The Case for the Historical Christ

Can we make a case that Jesus really lived? Whatever else you might think of him, the answer to this question is not hard to come up with.

The first and perhaps most commonly cited reason to believe Jesus lived is that we know that the popular majority of New Testament authorities think he lived. So in the same way you can be sure that evolution has occurred because the consensus of evolutionary biologists think evolution happened, you can be sure Christ lived based on what his experts think about his historicity.

Now, one of the reasons New Testament authorities are so sure Christ existed is because Christ's followers wrote of his crucifixion. The disciples were very embarrassed about the crucifixion, and therefore we can be sure they didn't make up the story. Why would they create a Messiah who died such a shameful death? The only sensible answer is that they had to tell the whole truth about Jesus even if it went against the belief that the Messiah would conquer all.

We also have many people who attested to Jesus. In addition to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; we also have Paul and John of Patmos who wrote of Jesus. If Bible writers aren't convincing enough, then we have Josephus and Tacitus who wrote of Jesus, both of whom were not Christians. Yes, one person might write of a mythological figure, but when we have so many writing of Jesus, then we are assured he must have lived.

Finally, we have Paul's writing of Jesus' brother James whom Paul knew. As even some atheist Bible authorities have said, Jesus must have existed because he had a brother.

So it looks like we can safely conclude that Jesus mythicists have no leg to stand on. Unlike Jesus authorities who have requisite degrees in Biblical studies and teach New Testament at respected universities, Jesus mythicists are made up primarily of internet atheists and bloggers who can use the internet to say what they want without regard to credibility. They've been said to be in the same league as Holocaust deniers and young-earth creationists.
 

Stephen

Active member
In addition, the letters were written to groups of people who already believed before the gospels were written. The letters bear witness that fully formed churches with fully developed beliefs already existed all over the Roman Empire before the letters were written.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Can we make a case that Jesus really lived? Whatever else you might think of him, the answer to this question is not hard to come up with.

The first and perhaps most commonly cited reason to believe Jesus lived is that we know that the popular majority of New Testament authorities think he lived. So in the same way you can be sure that evolution has occurred because the consensus of evolutionary biologists think evolution happened, you can be sure Christ lived based on what his experts think about his historicity.

Now, one of the reasons New Testament authorities are so sure Christ existed is because Christ's followers wrote of his crucifixion. The disciples were very embarrassed about the crucifixion, and therefore we can be sure they didn't make up the story. Why would they create a Messiah who died such a shameful death? The only sensible answer is that they had to tell the whole truth about Jesus even if it went against the belief that the Messiah would conquer all.

We also have many people who attested to Jesus. In addition to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; we also have Paul and John of Patmos who wrote of Jesus. If Bible writers aren't convincing enough, then we have Josephus and Tacitus who wrote of Jesus, both of whom were not Christians. Yes, one person might write of a mythological figure, but when we have so many writing of Jesus, then we are assured he must have lived.

Finally, we have Paul's writing of Jesus' brother James whom Paul knew. As even some atheist Bible authorities have said, Jesus must have existed because he had a brother.

So it looks like we can safely conclude that Jesus mythicists have no leg to stand on. Unlike Jesus authorities who have requisite degrees in Biblical studies and teach New Testament at respected universities, Jesus mythicists are made up primarily of internet atheists and bloggers who can use the internet to say what they want without regard to credibility. They've been said to be in the same league as Holocaust deniers and young-earth creationists.
Read Dohertys, “Jesus: Neither God nor Man”, a poetry of logic which demolishes any idea of a historical Christ, as written in the Gospels stories.
Most of his evidence comes from the Bible itself. To get to the point, does anyone actually believe Jesus was Superman flying through the clouds according to Gospel myths? Nope, so there was no historical Superman, named, Jesus. The Gospels are allegory, mythical constructs, written in genre of scriptural histiography, and many scholars recognize this.

Of course, there were individuals who had the anointing of Christ, for example, Paul, and the Teacher of Righteousness (67 B.C.), and others. So, in that sense, Christ is historical, having indwelled specific individuals.

If one categorizes the epistles distinct from the Gospels, one can easily discern the former describing a cosmic Christ who died at the foundation of the world, and the latter personifies the Christ as manifesting in the first century. The reconciliation between epistles and Gospels is that the Gospel authors canonized Paul’s epistles through personifying Paul’s inner Christ (Galatians 2:20) as the Yeshua manifest in the first century. As a genre, it means the Gospel authors INTERPRETED actual history and rewrote their interpretation into the Gospel narratives, —scriptural histiography. Simply, actual historical Paul in the first century = mythical Jesus in the Gospels anchored in the first century. Accordingly, the Gospel of Paul = the Gospel of Jesus.

