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Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

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animist
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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#81 Post by animist » July 3rd, 2012, 9:16 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Compassionist wrote:First, they assume that the Bible is God's Words and then they assume that the words are infallible because they are allegedly God's Words. Circular and presumptive irrational reasoning! They are impossible to reason with because they just assert their assumptions as facts.
so you have to make them see that they are doing this by demanding that they give at least someone reason for their beliefs - and for their certainty

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#82 Post by Compassionist » July 4th, 2012, 8:06 am

animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote:First, they assume that the Bible is God's Words and then they assume that the words are infallible because they are allegedly God's Words. Circular and presumptive irrational reasoning! They are impossible to reason with because they just assert their assumptions as facts.
so you have to make them see that they are doing this by demanding that they give at least someone reason for their beliefs - and for their certainty
I did that already. They responded by quoting the Bible: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1 (KJV).

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#83 Post by Compassionist » July 4th, 2012, 8:18 am

Alan C. wrote:I'm sure I've said this before compo (another thread?)
Ask your "friends" Where was "Jesus" and what was he doing, between boyhood and age 30, also ask them why a 30 year old Jewish man didn't have a wife (unthinkable 2,000 years ago)
They said the following:

Of the four Gospel accounts, only two mention the birth of Jesus (Matthew and Luke), and only one (Luke) mentions anything about Jesus' life prior to His beginning His three-year ministry in Israel. So, from birth until 12 years of age and from 12 until 30, we know nothing about the life of Jesus. At least the Bible doesn't tell us anything about His life during those so-called "lost years." This has led many to speculate as to what Jesus did during those intervening years.

The orthodox position is that Jesus grew up in Nazareth with His family until it was time to begin His ministry. While the Bible doesn't explicitly say this, it is implied from the following passage in the Gospel of Luke: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And he stood up to read.... All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. ‘Isn't this Joseph's son?’ they asked. Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to me: “Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum." I tell you the truth,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown’” (Luke 4:16, 22-24). Notice that Luke says that Jesus was "brought up" in Nazareth, and he also mentions twice that Nazareth was Jesus' hometown. Furthermore, the people in the synagogue knew Jesus and knew that he was Joseph's son. All of this leads to the conclusion that Jesus lived in relative obscurity in Nazareth until His baptism.

At the baptism of Jesus, a voice from heaven proclaimed, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus of Nazareth was declared by God the Father to be His one and only Son.

Of course there are those who simply deny the authenticity of the four Gospels. How are we to respond? With the exception of John, all 12 apostles (including Paul and Matthias in the place of Judas) died martyr's deaths. Why would they do that for a lie? More importantly, why would they do that for something they knew to be a lie? The four Gospels have been under attack for nearly 2,000 years; in fact, no book has undergone as much scrutiny or endured so many attempts to extinguish it than the Bible, yet it is still here, still changing lives and still attesting to the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8).

Recommended Resource: Jesus: The Greatest Life of All by Charles Swindoll.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#84 Post by Alan C. » July 4th, 2012, 7:48 pm

They said the following:

Of the four Gospel accounts, only two mention the birth of Jesus (Matthew and Luke), and only one (Luke) mentions anything about Jesus' life prior to His beginning His three-year ministry in Israel. So, from birth until 12 years of age and from 12 until 30, we know nothing about the life of Jesus. At least the Bible doesn't tell us anything about His life during those so-called "lost years." This has led many to speculate as to what Jesus did during those intervening years.
Well sorry but this just indicates two made up stories, a virgin birth then nothing for 30 years then an enigmatic preacher appears, you really must have some very credulous friends acquaintances.
The orthodox position is that Jesus grew up in Nazareth with His family until it was time to begin His ministry.
Archeologists have shown that Nazareth didn't exist till about 200 CE.
While the Bible doesn't explicitly say this, it is implied from the following passage in the Gospel of Luke: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And he stood up to read.... All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. ‘Isn't this Joseph's son?’ they asked. Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to me: “Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum." I tell you the truth,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown’” (Luke 4:16, 22-24). Notice that Luke says that Jesus was "brought up" in Nazareth, and he also mentions twice that Nazareth was Jesus' hometown. Furthermore, the people in the synagogue knew Jesus and knew that he was Joseph's son. All of this leads to the conclusion that Jesus lived in relative obscurity in Nazareth until His baptism.
See above, Nazareth and the jesus guy didn't exist at the same time. Can your "Christian friends" not read some history books?

