The Case for the Historical Christ

Theo1689

Well-known member
If you earned a degree in Microbiology and still doubt evolution then you should ask for your money back for your education as I am aware of NO peer-reviewed science which challenges evolution in any significant way.

If you earned a degree in Microbiology and still BELIEVE in evolution, then YOU should ask for YOUR money back for your education, as there is NO peer-reviewed science which proves evolution in any significant way.

If you knew ANYTHING about the cell and its immeasurable complexity, you would understand that trying to explain it through "evolution" is a joke.

Evolution properly falls under the discipline of history, or philosophy.
I am not aware of ANY scientific experiment that supports the hypothesis of evolution.

Laughable.

Yes, evolution is certainly "laughable".
How did the ten-stage "glycolysis" process evolve?
How did the 8-stage Krebs cycle evolve?
How did the Calvin cycle evolve?
How did the electron transport chain evolve?
How did chromosomes evolve as an information storage device?
And where did this information come from?

There are literally MILLIONS of these complex processes in the human body, and NONE of them have been demonstrated to have "evolved" one step at a time.
 

docphin5

Well-known member
First, notice that no biographical data or words of Jesus of Nazareth are found in Paul's letters. So if this is the best that you got, then it is weak at best.

That is incorrect. As I've already pointed out, Doherty is arguing from silence... even here it is quite selective since he/you must ignore (or misinterpret) evidence in the epistles that Jesus is understood to be a tangible human being who was born and died:

the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh... (Rom 1:3)

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law... (Gal 4:4)
Essenes taught in the Dead Sea Scrolls that Messianic figures were like a Son of God. Paul taught that believers are sons of God. Moreover, the New Testament teaches that believers are "born of God". Last time I checked nobody on earth is "born of God" without first being "born of woman".

[the Jews] killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out; they displease God and oppose everyone... (1 Thes 2:15)
Since Paul teaches that Jesus indwells his saints then the Lord Jesus suffers with those persecuted and killed for their faith. IOW, nothing to see here. There remains no solitary Jesus of Nazareth, no biographical data, no words of Jesus. You have nothing but what you presume is a vague statement referencing the mythical stories in the Gospels.

"I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." (Galatians 6:17)

In the presence of God, who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus, who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you... (1 Tim 6:13)
Not written by Paul so it is pointless to bring up unless you are trying to mislead others. Hmm....?

Wikipedia
"Nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholarship questioned the authenticity of the letter, with many scholars suggesting that First Timothy, along with Second Timothy and Titus, are not the work of Paul, but rather are unattributable Christian writing some time in the late-first-to-mid-2nd centuries.[1]Most scholars now affirm this view.[2][3] As evidence for this perspective, they put forward that the Pastoral Epistles contain 306 words that Paul does not use in his unquestioned letters, that their style of writing is different from that of his unquestioned letters, that they reflect conditions and a church organization not current in Paul's day, and that they do not appear in early lists of his canonical works."

Since, therefore, the children share flesh and blood, he himself likewise shared the same things, so that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil... Therefore he had to become like his brothers in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the people. (Heb 2:14,17)
Still no biographical data and no words of Jesus. Taken as a whole the book of Hebrews is describing a cosmic or heavenly Son who died at the foundation of the world, according to the type of Adam in scripture, who also died at the beginning of creation. Imagine that! What a coincidence. Maybe..., just maybe... Adam is a type for Christ, ---Oh wait, Paul said exactly that: (Romans 5:14) "Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come."

For example,
“Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world (Greek: cosmos). But as it is, he has appeared [Greek: phanero = to make known or reveal) once for all at the end of the ages [Last Days] to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:25)

This verse implies that the Lamb was slain at the foundation of the cosmos once for all time, which precludes any historical, solitary Jesus of the Gospels. What has been REVEALED, MADE KNOWN in the Last Days, per the author, is the Lamb slain at the foundation of the world. It is that “revelation of Christ Jesus” as the cosmic Son of God that ushers the individual into the New Covenant.