The confusion starts when people assume the Gospel stories came before the epistles. Truly, the epistles came first then the Gospel narratives. The Gospel stories are mythicizing the cosmic Christ described in the epistles. The true Christ is cosmic and never a solitary human being.

The problem with Biblical scholars is that they are not likely to invalidate their own beliefs and practices of going to church every Sunday where Jesus is taught as historical, that is, the flying Superman Jesus. It takes someone willing to think ”outside the box” (i.e., outside the indoctrination of Christian orthodoxy) to objectively arrive at the truth.
 
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In addition, the letters were written to groups of people who already believed before the gospels were written. The letters bear witness that fully formed churches with fully developed beliefs already existed all over the Roman Empire before the letters were written.
OK. I assume you think that the existence of those churches is evidence for a historical Christ. How so?
 
Read Dohertys, “Jesus: Neither God nor Man”, a poetry of logic which demolishes any idea of a historical Christ, as written in the Gospels stories.
Most of his evidence comes from the Bible itself.
Thanks for the book recommendation, but I prefer to read what you and the other members here think of the historical evidence for Jesus. I've already read several books espousing the Jesus myth including Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle.
To get to the point, does anyone actually believe Jesus was Superman flying through the clouds according to Gospel myths? Nope, so there was no historical Superman, named, Jesus.
Most Christians believe in a Jesus who was God in the flesh, but historians and scholars have set the bar a bit lower seeking evidence for a Jesus minus his supernatural powers. That's the Jesus I'm referring to.
The Gospels are allegory, mythical constructs, written in genre of scriptural histiography, and many scholars recognize this.
Most scholars would agree that the gospels do have a historical basis. At the heart of that basis was a real man named Jesus who unwittingly founded the Christian church.
Of course, there were individuals who had the anointing of Christ, for example, Paul, and the Teacher of Righteousness (67 B.C.), and others. So, in that sense, Christ is historical, having indwelled specific individuals.
The "teacher of righteousness" wasn't Jesus, and Jesus was more than just a Christian belief. Merely because Paul and other early Christians held some unhistorical beliefs about Jesus it does not follow that Jesus was unhistorical.
If one categorizes the epistles distinct from the Gospels, one can easily discern the former describing a cosmic Christ who died at the foundation of the world, and the latter personifies the Christ as manifesting in the first century. The reconciliation between epistles and Gospels is that the Gospel authors canonized Paul’s epistles through personifying Paul’s inner Christ (Galatians 2:20) as the Yeshua manifest in the first century. As a genre, it means the Gospel authors INTERPRETED actual history and rewrote their interpretation into the Gospel narratives, —scriptural histiography. Simply, actual historical Paul in the first century = mythical Jesus in the Gospels anchored in the first century. Accordingly, the Gospel of Paul = the Gospel of Jesus.
That's an interesting hypothesis, but I can just as easily assert that the Gospel writers provided more details of an earthly Jesus that Paul neglected to mention. Paul's silence on those details does not necessarily imply that Paul knew of no historical Jesus. When Paul wrote his epistles, he evidently saw no reason to write of Jesus' earthly exploits perhaps because he was aware that his readers already knew what had happened to Jesus while he lived.
The confusion starts when people assume the Gospel stories came before the epistles. Truly, the epistles came first then the Gospel narratives. The Gospel stories are mythicizing the cosmic Christ described in the epistles. The true Christ is cosmic and never a solitary human being.
I think you mean that Gospels were historicizing a mythical Christ. Again, why do you assume that they were converting a mythical Jesus to a supposedly historical Jesus? Jesus could have been a real man, and the Gospel writers were just filling in more details about his life.
The problem with Biblical scholars is that they are not likely to invalidate their own beliefs and practices of going to church every Sunday where Jesus is taught as historical, that is, the flying Superman Jesus. It takes someone willing to think ”outside the box” (i.e., outside the indoctrination of Christian orthodoxy) to objectively arrive at the truth.
Not all Bible scholars are Christians, and two of those scholars were/are atheists: Maurice Casey and Bart Ehrman. Both of them have written books defending the historicity of Jesus. It appears, then, that the evidence for a historical Jesus is available to everybody and not just Christians.
 