Edit, Please don't come back with more bible quotes from your "friends" Ask them for peer reviewed, evidence based arguments otherwise this is going nowhere, they can quote the bible and I'll quote it back at them all day and we'll get nowhere.
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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#85 Post by animist » July 5th, 2012, 7:45 am

Compassionist wrote:
animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote:First, they assume that the Bible is God's Words and then they assume that the words are infallible because they are allegedly God's Words. Circular and presumptive irrational reasoning! They are impossible to reason with because they just assert their assumptions as facts.
so you have to make them see that they are doing this by demanding that they give at least someone reason for their beliefs - and for their certainty
I did that already. They responded by quoting the Bible: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." - Hebrews 11:1 (KJV).
but that is not a reason, in fact it is a denial of reason and essentially gibberish. "The evidence of things not seen" is a self-contradiction (and intended to be so, I suppose); if something is not evident to sight or to some other sense, or to reason itself, then it is not evident at all.

Of course there are those who simply deny the authenticity of the four Gospels. How are we to respond? With the exception of John, all 12 apostles (including Paul and Matthias in the place of Judas) died martyr's deaths. Why would they do that for a lie? More importantly, why would they do that for something they knew to be a lie? The four Gospels have been under attack for nearly 2,000 years; in fact, no book has undergone as much scrutiny or endured so many attempts to extinguish it than the Bible, yet it is still here, still changing lives and still attesting to the truth of the good news of Jesus Christ. "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8).
some of this may be true, but it does not prove the points it tries to make. Many people have died martyrs' deaths who were not Christian, so there is nothing uniquely Christian or compelling about the fact of martyrdom; and the fact that something is believed devoutly does not make it true. Similarly, the Bible may still be changing lives and so on, but none of that makes it true, since the same could be said for the Koran and for other books.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#86 Post by Compassionist » July 5th, 2012, 8:42 am

Alan C. wrote:
They said the following:

Of the four Gospel accounts, only two mention the birth of Jesus (Matthew and Luke), and only one (Luke) mentions anything about Jesus' life prior to His beginning His three-year ministry in Israel. So, from birth until 12 years of age and from 12 until 30, we know nothing about the life of Jesus. At least the Bible doesn't tell us anything about His life during those so-called "lost years." This has led many to speculate as to what Jesus did during those intervening years.
Well sorry but this just indicates two made up stories, a virgin birth then nothing for 30 years then an enigmatic preacher appears, you really must have some very credulous friends acquaintances.
The orthodox position is that Jesus grew up in Nazareth with His family until it was time to begin His ministry.
Archeologists have shown that Nazareth didn't exist till about 200 CE.
While the Bible doesn't explicitly say this, it is implied from the following passage in the Gospel of Luke: “He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was His custom. And he stood up to read.... All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. ‘Isn't this Joseph's son?’ they asked. Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to me: “Physician, heal yourself! Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum." I tell you the truth,’ he continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in his hometown’” (Luke 4:16, 22-24). Notice that Luke says that Jesus was "brought up" in Nazareth, and he also mentions twice that Nazareth was Jesus' hometown. Furthermore, the people in the synagogue knew Jesus and knew that he was Joseph's son. All of this leads to the conclusion that Jesus lived in relative obscurity in Nazareth until His baptism.
See above, Nazareth and the jesus guy didn't exist at the same time. Can your "Christian friends" not read some history books?

