seems to necessitate.

“The Noachian Flood has been one of the sharpest centers of controversy in the long history of warfare between biblical theology and science. It also has been one of the main stumbling blocks to faith, especially for scientists. Was this a universal flood responsible for all fossils and sedimentary rock on the face of the Earth, as some biblical literalists maintain, or was it a local flood confined to the limits of Mesopotamia?”

It starts by placing Noah and the Flood in about 2900 BCE (Jemdet Nasr Period in the area), which just happens to be when there is real archaeological evidence for a Large flood in the Mesopotamian area. At later dates (2200-2700 BC) there is no physical evidence of a large horizon-to-horizon flood event.

The writer continues by saying that you need to take the Bible text at ‘face value’, and not read into it words that are not there. We’re talking the original text here, not one of the many modern interpretations. She states that the real scientific disciplines of geology, geography, archaeology, biology, and physics can be accurately applied to these events of ancient times.

“The Bible can be taken at face value; that is, the biblical writer was accurately recording historical events of ancient times, viewed within the culture of those times. By taking the Bible at face value, nothing is to be read into the Bible that is not explicitly stated in its original (autograph) text.”

Another thing one has to appreciate is the language of the times and the different descriptive terms used. I am not an ancient language expert, but the explanations given seem very logical, and most importantly, they make the story…make sense…in light of modern knowledge, and don’t require a fantastical jump in logic.

The part where she takes on the Flood Geologists makes me smile. It shows up the wrong-headedness that some religious people put into trying to explain the unexplainable.

“Flood Geology. In addition to a lack of any real geological evidence for flood geology, there are also no biblical verses that support this hypothesis. The whole construct of flood geology is based on the original assumption (which is wrong) that the Noachian Flood was universal and covered the whole Earth. Since the Flood was supposedly worldwide, then there must be evidence in the geologic record left by it. Parenthesis comment added.”

The Flood Geologist has to bend and distort logic and resort to lies of omission to try to make the story come out the way they want, instead you just read the story the right way, and voilá, the science and logic lines up.

I have just skimmed the surface here. The author goes into Geological, archaeological, linguistic, historical, and geographic evidence and ties every thing together better than anyone I have-ever-read. Although she uses some religious sources, she also has a long list of secular scientific sources. Her name is Carol Hill, she is a geologist, and her analysis of this matter needs to be taken into serious consideration.

But, thats just my opinion. What’s yours?

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