Stephen

Active member
OK. I assume you think that the existence of those churches is evidence for a historical Christ. How so?

The same way we bear witness to the historicity of of events that happened 30-50 years ago that we ourselves did not participate in or witness first hand, yet our lives are shaped by those events, and we would treat somebody denying those events as a loon.

The epistles date in the 50s to the late 60's, and they are written to established churches with established roots. Those churches would be composed of 1st hand witnesses or persons with connections to 1st hand witnesses of the historicity of the events. The epistles were not written in a vacuum, and were not written to people disconnected from the content and they were not written to people who didn't understand the shared belief, and were not written to people unmotivated by that belief. The rich beliefs of the churches the letters were written to, and their zeal to reproduce the letters and broadcast the letters are themselves an indicator of the historicity of Jesus. Paul couldn't just invent Jesus and write letters to random people.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
So it looks like we can safely conclude that Jesus mythicists have no leg to stand on. Unlike Jesus authorities who have requisite degrees in Biblical studies and teach New Testament at respected universities, Jesus mythicists are made up primarily of internet atheists and bloggers who can use the internet to say what they want without regard to credibility. They've been said to be in the same league as Holocaust deniers and young-earth creationists.
A number of Jesus mythicists have broken into the mainstream and passed academic peer review so they will need to be taken more seriously moving forward. For example, Richard Carrier's On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014) and Raphael Lataster's Questioning the Historicity of Jesus: Why a Philosophical Analysis Elucidates the Historical Discourse (Philosophy and Religion 336; Brill, 2019). If you have the time to watch it and haven't already done so, I would recommend the debate between Carrier and Zeba Crook, the latter of whom is an atheist biblical scholar but defends the historical Jesus position, as do I --- though I am not an atheist, just for the record... :)

Kind regards,
Jonathan

 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
Read Dohertys, “Jesus: Neither God nor Man”, a poetry of logic which demolishes any idea of a historical Christ, as written in the Gospels stories.
Doherty's book is not scholarly by any stretch of the imagination, which I've pointed out to you before.

The Gospels are allegory, mythical constructs, written in genre of scriptural histiography, and many scholars recognize this.
It does no good to overstate your case... while there are some scholars who argue for a mythic Jesus, they are in the vast minority of biblical scholars.

Of course, there were individuals who had the anointing of Christ, for example, Paul, and the Teacher of Righteousness (67 B.C.), and others.
Your belief that the Essenes were the first Christians is idiosyncratic and indefensible. I poked a number of holes in it six months ago when last we discussed this subject.

The confusion starts when people assume the Gospel stories came before the epistles.
While the gospels were all written after the (genuine) Pauline letters, they are based on earlier oral and written sources, which Paul himself occasionally references. I supplied a number of examples in our last discussion, most of which you ignored and the one you did address you completely misinterpreted.

The problem with Biblical scholars is that they are not likely to invalidate their own beliefs and practices of going to church every Sunday where Jesus is taught as historical, that is, the flying Superman Jesus. It takes someone willing to think ”outside the box” (i.e., outside the indoctrination of Christian orthodoxy) to objectively arrive at the truth.
As the OP already pointed out, there are non-Christians who defend the historical Jesus... clearly they aren't biased toward Christian orthodoxy so you need to rethink this line of argumentation.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Doherty's book is not scholarly by any stretch of the imagination, which I've pointed out to you before.
It is logical and supported by 800 pages of evidence. It means nothing to dismiss a labor of that size without addressing the evidence and reason it contains. I could dismiss you without ever hearing anything you said.

It does no good to overstate your case... while there are some scholars who argue for a mythic Jesus, they are in the vast minority of biblical scholars.
That makes sense since I presume most people who seek to become Bible scholars already believe in a historical Jesus. They are not likely to invalidate their own beliefs and practices. It will likely take an agnostic or atheist to resolve it as it takes an open mind.
Your belief that the Essenes were the first Christians is idiosyncratic and indefensible. I poked a number of holes in it six months ago when last we discussed this subject.
I remember that you ran away when you could not win your case. The evidence and reason will be there anytime your up for it.