For it is evident that our Lord was descended from Judah, and in connection with that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. (Heb 7:14)
The manifestation of the Lord Jesus in his saints could be a reference to the Teacher of Righteousness (TOR). Maybe the TOR was a descendant from the tribe of Judah. The TOR was considered a Messianic figure. He is considered the founder of the Essenes in the pre-Christian age, who arguably are the precursors of Paul's Christianity. Paul, in fact teaches the same ideas that the Essenes taught. Paul in fact, briefly references about the Lord instituting the Eucharist which is first described by the Essenes in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Still no biographical data for a Jesus of Nazareth, still no words of Jesus.

He himself carried up our sins in his body to the tree, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his bruise you have been healed. (1 Pet 2:24)
Adam was shamed and killed by a tree at the beginning of creation. Do you see the type-thing going on here?

Still no biographical data for a Jesus of Nazareth and no words of Jesus.

As for teaching, there is that on divorce (1 Cor 7:10-11), paid ministry (9:14) and the Eucharist (11:23-25). And I'll finish off with this:

For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Nothing precludes the coming of the Lord "in his saints" as all the epistles attest to. So I have no disagreement with this clause. As far as the mythical stories found in the Gospels written later, --even you concede the supernatural events did not occur. Therefore, if they did not occur then they are mythical like stories. Maybe you have some fancy jargon to avoid calling them "mythical" in order to avoid the ire of fundamentalists but it is would be arguing over semantics.

Still no biographical data of a Jesus of Nazareth and no words of Jesus.
but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain. (2 Pet 1:16-18)

Kind regards,
Jonathan

You clearly have a house of cards holding up your position for a historical Jesus of Nazareth. I don't want to argue with you so you are welcome to believe whatever you want.
 
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docphin5

Well-known member
If you earned a degree in Microbiology and still BELIEVE in evolution, then YOU should ask for YOUR money back for your education, as there is NO peer-reviewed science which proves evolution in any significant way.

If you knew ANYTHING about the cell and its immeasurable complexity, you would understand that trying to explain it through "evolution" is a joke.

Actually, I have a Doctorate and a Masters Degree and board certification in two medical specialities and worked 20+ years in comparative medicine, designing vaccines, diagnostics, and therapies being used to save millions of lives on the planet. I have worked with top scientists around the world (as it is a collaborative effort) and at the NIH. I have personally reviewed and approved thousands of experimental studies based on the science establishing the fact of evolution.

What is YOUR OPINION based on? An associate degree in Biblical studies? A high school diploma? A GED?

You are clueless about science and evolution.

Evolution properly falls under the discipline of history, or philosophy.
I am not aware of ANY scientific experiment that supports the hypothesis of evolution.



Yes, evolution is certainly "laughable".
How did the ten-stage "glycolysis" process evolve?
How did the 8-stage Krebs cycle evolve?
How did the Calvin cycle evolve?
How did the electron transport chain evolve?
How did chromosomes evolve as an information storage device?
And where did this information come from?

There are literally MILLIONS of these complex processes in the human body, and NONE of them have been demonstrated to have "evolved" one step at a time.
If you had gone to school you could have learned a bit about these things.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
Actually, I have a Doctorate and a Masters Degree and board certification in two medical specialities and worked 20+ years in comparative medicine, designing vaccines, diagnostics, and therapies being used to save millions of lives on the planet.

Goodie for you.
That doesn't prove evolution true.

You are apparently unfamiliar with the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority".

I have worked with top scientists around the world (as it is a collaborative effort) and at the NIH.

Oh, goodie.
That doesn't prove evolution true, either.
It's simply the logical fallacy of "name-dropping" (and you didn't even drop any "names").

I have personally reviewed and approved thousands of experimental studies based on the science establishing the fact of evolution.

If we unpack that, we find that you seem to want to make it SOUND like there are tons of experimental studies which have "proved" evolution (in point of fact there are NONE), but all you're really saying is, "these experimental studies are consistent with our ASSUMPTION that evolution is true."

Big whoop.

What is YOUR OPINION based on? An associate degree in Biblical studies? A high school diploma? A GED?

<Chuckle>
So not only did you engage in "appeal to authority" for yourself, you want to continue your logical fallacy onto me. Credentials don't "prove" anything. You can't be much of a scientist if you don't understand that.

Further, you seem ignorant of "Biblical studies" as well. Biblical studies don't address scientific studies. They are two different disciplines.

You are clueless about science and evolution.

Oh, goodie... Childish name-calling.
You truly are a credit to your "doctorate". 🤣 🤣 🤣

If you had gone to school you could have learned a bit about these things.