Edit, Please don't come back with more bible quotes from your "friends" Ask them for peer reviewed, evidence based arguments otherwise this is going nowhere, they can quote the bible and I'll quote it back at them all day and we'll get nowhere.
I may have credulous acquaintances. I understand your frustration about the Bible being quoted by Christians. You see, they view the Bible to be God's Words and they are instructed by the Bible to quote it for 'spiritual warfare'. Jesus himself quoted the Bible and thus defeated the Devil. Christians don't think the way non-Christians do.

Here is a Christian response about the existence of Nazareth:

Question: "Did Nazareth exist during the life of Jesus?"

Answer: Did Nazareth exist during the life of Jesus? How can we know? What does the evidence say? These are questions to which Christians have been asked to give an answer on a more and more frequent basis by those who profess themselves to be “skeptics” in our world today. It is curious that the first-century historicity of Jesus should be the subject of such contention, since this matter was effectively laid to rest long ago.

There are several reasons which are often given for doubting the first-century historicity of Nazareth, which are largely built around arguments from silence. For one thing, Nazareth is never mentioned in the writings of Josephus, nor is it mentioned in any other first-century writings. Critics also contend that the biblical geography is in error, as there is no cliff near the synagogue from which Jesus was allegedly thrown, as recounted in Luke 4:24-30.

Generally speaking, caution should be taken when dealing with arguments from silence. The question must be raised as to just how much one would expect the contemporary writers to mention the town of Nazareth. Nazareth was a small and insignificant village, and Josephus had no real reason to mention it. The town’s insignificance is evident in the first chapter of John’s gospel, when Nathaniel asks, “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” (John 1:46).

Leaving aside the problems with the argument from silence, it should also be noted that the claim is not entirely correct. In AD 70, at the end of the Jewish war with the Romans, the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed, and this meant that Jewish priests and their families had to be redeployed. An inscription was discovered in 1962 in Caesarea Maritima, which documented that the priests of the order of Elkalir came to live in Nazareth. This has only been confirmed by later discoveries. For example, in 2009, the first Nazarene home to date from Jesus’ era was excavated by archaeologists. The house was a simple structure, consisting of two small rooms and a courtyard.

The claim about the errant geography carries a bit more weight than the argument from silence. The closest cliff from which Jesus might have been thrown is roughly 2.5 miles away from the synagogue, however, and there is no reason why Jesus could not have been taken this far.

In conclusion, the claim that there is no historical evidence for the existence of the town of Nazareth in the first century stands refuted by the archaeological data, and many of the more informed atheist critics, even among those who deny the historicity of Jesus, have advised caution with this argument.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#87 Post by Compassionist » July 5th, 2012, 8:53 am

animist wrote: but that is not a reason, in fact it is a denial of reason and essentially gibberish. "The evidence of things not seen" is a self-contradiction (and intended to be so, I suppose); if something is not evident to sight or to some other sense, or to reason itself, then it is not evident at all.
I agree.
animist wrote:some of this may be true, but it does not prove the points it tries to make. Many people have died martyrs' deaths who were not Christian, so there is nothing uniquely Christian or compelling about the fact of martyrdom; and the fact that something is believed devoutly does not make it true. Similarly, the Bible may still be changing lives and so on, but none of that makes it true, since the same could be said for the Koran and for other books.
I agree again. I do think that the question "why would they do that for something they knew to be a lie?" about the martyrdom of the Apostles is important. If they didn't see and touch the resurrected Jesus why would they go through painful deaths? I am puzzled. They didn't die for communism or independence from colonial rule or some other cause. They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Their commitment was to an event, not to some political cause. It bothers me. Doesn't it bother you?