While the gospels were all written after the (genuine) Pauline letters, they are based on earlier oral and written sources, which Paul himself occasionally references. I supplied a number of examples in our last discussion, most of which you ignored and the one you did address you completely misinterpreted.
I ignored nothing. besides your claim of early written sources holds no water. Doherty has listed up to 250 instances in the epistles where it would have been appropriate to reference a historical Jesus in setting an example but did not. That is evidence for there being no historical Jesus to reference. Nearly every reference is to the Tanakh or some other source, but NOT from an historical person.

Per Doherty,
If we were to rely entirely on the early Christian correspondence, we would know virtually nothing about the Jesus of Nazareth portrayed in the Gospels. We would not know where he was born or when. We would not even know the era he lived in. We would be ignorant of the names of his parents, where he grew up, where he preached. Or even that he preached. We would not be able to identify a single one of his ethical teachings, for although the epistles often make moral pronouncements very close to the ones Jesus speaks in the Gospels, no writer ever attributes them to him.

Nor would we be aware that he performed miracles. Not that he healed, that he cast out demons, that he raised the dead to life. We would not know that he had been baptized, nor would we meet the figure of John the Baptist who performed that rite on him. We would not know that Jesus had walked the hills of Galilee (or the waters of its sea), that he tramped the dusty wildernesses of Judea or entered the ancient walls of Jerusalem. Did he alienate the Jewish leaders, who plotted against him and ultimately bore the stigma of having killed him? We would know nothing about that. Did he celebrate a Last Supper with his disciples? We would not know that for certain. His betrayer, Judas: he and his evil deed would be lost to us forever, as would another betrayal, the denial of him by Peter, his chief apostle.

As the OP already pointed out, there are non-Christians who defend the historical Jesus... clearly they aren't biased toward Christian orthodoxy so you need to rethink this line of argumentation.
There can be a historical persons who manifest the Christ, such as apostles and prophets. In that sense, Christ is historical but there is no superman Jesus flying through the clouds. Therefore, your argument is shallow if you think that either Jesus was superman or he never existed through or in anyone.

Does this mean anything to you?

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating”

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 
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En Hakkore

Well-known member
It is logical and supported by 800 pages of evidence. It means nothing to dismiss a labor of that size without addressing the evidence and reason it contains.
I'm an academic and I work with peer-reviewed academic resources... I gave you the same two resources I supplied in my initial response to this thread six months ago. It's not my problem if you haven't availed yourself of them... I didn't waste my time with Doherty then, nor will I now.

I could dismiss you without ever hearing anything you said.
You could, however, I'm not slamming you with an 800-page worthless book... just my concise comments on a discussion forum plus two citations you can read at your leisure or not.

It will likely take an agnostic or atheist to resolve it as it takes an open mind.
Then consider it resolved in favor of the historical Jesus as the names of one agnostic (Ehrman) and one atheist (Crook) have already been provided in this thread.

I remember that you ran away when you could not win your case. The evidence and reason will be there anytime you up for it.
You remember wrong. I moved on because you were rambling and not addressing the specific points I raised. My last post can be found here and posters can follow the quotes back to see for themselves what transpired.

Doherty has listed up to 250 instances in the epistles where it would have been appropriate to reference a historical Jesus in setting an example but did not.
Typical of Doherty to argue fallaciously from silence. I, on the other hand, pointed to several examples in the Pauline corpus that refer to a historical Jesus... again, you only addressed one of them and misinterpreted it, ignored the rest. Posters can follow the link above to see that.

Therefore, your argument is shallow if you think that either Jesus was superman or he never existed through or in anyone.
I was not defending the "superman Jesus" when last we dialogued, nor would I now. Your alternative seems to be a convoluted way of saying the historical Jesus sans any supernatural powers to indwell people... well, that's the position of the vast majority of scholars, Christian or not. The post-Easter exalted Jesus who can be with his followers may well be the belief of a number of these exegetes, but that is irrelevant to a discussion of the historical Jesus.

Does this mean anything to you?

“Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating”
You do realize that a number of early Christians understood Jesus to be a pre-existent divine being, right? Perhaps you don't...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Thanks for the book recommendation, but I prefer to read what you and the other members here think of the historical evidence for Jesus. I've already read several books espousing the Jesus myth including Doherty's The Jesus Puzzle.

Most Christians believe in a Jesus who was God in the flesh, but historians and scholars have set the bar a bit lower seeking evidence for a Jesus minus his supernatural powers. That's the Jesus I'm referring to.
Then to BE CLEAR: the Jesus-minus-supernatural-events is NOT the Jesus of the Gospels. If you concede that point then we have little to disagree about for I accept the fact that there were humans claiming the anointing of Christ at the beginning of our age, to include Paul.