Well, let's see...
I've graduated high school, done 8 years in post-secondary, and have done a great deal of self-study for the 30 years after that.

So maybe I have a tad bit more "edumacation" than you insultingly assume.....


In the meantime, I haven't heard you provide any "evolutionary" answers for:
- glycolysis;
- Krebs;
- Calvin cycle;
- ETC.
- formation of chromosome storage devices;
- source of information for the chromosomes;
- etc.
- etc.
- etc.

Do you know what "evolution" is? Evolution is idiots like Richard Dawkins, appealing to a trivial experiment following 3 generations of Endler's live-bearers, where both skin pattern alleles already existed, showing a frequency shift over three generations, and then ignorantly proclaiming, "There we have it! Evolution proved before your very eyes!" And since their audience is nothing but ignorant housewives and businessmen who know nothing about science, they buy into the propaganda.

Nonsense.

But I guess my facts are wrong, because I don't have a fancy doctorate from a fancy university?

"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a <bleep>' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"
-- Will Hunting
 
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En Hakkore

Well-known member
First, notice that no biographical data or words of Jesus of Nazareth are found in Paul's letters. So if this is the best that you got, then it is weak at best.


Essenes taught in the Dead Sea Scrolls that Messianic figures were like a Son of God. Paul taught that believers are sons of God. Moreover, the New Testament teaches that believers are "born of God". Last time I checked nobody on earth is "born of God" without first being "born of woman".


Since Paul teaches that Jesus indwells his saints then the Lord Jesus suffers with those persecuted and killed for their faith. IOW, nothing to see here. There remains no solitary Jesus of Nazareth, no biographical data, no words of Jesus. You have nothing but what you presume is a vague statement referencing the mythical stories in the Gospels.

"I bear on my body the marks of Jesus." (Galatians 6:17)


Not written by Paul so it is pointless to bring up unless you are trying to mislead others. Hmm....?

Wikipedia
"Nineteenth- and twentieth-century scholarship questioned the authenticity of the letter, with many scholars suggesting that First Timothy, along with Second Timothy and Titus, are not the work of Paul, but rather are unattributable Christian writing some time in the late-first-to-mid-2nd centuries.[1]Most scholars now affirm this view.[2][3] As evidence for this perspective, they put forward that the Pastoral Epistles contain 306 words that Paul does not use in his unquestioned letters, that their style of writing is different from that of his unquestioned letters, that they reflect conditions and a church organization not current in Paul's day, and that they do not appear in early lists of his canonical works."


Still no biographical data and no words of Jesus. Taken as a whole the book of Hebrews is describing a cosmic or heavenly Son who died at the foundation of the world, according to the type of Adam in scripture, who also died at the beginning of creation. Imagine that! What a coincidence. Maybe..., just maybe... Adam is a type for Christ, ---Oh wait, Paul said exactly that: (Romans 5:14) "Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come."

For example,
“Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world (Greek: cosmos). But as it is, he has appeared [Greek: phanero = to make known or reveal) once for all at the end of the ages [Last Days] to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” (Hebrews 9:25)

This verse implies that the Lamb was slain at the foundation of the cosmos once for all time, which precludes any historical, solitary Jesus of the Gospels. What has been REVEALED, MADE KNOWN in the Last Days, per the author, is the Lamb slain at the foundation of the world. It is that “revelation of Christ Jesus” as the cosmic Son of God that ushers the individual into the New Covenant.



The manifestation of the Lord Jesus in his saints could be a reference to the Teacher of Righteousness (TOR). Maybe the TOR was a descendant from the tribe of Judah. The TOR was considered a Messianic figure. He is considered the founder of the Essenes in the pre-Christian age, who arguably are the precursors of Paul's Christianity. Paul, in fact teaches the same ideas that the Essenes taught. Paul in fact, briefly references about the Lord instituting the Eucharist which is first described by the Essenes in the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Still no biographical data for a Jesus of Nazareth, still no words of Jesus.


Adam was shamed and killed by a tree at the beginning of creation. Do you see the type-thing going on here?

Still no biographical data for a Jesus of Nazareth and no words of Jesus.