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#88 Post by animist » July 5th, 2012, 9:03 am

Compassionist wrote:I do think that the question "why would they do that for something they knew to be a lie?" about the martyrdom of the Apostles is important. If they didn't see and touch the resurrected Jesus why would they go through painful deaths? I am puzzled. They didn't die for communism or independence from colonial rule or some other cause. They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Their commitment was to an event, not to some political cause. It bothers me. Doesn't it bother you?
it does now! See what you mean, and I will look into this. I hope all this is helping you a bit - at any rate, it is educating me about the genesis of this crazy faith, and till Alan mentioned the question of Nazareth, I had no idea that this was an issue. The place does not seem to be mentioned before the gospellers literally put it on the map:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazareth

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#89 Post by Dave B » July 5th, 2012, 11:10 am

They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
The bible claims this, does that make it a fact? Those that were martyred long after JC might just be considered victims of their own delusions - we have had those for many causes throughout history.
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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#90 Post by animist » July 5th, 2012, 11:29 am

Dave B wrote:
They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
The bible claims this, does that make it a fact? Those that were martyred long after JC might just be considered victims of their own delusions - we have had those for many causes throughout history.
is there evidence of these martyr deaths outside the Bible? Again, the crucial thing seems to be whether there is good evidence for the behaviour of those who supposedly knew Jesus personally

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#91 Post by Compassionist » July 6th, 2012, 10:54 am

Dave B wrote:
They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
The bible claims this, does that make it a fact? Those that were martyred long after JC might just be considered victims of their own delusions - we have had those for many causes throughout history.
Actually "only the death of James, son of Zebedee is described in the New Testament, and the details of the other deaths are the subject of pious legends of varying authenticity. In some cases there is near unanimity in the tradition, and in other cases, there are widely varying and inconsistent accounts." I am quoting Wikipedia on the Apostles and how they died. The Bible tells us very little about them - rather strange, don't you think?

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#92 Post by Compassionist » July 6th, 2012, 10:58 am

animist wrote:
Dave B wrote:
They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead.
The bible claims this, does that make it a fact? Those that were martyred long after JC might just be considered victims of their own delusions - we have had those for many causes throughout history.
is there evidence of these martyr deaths outside the Bible? Again, the crucial thing seems to be whether there is good evidence for the behaviour of those who supposedly knew Jesus personally
As I said in my previous post, out of the 12, only the death of James, son of Zebedee is described in the New Testament. The death of Judas is mentioned but Judas doesn't count as he didn't die as a martyr but committed suicide. There are two contradictory accounts in the Bible about how he died. Judas "died during Jesus' trial. Matthew 27:5 says that he hanged himself, and Acts 1:18 says that he fell, burst open, and his "bowels gushed out." Some Christians harmonise the two accounts by claiming that Judas hanged himself but the rope broke and he fell down a cliff and died because his bowels burst. Matthias was elected to take his place as one of the Twelve." Quoting from Wikipedia.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#93 Post by Compassionist » July 6th, 2012, 11:04 am

animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote:I do think that the question "why would they do that for something they knew to be a lie?" about the martyrdom of the Apostles is important. If they didn't see and touch the resurrected Jesus why would they go through painful deaths? I am puzzled. They didn't die for communism or independence from colonial rule or some other cause. They died proclaiming the extraordinary claim that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Their commitment was to an event, not to some political cause. It bothers me. Doesn't it bother you?
it does now! See what you mean, and I will look into this. I hope all this is helping you a bit - at any rate, it is educating me about the genesis of this crazy faith, and till Alan mentioned the question of Nazareth, I had no idea that this was an issue. The place does not seem to be mentioned before the gospellers literally put it on the map:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazareth
I knew about the obscurity of Nazareth. The Christians have a response about that.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#94 Post by animist » July 7th, 2012, 7:57 am

Compassionist wrote: As I said in my previous post, out of the 12, only the death of James, son of Zebedee is described in the New Testament. The death of Judas is mentioned but Judas doesn't count as he didn't die as a martyr but committed suicide. There are two contradictory accounts in the Bible about how he died. Judas "died during Jesus' trial. Matthew 27:5 says that he hanged himself, and Acts 1:18 says that he fell, burst open, and his "bowels gushed out." Some Christians harmonise the two accounts by claiming that Judas hanged himself but the rope broke and he fell down a cliff and died because his bowels burst. Matthias was elected to take his place as one of the Twelve." Quoting from Wikipedia.
does not matter about Judas (or especially about Nazareth). But in a previous post you asked whether I was not bothered about these disciples apparently dying in the knowledge that they seen/touched the risen Christ, yet now you seem to be denying that there is any reason to believe that these disciples died in any particular way - is that correct?
Alan, re the Nazareth thing - any comment about the archaeological evidence which claims that the place did exist?