Most scholars would agree that the gospels do have a historical basis. At the heart of that basis was a real man named Jesus who unwittingly founded the Christian church.
That would be the propaganda of orthodoxy because Christianity is actually a culmination of Greek, Jewish, and Egyptian religions going back several hundred years before our age. Christianity did not start as a completely unique religion in the first century as they claim.

Just from the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls up to 200 hundred B.C. we see the early formation of ideas later found in Paul’s epistles. The Essenes are arguably the first Christian-Jews. Orthodoxy does not want to admit it because the Essenes held tenets common to gnosticism which means gnostic Christianity preceded the proto-orthodox whose writings begin in the second century.

The "teacher of righteousness" wasn't Jesus, and Jesus was more than just a Christian belief. Merely because Paul and other early Christians held some unhistorical beliefs about Jesus it does not follow that Jesus was unhistorical.

That's an interesting hypothesis, but I can just as easily assert that the Gospel writers provided more details of an earthly Jesus that Paul neglected to mention. Paul's silence on those details does not necessarily imply that Paul knew of no historical Jesus.
That is a naive conclusion because there were thorny issues being decided in the first half of the first century allegedly when Jesus walked the earth, so it would have been required to reference biographical data pertaining to him or words that he spoke in order to settle those issues, but nothing.

People presume the Gospel stories fill in what is lacking in the epistles but the Gospels didn’t even exist until after Paul was dead. It suggests that there was no Jesus otherwise Paul could have made a reference to him when teaching.

When Paul wrote his epistles, he evidently saw no reason to write of Jesus' earthly exploits perhaps because he was aware that his readers already knew what had happened to Jesus while he lived.
Or perhaps Paul’s Christ was indwelling everything as he taught over and over.
Perhaps nobody knew of any Jesus except the one inside Paul and his disciples.
Perhaps Jesus Christ is the world-ordering power as taught by the Greek Logos theology.
I think you mean that Gospels were historicizing a mythical Christ.
No, I mean the true substance of Christ is the cosmic Son of God as Paul taught. And the authors personified that cosmic Christ manifest in Paul, a Christ like figure, in order to canonize his epistles.

Christ is not a myth. He is real. He is the world-ordering power who works through us. Paul explicitly teaches about him in the epistles, whereas, the Gospel stories mythically personify him as a single human anchored by Paul in the first century.
Again, why do you assume that they were converting a mythical Jesus to a supposedly historical Jesus?
It is simple. The Teacher of Righteousness predicted three Messiahs in the Last Days, to include himself. He died around 67 B.C. In the first century his sect of the Essenes were divided between Paul and James. Not until the Temple was destroyed did Paul’s teachings predominate as authoritative, thus the authors wanted to canonize his epistles by personifying the inner Jesus of Paul. (Dykstra, Mark: Canonizer of Paul)

Jesus could have been a real man, and the Gospel writers were just filling in more details about his life.
Ok, but he wasn’t superman as you have already conceded.

Not all Bible scholars are Christians, and two of those scholars were/are atheists: Maurice Casey and Bart Ehrman. Both of them have written books defending the historicity of Jesus. It appears, then, that the evidence for a historical Jesus is available to everybody and not just Christians.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I'm an academic and I work with peer-reviewed academic resources... I gave you the same two resources I supplied in my initial response to this thread six months ago. It's not my problem if you haven't availed yourself of them... I didn't waste my time with Doherty then, nor will I now.


You could, however, I'm not slamming you with an 800-page worthless book... just my concise comments on a discussion forum plus two citations you can read at your leisure or not.


Then consider it resolved in favor of the historical Jesus as the names of one agnostic (Ehrman) and one atheist (Crook) have already been provided in this thread.


You remember wrong. I moved on because you were rambling and not addressing the specific points I raised. My last post can be found here and posters can follow the quotes back to see for themselves what transpired.


Typical of Doherty to argue fallaciously from silence. I, on the other hand, pointed to several examples in the Pauline corpus that refer to a historical Jesus... again, you only addressed one of them and misinterpreted it, ignored the rest. Posters can follow the link above to see that.