Nothing precludes the coming of the Lord "in his saints" as all the epistles attest to. So I have no disagreement with this clause. As far as the mythical stories found in the Gospels written later, --even you concede the supernatural events did not occur. Therefore, if they did not occur then they are mythical like stories. Maybe you have some fancy jargon to avoid calling them "mythical" in order to avoid the ire of fundamentalists but it is would be arguing over semantics.

Still no biographical data of a Jesus of Nazareth and no words of Jesus.


You clearly have a house of cards holding up your position for a historical Jesus of Nazareth. I don't want to argue with you so you are welcome to believe whatever you want.
As in the previous thread you're rambling and disregarding your own suggestion here to take the citations one at a time... it is obvious you cannot face systematic criticisms of your position in the details so you throw everything but the kitchen sink at your opponent in hopes of overwhelming them. You're not fooling me or anyone else with this tactic and your last sentence appears to be laying the groundwork for your hasty exit from the conversation. Before you leave, I'll offer a few pertinent comments in response to your most recent train wreck of a post...

Your idea about the Essenes being the first Christians is a fringe theory with no serious backing in scholarship... I challenged you in the previous thread to offer a plausible historical reconstruction for this and you were unable to do so. Further lacking any critical method of comparative study, your various appeals to the Dead Sea Scrolls are summarily dismissed.

Your claim here about the alleged lack of references to a historical Jesus in the epistles was not qualified with a restriction to the genuine Pauline corpus so I was perfectly justified in citing from anywhere in the New Testament letters. Your misguided retort is yet another implied concession that there are references to a historical Jesus in the epistles, despite your claim they are nowhere to be found. Furthermore, your attempt to school me about the disputed Pauline letters using Wikipedia is laughable... I wrote two back-to-back 5000-word exegetical papers tracing a common theme through the undisputed letters (first paper) and the disputed letters (second paper) as part of the fulfillment for a requisite course on Pauline thought during my studies. I hold graduate-level degrees in the fields of theological and biblical studies and currently hold a related research position at a university. If you knew where and what to look for you'd find my name in the acknowledgements for editorial work done in monographs on the New Testament and Paul in well-respected academic publishers, including the crème de la crème Oxford University Press. So please spare me the lectures about issues Pauline or anything related to biblical studies... you're not telling me anything I don't already know and then some.

You flaunt your science degrees elsewhere in this thread, appalled that outsiders dare to challenge consensus within the scientific community, then turn around and challenge consensus within biblical studies with your ignorant fringe theories. Do you not see how hypocritical that is?

Your comments on the Hebrews text are embarrassing and evidence little more than how badly you distort the plain reading of a text to justify your peculiar beliefs... you notably didn't address the three citations I raised that refer to Jesus sharing flesh and blood, becoming like his brothers in all ways and being a descendant of Judah, all crystal clear examples that the author has a Jewish human being in mind who recently appeared in history and was crucified in order to offer a once-for-all-time sacrifice for sin. The idea this happened at the beginning of the world's history in some supernatural realm and this has only recently been revealed is an absurd reading and distortion of the text you appealed to... what more needs to be said about your inability to properly exegete an ancient text?

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

docphin5

Well-known member
Goodie for you.
That doesn't prove evolution true.

You are apparently unfamiliar with the logical fallacy of "appeal to authority".



Oh, goodie.
That doesn't prove evolution true, either.
It's simply the logical fallacy of "name-dropping" (and you didn't even drop any "names").



If we unpack that, we find that you seem to want to make it SOUND like there are tons of experimental studies which have "proved" evolution (in point of fact there are NONE), but all you're really saying is, "these experimental studies are consistent with our ASSUMPTION that evolution is true."

Big whoop.



<Chuckle>
So not only did you engage in "appeal to authority" for yourself, you want to continue your logical fallacy onto me. Credentials don't "prove" anything. You can't be much of a scientist if you don't understand that.

Further, you seem ignorant of "Biblical studies" as well. Biblical studies don't address scientific studies. They are two different disciplines.



Oh, goodie... Childish name-calling.
You truly are a credit to your "doctorate". 🤣 🤣 🤣



Well, let's see...
I've graduated high school, done 8 years in post-secondary, and have done a great deal of self-study for the 30 years after that.

So maybe I have a tad bit more "edumacation" than you insultingly assume.....