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#95 Post by Compassionist » July 7th, 2012, 11:28 am

animist wrote:
Compassionist wrote: As I said in my previous post, out of the 12, only the death of James, son of Zebedee is described in the New Testament. The death of Judas is mentioned but Judas doesn't count as he didn't die as a martyr but committed suicide. There are two contradictory accounts in the Bible about how he died. Judas "died during Jesus' trial. Matthew 27:5 says that he hanged himself, and Acts 1:18 says that he fell, burst open, and his "bowels gushed out." Some Christians harmonise the two accounts by claiming that Judas hanged himself but the rope broke and he fell down a cliff and died because his bowels burst. Matthias was elected to take his place as one of the Twelve." Quoting from Wikipedia.
does not matter about Judas (or especially about Nazareth). But in a previous post you asked whether I was not bothered about these disciples apparently dying in the knowledge that they seen/touched the risen Christ, yet now you seem to be denying that there is any reason to believe that these disciples died in any particular way - is that correct?
Alan, re the Nazareth thing - any comment about the archaeological evidence which claims that the place did exist?
I am neither confirming, nor denying that there is any reasonto believe that these disciples died as martyrs. I am just quoting what Wikipedia said: ""only the death of James, son of Zebedee is described in the New Testament, and the details of the other deaths are the subject of pious legends of varying authenticity. In some cases there is near unanimity in the tradition, and in other cases, there are widely varying and inconsistent accounts."

Both Dave B. and you thought their martyrdoms were mentioned in the Bible but they were not. The Bible says little about them. I don't know of any evidence for or against their martyrdoms.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#96 Post by Alan C. » July 7th, 2012, 8:53 pm

animist
Alan, re the Nazareth thing - any comment about the archaeological evidence which claims that the place did exist?
Which archaeological evidence? I don't doubt the place existed, just not in the Christian time frame.
The Nazareth thing is academic anyway (IMHO) I'm still waiting for some, any, historical evidence for Jesus existence.
None is ever forthcoming, so to debate his life, death or whatever is a waste of time.
If you've been following Compo' links you'll see that the fundies are well "educated" in the response they should give to the questions I and others ask them, they have a (usually lacking) answer for everything.

PS.
It's odd that they can preempt the questions none believers are likely to ask, and so have a database of ready made (up) answers.
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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#97 Post by Compassionist » July 7th, 2012, 9:49 pm

Alan C. wrote:
animist
Alan, re the Nazareth thing - any comment about the archaeological evidence which claims that the place did exist?
Which archaeological evidence? I don't doubt the place existed, just not in the Christian time frame.
The Nazareth thing is academic anyway (IMHO) I'm still waiting for some, any, historical evidence for Jesus existence.
None is ever forthcoming, so to debate his life, death or whatever is a waste of time.
If you've been following Compo' links you'll see that the fundies are well "educated" in the response they should give to the questions I and others ask them, they have a (usually lacking) answer for everything.

PS.
It's odd that they can preempt the questions none believers are likely to ask, and so have a database of ready made (up) answers.
Rational Wiki has a good webpage on the existence of Jesus. The Christian Got Questions website has their own take on the existence of Jesus.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#98 Post by Alan C. » July 7th, 2012, 10:27 pm

From link
Evidence for the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth (the Christ) as portrayed in the Bible is only found in three places: the Bible itself, other early Christian writings, and references by the various early churches (c. 100CE) to the long dead leader of those churches. There are no contemporaneous sources outside of the early Christian community.
Does that suggest evidence? I think not.