I was not defending the "superman Jesus" when last we dialogued, nor would I now. Your alternative seems to be a convoluted way of saying the historical Jesus sans any supernatural powers to indwell people... well, that's the position of the vast majority of scholars, Christian or not. The post-Easter exalted Jesus who can be with his followers may well be the belief of a number of these exegetes, but that is irrelevant to a discussion of the historical Jesus.


You do realize that a number of early Christians understood Jesus to be a pre-existent divine being, right? Perhaps you don't...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
I think you are afraid to deal with the evidence because you have more to lose than I do. Being an “academic“ it would be risky for you to be publicly refuted. I hope people look up our previous dialogue because it will show I addressed every point before you ran away.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
I think you are afraid to deal with the evidence because you have more to lose than I do. Being an “academic“ it would be risky for you to be publicly refuted. I hope people look up our previous dialogue because it will show I addressed every point before you ran away.
Only in your dreams did I run away after you addressed my every point... indeed, the thread I linked to is there for anyone to see for themselves what transpired. Even here you don't address the handful of brief comments I made... no one even has to look elsewhere to see that

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Only in your dreams did I run away after you addressed my every point... indeed, the thread I linked to is there for anyone to see for themselves what transpired. Even here you don't address the handful of brief comments I made... no one even has to look elsewhere to see that
LOL. The only thing you have done is recommended reading your references and dismissed Doherty‘s book out of hand (Which you admit you have not even read, great scholar you are.)
Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
LOL. The only thing you have done is recommended reading your references and dismissed Doherty‘s book out of hand (Which you admit you have not even read, great scholar you are.)
I have on my shelf and have read Doherty's book The Jesus Puzzle --- from this I am familiar with his views, I don't need to read every book he's written on the subject. And yes, scholars typically don't waste their time with non-academic books... why should we? Yes, I did recommend (six months ago) for you to read two academic books by mythicist scholars (real ones, not like Doherty) and I reiterate that recommendation... that is not requisite, however, to engage with me in this thread.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

Gary Mac

Well-known member
Can we make a case that Jesus really lived? Whatever else you might think of him, the answer to this question is not hard to come up with.

The first and perhaps most commonly cited reason to believe Jesus lived is that we know that the popular majority of New Testament authorities think he lived. So in the same way you can be sure that evolution has occurred because the consensus of evolutionary biologists think evolution happened, you can be sure Christ lived based on what his experts think about his historicity.

Now, one of the reasons New Testament authorities are so sure Christ existed is because Christ's followers wrote of his crucifixion. The disciples were very embarrassed about the crucifixion, and therefore we can be sure they didn't make up the story. Why would they create a Messiah who died such a shameful death? The only sensible answer is that they had to tell the whole truth about Jesus even if it went against the belief that the Messiah would conquer all.

We also have many people who attested to Jesus. In addition to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; we also have Paul and John of Patmos who wrote of Jesus. If Bible writers aren't convincing enough, then we have Josephus and Tacitus who wrote of Jesus, both of whom were not Christians. Yes, one person might write of a mythological figure, but when we have so many writing of Jesus, then we are assured he must have lived.

Finally, we have Paul's writing of Jesus' brother James whom Paul knew. As even some atheist Bible authorities have said, Jesus must have existed because he had a brother.

So it looks like we can safely conclude that Jesus mythicists have no leg to stand on. Unlike Jesus authorities who have requisite degrees in Biblical studies and teach New Testament at respected universities, Jesus mythicists are made up primarily of internet atheists and bloggers who can use the internet to say what they want without regard to credibility. They've been said to be in the same league as Holocaust deniers and young-earth creationists.
Confusion comes from people not knowing the Christ themselves. Christ means Gods anointed, Christ in you is Gods anointing in you. Jesus was Christ because he was anointed of God as well as Abraham, Moses, 120, and all today who has the same mind, Spirit, of God that these receieve and especially Jesus received in Matt 3:16.

Christ was not Jesus last name, it is a description of his being.

The Romans kept very detailed records in archive about historical events. There is only one mention of a man named Jesus and noting else. If a man named Jesus did all the things attributed to him that we read of and stirred up such an uprising in Rome, they would have recorded it.

Fact is, the bible is not a historical document it is a religious document.
Did a man name Jesus exist, did Moses part a sea and drown a whole army? I cannot say.

What I can do is relate to by identification with God that what was written of Jesus by others in myself, which simply is Love for my God is a Spirit and that Spirit is Love and I am the temple of Him. Love will cause one to do miraculous things supernatural that is not nature for the natural man that was common in the stories of the book.