In the meantime, I haven't heard you provide any "evolutionary" answers for:
- glycolysis;
- Krebs;
- Calvin cycle;
- ETC.
- formation of chromosome storage devices;
- source of information for the chromosomes;
- etc.
- etc.
- etc.

Do you know what "evolution" is? Evolution is idiots like Richard Dawkins, appealing to a trivial experiment following 3 generations of Endler's live-bearers, where both skin pattern alleles already existed, showing a frequency shift over three generations, and then ignorantly proclaiming, "There we have it! Evolution proved before your very eyes!" And since their audience is nothing but ignorant housewives and businessmen who know nothing about science, they buy into the propaganda.

Nonsense.

But I guess my facts are wrong, because I don't have a fancy doctorate from a fancy university?

"See, the sad thing about a guy like you is, in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're going to come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life: one, don't do that, and two, you dropped 150 grand on a <bleep>' education you could have got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library!"
-- Will Hunting
So basically your OPINION that evolution is false is based on your high school degree and ”self-study”,

whereas, all the tens of thousands of formally trained Ph.D.s in the biological sciences, spread around the world, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (all available for you to disprove whenever you are up to the task) are wrong about evolution,

BECAUSE WHY?

We all know why.

Because then your erroneous, literal interpretations of mythical stories would be wrong.

Bottom line: Truth about reality on our planet must be sacrificed in order for your false dogmas to stand.

No wonder educated people are leaving the church. No wonder religion is dying and becoming irrelevant to the masses. And no wonder because People like you have shown you cannot be trusted.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
So basically your OPINION that evolution is false is based on your high school degree and ”self-study”,

You left out my post-secondary education....
You didn't misrepresent me intentionally, did you?

Btw, why did you put, "self-study" in scare quotes?
Are you claiming there is information found only in universities, that you can't access unless you're officially enrolled (and "pay" for the information)?


whereas, all the tens of thousands of formally trained Ph.D.s in the biological sciences, spread around the world, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals (all available for you to disprove whenever you are up to the task) are wrong about evolution,

blah blah blah blah blah....

All you're doing is continuing your fallacy of "appeal to authority".
At this point I'm no longer sure you even graduated high school, if you're going to continue to use logical fallacies like this.

Because then your erroneous, literal interpretations of mythical stories would be wrong.

Personal attack.
No actual facts.
Thank you for the admission of defeat.

Bottom line: Truth about reality on our planet must be sacrificed in order for your false dogmas to stand.

"Objection, your honour!"

Assuming facts not in evidence!
The defendant has not yet PROVEN "evolution" to be true, all he has done is assert that the is in some sort of a club and that all his club-mates agree with him.

No wonder educated people are leaving the church. No wonder religion is dying and becoming irrelevant to the masses. And no wonder because People like you have shown you cannot be trusted.

blah blah blah blah blah.
No actual facts or evidence, only personal attacks.

Why don't you want to talk about the "evolution" of glycolysis?
Or the "evolution" of the Krebs cycle?
Or the "evolution" of the Calvin cycle?
Or the "evolution" of the Electron Transport Chain?
How about the "evolution" ATP synthase?
Or the "evolution" of chromosomes?
Or the "evolution" of the source of INFORMATION of chromosomes?


Oh, I know, I know.... "Just shut off your brain, and blindly believe that evolution is true. We don't need any actual FACTS, since we're under the umbrella of 'science'! "
🤣 🤣 🤣
 

docphin5

Well-known member
@Theo1689

You don’t know the facts for evolution because you were not trained and educated to specifically know, as opposed to those who are. That is the whole point of the last few posts, which you fail to grasp.

By condemning an appeal to authority, as you have, on something that requires a formal education to understand is foolish, especially if the scientific agreement is worldwide and published in journals/textbooks for anyone to challenge in peer-reviewed science journals (versus religious websites).

The fact that you expect me to copy and paste a million scientific journals and textbooks to “prove” evolution to you on a internet forum only shows how irrational your position is.
 

Theo1689

Well-known member
@Theo1689

You don’t know the facts for evolution because you were not trained and educated to specifically know,

So you self-servingly ASSUME that.
What is your EVIDENCE that I haven't been educated with what evolution teaches?

The fact that you expect me to copy and paste a million scientific journals and textbooks to “prove” evolution to you on a internet forum only shows how irrational your position is.

I guess we have different understandings of what it means to be "irrational".