Until I see some historical evidence for the Jewish guy, I will not be commenting further on threads pertaining to him.
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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#99 Post by Compassionist » July 9th, 2012, 2:49 pm

Alan C. wrote:
From link
Evidence for the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth (the Christ) as portrayed in the Bible is only found in three places: the Bible itself, other early Christian writings, and references by the various early churches (c. 100CE) to the long dead leader of those churches. There are no contemporaneous sources outside of the early Christian community.
Does that suggest evidence? I think not.

Until I see some historical evidence for the Jewish guy, I will not be commenting further on threads pertaining to him.
I don't know if this 'evidence' would satisfy you but just thought I would include it here. What kind of evidence would satisfy you? You have to remember that there was no birth certificate or death certificate or marriage certificate officially produced during the birth, life, death and the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Also, there were no passports or driving licences or fingerprints databases or national insurance numbers or tax records or any audio/video or photographic records.

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#100 Post by animist » July 9th, 2012, 5:19 pm

Compassionist wrote:
Alan C. wrote:
From link
Evidence for the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth (the Christ) as portrayed in the Bible is only found in three places: the Bible itself, other early Christian writings, and references by the various early churches (c. 100CE) to the long dead leader of those churches. There are no contemporaneous sources outside of the early Christian community.
Does that suggest evidence? I think not.

Until I see some historical evidence for the Jewish guy, I will not be commenting further on threads pertaining to him.
I don't know if this 'evidence' would satisfy you but just thought I would include it here. What kind of evidence would satisfy you? You have to remember that there was no birth certificate or death certificate or marriage certificate officially produced during the birth, life, death and the alleged resurrection of Jesus. Also, there were no passports or driving licences or fingerprints databases or national insurance numbers or tax records or any audio/video or photographic records.
we seem to be going round in circles somewhat. For me it does not matter whether some Jesus of some description existed in a place called Nazareth: I rather think that he did, since I cannot see that anyone (quite a few people in fact) would wish to spend time on fabricating stories about people and places that never existed. Now, fabricating stories about people and places that did exist a generation earlier: that is much more understandable. But I would rather call these stories myths than lies (the Xian site that Compo cites seems to like the word "lies", I suppose because of its confrontational connotation - "you calling me a liar?"). I think of the Jesus myth as a very strange twist of fate, a bit like the King Arthur myth of a few centuries later, when no doubt a real Romano-British war leader became the object of veneration as "The Once and Future King".

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Re: Evidence (?) for Christ's Resurrection

#101 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 9th, 2012, 6:02 pm

animist wrote:we seem to be going round in circles somewhat. For me it does not matter whether some Jesus of some description existed in a place called Nazareth: I rather think that he did, since I cannot see that anyone (quite a few people in fact) would wish to spend time on fabricating stories about people and places that never existed.
I can, in this instance, because there was a bunch of stories in circulation prophesying the existence of the Messiah, and lots of people believed them. Wishful thinking can work wonders.
animist wrote:Now, fabricating stories about people and places that did exist a generation earlier: that is much more understandable. But I would rather call these stories myths than lies
I'd call them legends, I think, whether they were about real people or not.
animist wrote:I think of the Jesus myth as a very strange twist of fate, a bit like the King Arthur myth of a few centuries later, when no doubt a real Romano-British war leader became the object of veneration as "The Once and Future King".
Actually, I think there is quite a bit of doubt about that. I get the impression that most historians consider King Arthur to be a composite of several legendary individuals. And it seems reasonable to think that the same might be true of Jesus. It's possible that the legend really is based on the life and death of just one man, but it seems more likely to me that it was constructed by a messianic sect, to fit with scriptural prophecy. The words and deeds attributed to Jesus could have included some of the words and deeds of any number of Jewish rabble-rousers and would-be prophets of the time. Or not. I don't know, and I'm happy not knowing. What annoys me [---][/---] and clearly it annoys Alan C. too [---][/---] is the widespread assumption that all reasonable people agree that the Biblical Jesus did exist. And that if you don't agree, you must be some kind of extremist nutter. It's infuriating!

Emma

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