Christ returning has so many religious beliefs. Some say a man is a god and was killed and will return someday. WHat these do not understand is God is not a man God is a SPirit and that SPirit is Love and man is the temple of Him.

Read Matt 3:16. God came to jesus by His SPirit and what happened? Did not He open up to Jesus who He really is? How can one read that and say Jesus was God when Jesus didnt even know Gods SPirit nor His heaven? It is the religious mind who has made his own rules for God, and Jesus, and Holy SPirit, where they make up up a belief in ignorance from not receieving from God the very same as Jesus did.

1 John 3 is very clear, that when you see Him as He is ye shall be like Him. Back to Matt 3:16, Jesus saw Him as He is and his whole ministry changed from teachings these laws of the temple to teaching God Himself. And ironic is, the very ones Jesus taught in the temple even from a young age, are the very ones who had him crucified for blaspheme after he became like God by having His same mind.

The return of Christ? When you look in a mirror do you see Gods anointed one or do you only see an image of self? It is you who is supposed to be that person of Christ who is anointed of God no different from the anointing Jesus had in the Father.

Read Jesus prayer in John 17 to his God for us to be one in the Father as he was on in the Father. He in you and you in Him as one as Jesus was one in Him. What happened that Jesus prayer didnt get answered that most cannot be ye therefore perfect even as your Father in heaven is perfect? What changed that commandment Jesus gave to us that it is impossible to be like him as 1 John was clear that when you do see Him as He is ye shall be like Him.

Christ returning? Most will go to a grave never knowing the One who is at their door this day waiting for them to let Him come in. These seek another god of flesh instead.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
@Unknown Soldier

Here follows a very short list of Doherty's argument from Silence due to space constraints. There are up to 250 examples total given by Doherty at his website.

The point is that the epistles describe a cosmic Son of God, a divine being, who is REVEALED through allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament Scriptures to indwell his saints, just as the Essenes did (see Dead Sea Scrolls).

Nowhere in the epistles (versus the Gospel mythical stories) does anyone reference the teachings or biographical data of a solitary human, namely, Jesus of Nazareth. Therefore, the superman-Jesus of the Gospels --represents, --symbolizes, --is an archetype for, something or someone else, --arguably the cosmic Christ indwelling his Saints or Saint, in this case, Paul, who lived in the first century and fulfilled the coming anointed person predicted by the Teacher of Righteousness (TOR) (see Dead Scrolls), --Paul: "a light to the Gentiles". And it was the TOR who prepared "The Way" for him, aka, the "Baptizer" described in the Gospel stories, who was the actual "forerunner" of Paul the Anointed.


Cosmic Christ REVEALED by God in the Scriptures or in Creation (i.e. body of Christ, the "sum of all things")Missing Solitary Jesus of Nazareth
  • 19For all that may be known of God by men lies plain before their eyes; indeed God himself has disclosed it to them. 20His invisible attributes . . . have been made visible . . . in the things he has made. [NEB]
Doherty: "How could Paul fail to conceive and express the idea that Jesus himself was the primary revealer of "all that may be known to God"?

Docphin: Clearly, Paul has in mind the cosmic Son of God "in the things made" by God, as it is written, "the heavens declare his glory"
  • Glory be to God who has strengthened you, through my gospel and proclamation about Jesus Christ, through his [God’s] revelation of the mystery which was kept secret for long ages, 26now disclosed and made known through the prophetic writings at the command of the eternal God that all nations might obey through faith—27to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ. Amen. [Various, ED]
Doherty: "There is no occasion for understanding any incarnation in these words, and we have the added element that what is KNOWN and PROCLAIMED to the world comes through the scriptures."
  • . . . we had courage in our God to declare to you the gospel of God in the face of great opposition. [RSV]
What about "the Gospel of Jesus", if in fact there had been a Jesus of Nazareth?