I think the view of, "I'm not going to give any evidence to support my position, but if you disagree, then you are wrong, a moron, uneducated, and irrational" is what constitutes "irrational".

YMMV.
 

Manfred

Well-known member
If you earned a degree in Microbiology and still doubt evolution then you should ask for your money back for your education as I am aware of NO peer-reviewed science which challenges evolution in any significant way.

Same to you buddy.

Laughable. Apparently, that is the best of your critical thinking skills you can muster: "Evolution is false because people once believed in Miasma." I am curious, did you actually graduate from college? It is not clear in your statement. If so, what are you doing now with your degree? Because I cannot imagine any company being impressed with your position on evolution or explanation for why it is false. Maybe you should submit your explanation to a peer-reviewed science journal and tell me what their response is. I would love to hear it.
If I earned a degree...
You have lost all credibility as my degree was not in the theory of evolution.
You think the vast majority of scientists who believed the theory of Miasma should all have asked for their money back....

You sure is so cleva massa....
 
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 easy answer is that we don't know that Jesus existed.
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.
We have here an example pf an appeal to authority and to majority. If we really had good evidence to believe Jesus lived, then such appeals would be unnecessary, yet these fallacious appeals are resorted to all the time by those who want to believe Jesus existed.
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.
Well, there are more sensible answers to why the Gospel writers wrote that Jesus was crucified. I think the best explanation for the crucifixion story is that it sets up the story of the resurrection. What could be more impressive than a Messiah who can cheat death? This kind of irony is very common in creative works of fiction.
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.
I'm really not so sure. There's no reason why different people cannot attest to a person who never lived. Many Greeks including Plato wrote of Zeus; does that make Zeus a historical person?
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.
Well, those atheist Bible authorities are begging the question. For Bible authorities to assume that Jesus had a brother is to assume Jesus existed which is what they're supposed to be proving!
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.
Jesus historicists love to smear mythicists this way. Those who doubt that Jesus existed are being told that they're too ignorant and stupid to come to a sensible conclusion about whether Jesus existed. To do so wouldn't be so bad if historians could actually come up with convincing reasons of their own to let us know Jesus existed, but as we have seen historians have yet to do so.
 

En Hakkore

Well-known member
The easy answer is that we don't know that Jesus existed.

We have here an example pf an appeal to authority and to majority. If we really had good evidence to believe Jesus lived, then such appeals would be unnecessary, yet these fallacious appeals are resorted to all the time by those who want to believe Jesus existed.

Well, there are more sensible answers to why the Gospel writers wrote that Jesus was crucified. I think the best explanation for the crucifixion story is that it sets up the story of the resurrection. What could be more impressive than a Messiah who can cheat death? This kind of irony is very common in creative works of fiction.

I'm really not so sure. There's no reason why different people cannot attest to a person who never lived. Many Greeks including Plato wrote of Zeus; does that make Zeus a historical person?

Well, those atheist Bible authorities are begging the question. For Bible authorities to assume that Jesus had a brother is to assume Jesus existed which is what they're supposed to be proving!

Jesus historicists love to smear mythicists this way. Those who doubt that Jesus existed are being told that they're too ignorant and stupid to come to a sensible conclusion about whether Jesus existed. To do so wouldn't be so bad if historians could actually come up with convincing reasons of their own to let us know Jesus existed, but as we have seen historians have yet to do so.
Perhaps instead of dialoguing with your own devil's advocate, you could address the responses of other posters... for example here.

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

docphin5

Well-known member
@Unknown Soldier

Another poster says Paul could not be referring to a cosmic Christ because he was declared the “Son of God at the resurrection.” inferring as he does that, such a declaration is “inconsistent with cosmic origins”.

A dissenting opinion:
It is suggested by mythicists that Jesus begins as a cosmic figure, a dying and rising savior god, yet their star witness Paul quotes an earlier credal formula in which Jesus is declared the 'Son of God' at the resurrection (Rom 1:4) --- this is arguably the earliest Christological formulation, which both predates Paul and is inconsistent with cosmic origins; it is precisely what we would expect to find, however, to accrue around a man thought by his followers to have risen from the dead.”

Does Paul deny Christ as Son of God BEFORE the resurrection, if in fact Paul is referring to a solitary human as the dissenting opinion asserts? If so, what does that bode for the alleged Jesus at his baptism? or for the alleged baby Jesus? according to the Gospel fiction? The Gospels (and “Acts”) are not reliable history, for their purpose is theological.

No, Paul was not referring to a solitary, human, who literally reassembled his putrified human body from necrotizing flesh.

(May I digress here for a moment to point out The irony that the dissenting opinion concedes no supernatural events occurred but will bend over backwards twisting Paul’s words to make you think Paul believed and taught there was. IOW, although the self-proclaimed academics will not believe superstitions and myths, but they would have others, to include the apostle himself believe in them. The hypocrisy and deceit in their position is revolting.)

No, the simple explanation for the resurrection is that there are two resurrections, one pertaining to the cosmic soul(s), and another to the cosmic body of Christ. In the first, our souls united to right reason or heavenly Logos results in us being born of God, a resurrection of life from a lifeless cosmos, the sensible cosmos being the body of Christ. In the second resurrection, the “body of Christ”, that is, the sensible cosmos, must be made new, for the resurrected souls to receive their glory, that is, eternal life. The second resurrection, the renewal of the cosmos, is when the body of Christ is risen on the “third day” which happens to be associated with the last manifestation of the inner Jesus on earth (IN the soul(s) of human(s)), according to Essene eschatology.
 
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En Hakkore

Well-known member
(May I digress here for a moment to point out The irony that the dissenting opinion concedes no supernatural events occurred but will bend over backwards twisting Paul’s words to make you think Paul believed and taught there was. IOW, although they will not believe superstitions and myths, they would have others, to include the apostle himself believe in them. The hypocrisy and deceit in their position is revolting.)
I will briefly address your digression since mine is the "dissenting opinion" to which you refer. There is nothing whatsoever hypocritical or deceitful about distinguishing my position from that of Paul... that you think there is simply highlights the numerous fallacies inherent in your own position. If you're feeling nauseous, I would recommend taking some Pepto-Bismol...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 

docphin5

Well-known member
I will briefly address your digression since mine is the "dissenting opinion" to which you refer. There is nothing whatsoever hypocritical or deceitful about distinguishing my position from that of Paul...
Of course not (Sarcasm). You just want everyone to judge yourself sensible for not believing in superstitions and myths although you would have an apostle doing so. EDIT Personal comment

Rather than giving Paul the benefit of the doubt and seek the better meaning for all to enjoy, you are willing to throw him under the bus, to avoid the ire of those simple minded people who actually believe in myths and superstitions.

that you think there is simply highlights the numerous fallacies inherent in your own position. If you're feeling nauseous, I would recommend taking some Pepto-Bismol...
EDIT NO vulgarity permitted
Kind regards,
Jonathan
 
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En Hakkore

Well-known member
You just want everyone to judge yourself sensible for not believing in superstitions and myths although you would have an apostle doing so.
I could care less what "everyone" thinks of my position... some will share it, some will oppose it, some will respect it, some will mock it --- that's life. I value the opinions people have of me within my sphere of influence, those of random people on the Internet not so much. I do think it sensible to reject, as you refer to them, "superstitions and myths" as there is no good evidence such things exist or have any bearing whatsoever on my life or that of others. Now if those others want to believe in such things, that is their business and I respect and would defend their right to believe so, just as they ought to show me the same courtesy not to believe in such things.

Rather than giving Paul the benefit of the doubt and seek the better meaning for all to enjoy, you are willing to throw him under the bus, to avoid the ire of those simple minded people who actually believe in myths and superstitions.
The correct interpretation of ancient texts is not there for "all to enjoy" but to fairly represent what the authors meant to convey. You have shown time and again you have no respect for this... you distort the plainest of readings to support your position, all the while inferring reverence for these texts and the individual who wrote them. Talk about hypocrisy within one's position...