Doherty: "if Jesus is a spiritual figure, a "mystery" known [revealed] only through scripture and God's revelation of him, then Paul's message is indeed the Gospel of God and God is the primary "Savior" (Titus 1:3).
  • Now, about brotherly love we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. [NIV]
Doherty: "What Christian, when admonishing the believer to show love to fellow human beings, would choose to say that God was the teacher of such a doctrine and ignore the entire weight and focus of Jesus' ministry? Yet, this silence on the love command recurs consistently throughout the epistles: (Romans 13:8, 1 Cor 13:1, Gal 5:14, Eph. 5:1, James 2:8, etc.)
  • Do not repay evil with evil, or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. [NIV]
Doherty: "The epistle writer gives us not even an "...as Jesus himself taught us"

...with the exception of "words of the Lord" in 1 Corinthians [which could either be reference to the Teacher of Righteousness or directly from Christ], we never get such an attribution from any epistle writer."
  • 7. . . [the Jerusalem apostles] acknowledged that I had been entrusted with the gospel for gentiles as surely as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel for Jews. 8For God ["he"] whose actions made Peter an apostle to the Jews, also made me an apostle to the gentiles. [NEB]
1) Here Paul identifies apostleship comes from God, not Jesus of Nazareth.

2) Doherty: Here Paul's apostleship is equal to Peter's apostleship. In all the arguments over authority or legitimacy of his credentials as an apostle, no one ever used against him the fact that others had been apostles of Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime, PRESUMING HE HAD EXISTED.
...244 more examples provided by Doherty on his website.
Argument from Silence
Overwhelming evidence that nobody knew about a "Jesus of Nazareth"...until, that is, the mythical stories were written late in the first century and early second century.
 
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The same way we bear witness to the historicity of of events that happened 30-50 years ago that we ourselves did not participate in or witness first hand, yet our lives are shaped by those events, and we would treat somebody denying those events as a loon.
If I understand what you're saying here, the early church members' "shaped lives", even though based on events related to the life of Jesus in which the church members did not participate or witness, is evidence for a historical Jesus that only a crazy person can deny. In other words, the changed lives of those who entered the Christian sect in the first century is powerful evidence for a historical Jesus. Is that what you are saying?
The epistles date in the 50s to the late 60's, and they are written to established churches with established roots. Those churches would be composed of 1st hand witnesses or persons with connections to 1st hand witnesses of the historicity of the events. The epistles were not written in a vacuum, and were not written to people disconnected from the content and they were not written to people who didn't understand the shared belief, and were not written to people unmotivated by that belief. The rich beliefs of the churches the letters were written to, and their zeal to reproduce the letters and broadcast the letters are themselves an indicator of the historicity of Jesus. Paul couldn't just invent Jesus and write letters to random people.
So if Jesus was merely mythological, then his story could not motivate people to spread his story to others. It's impossible to invent a person and then write letters to people about that invented person. If that's true, then how do you explain Joseph Smith's story about the angel Moroni giving him the Book of Mormon on gold tablets? That story spread to millions of people without a historical Moroni, and the followers of Joseph Smith were very motivated to have done so. Also, Plato wrote a letter in which he mentions Zeus. Does that mean Zeus is historical?
 

Stephen

Active member
If I understand what you're saying here, the early church members' "shaped lives", even though based on events related to the life of Jesus in which the church members did not participate or witness, is evidence for a historical Jesus that only a crazy person can deny. In other words, the changed lives of those who entered the Christian sect in the first century is powerful evidence for a historical Jesus. Is that what you are saying?

The example was the we may not have participated in the historical event, but our lives were shaped by them and we are a witness and only a crazy person can deny those events to us as we have 1st hand witnesses accessible to us.

So if Jesus was merely mythological, then his story could not motivate people to spread his story to others. It's impossible to invent a person and then write letters to people about that invented person. If that's true, then how do you explain Joseph Smith's story about the angel Moroni giving him the Book of Mormon on gold tablets? That story spread to millions of people without a historical Moroni, and the followers of Joseph Smith were very motivated to have done so.

I didn't say "impossible". I said "evidence" and "indicator". As such, the conditional statements following your misreading aren't applicable.

Also, Plato wrote a letter in which he mentions Zeus. Does that mean Zeus is historical?

If this is your standard of evidence, then I wish you great luck with your future endeavors.
 
The Romans kept very detailed records in archive about historical events. There is only one mention of a man named Jesus and noting else. If a man named Jesus did all the things attributed to him that we read of and stirred up such an uprising in Rome, they would have recorded it.

Fact is, the bible is not a historical document it is a religious document.
Did a man name Jesus exist, did Moses part a sea and drown a whole army? I cannot say.
I'm not clear on what you're saying here. Are you saying there was no Jesus who did what the Gospels say he did, but he was historical nevertheless? Or are you unsure if Jesus existed at all?
 
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