Kind regards,
Jonathan
 
I hadn't seen that particular debate... thanks for the tip; I watched up until the Q&A started.
I think Carrier kicked Evans's bee-hind in that one.
The position you sketched in your OP and that which you have offered here are rather different... there you seem to take a strong stance against the mythicist position -- so much so that I felt compelled to offer a bit of balance in the form of Carrier's and Lataster's peer-reviewed monographs -- while here you appear more open to it, even praising Carrier as brilliant. He is certainly a well-spoken proponent of the mythicist position and I find him an engaging speaker, but I do think he's wrong. Were you playing devil's advocate earlier?
In the OP I presented the most common arguments used for a historical Jesus. I hoped that at least some of my readers would be able to spot the weaknesses and fallacies in those arguments.
You touch on the crucifixion in your OP, which is one among many "embarrassing" elements in the tradition (others include his baptism by John and being betrayed by a close follower) that are difficult to explain as the kinds of things that would be made up about a savior deity.
Well, if you or I might conclude that a story with elements that are apparently embarrassing to the writer is likely to be true, then that writer probably felt the same way we do! In other words, the Gospel writers included apparently embarrassing parts in their stories about Jesus to make those stories look to be factual. If they assumed that doing so would cause people to be more likely to believe them, then Jesus historicists have demonstrated them to be correct.

As you may know Jesus historians use this "criterion of embarrassment" to try to decide what parts of the Gospels are factual. The reasoning is that if somebody writes something that that writer would feel ashamed of, then that writer must be enduring the shame because he wants to get the truth out. There are many difficulties with this criterion. As I have just mentioned, an astute propagandist knows better than to make up a story that's too "clean" and so will include some uncomplimentary parts in his story. Also, we really don't know that the crucifixion story was embarrassing to the Gospel writers. If there are embarrassing facts about a real Jesus that might turn people off about him, then logically his biographers would have omitted those facts.
What I find most compelling, however, are the diverse Christologies reflected in both the gospel and epistolary traditions, which one would not expect to find if the mythicist position were valid. It is suggested by mythicists that Jesus begins as a cosmic figure, a dying and rising savior god, yet their star witness Paul quotes an earlier credal formula in which Jesus is declared the 'Son of God' at the resurrection (Rom 1:4) --- this is arguably the earliest Christological formulation, which both predates Paul and is inconsistent with cosmic origins; it is precisely what we would expect to find, however, to accrue around a man thought by his followers to have risen from the dead.
You lost me here. Why is it unlikely that "diverse Christologies" would emerge if Jesus was not historical? A mythological Christ might have easily been created as the Son of God at the resurrection. That sounds pretty mythological to me! How many historical people can fit that description?

Anyway, your approach here is very typical of the ways people try to establish Jesus as historical. They often look for something in his story that they think cannot be made up and then conclude that it's historical. Maurice Casey, for example, argues that Jesus must have lived because there are bits of Aramaic in the gospels, and Jesus spoke Aramaic! Yes, if Jesus existed, then he probably spoke Aramaic which might explain the Aramaic in the Gospels, but the logic doesn't work in the opposite direction. In other words, the Aramaic in the Gospels could be included there for a lot of reasons and not necessarily because Jesus was historical.
 

Hark

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.
Ralph O. Muncaster was an honest skeptics but had found the Truth in Jesus Christ, proving God's promise that all those that seek, shall find.

Ralph O. Muncaster's Open Library

This other link below takes you to the second page of that open library that has the audio Book available for borrowing or download for reading about "Evidence for Jesus".

Second Page of Open Library

As in all things, especially even from famous preachers, prove all things with Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 22 Abstain from all appearance of evil. 23 And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. 25 Brethren, pray for us.
 

El Cid

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.
I would not put them in the same league as holocaust deniers and YECs. There is some evidence that Jesus mythers and holocaust deniers believe these things for political and emotional reasons. YECs usually believe in it because of what they believe is actual evidence plus also they feel like they are being true to the Bible, whether they actually are or not and whether there actually is evidence for a young earth or not.
 

El Cid

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.
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.

There is no evidence that the gospels are allegory or mythical constructs. In fact, the tone and style of writing of the gospels is very different from myth. There are many external and internal evidences that the Christ of scripture is the Christ of history.

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.

There is no real evidence that the Teacher of righteousness had anything to do with Christ. Yes Christ indwells in millions of individuals living in the past and today.

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.
There is no evidence for any of these speculations. Paul claims to have seen the bodily resurrected Christ.

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.

Yes, most of the epistles came before the gospels but there is strong evidence linking them together. The gospels were being passed by word of mouth for a time though before most of them were written down prior to 70 AD and some non-Christian scholars even think all four were written down before 70 AD since none of them mention the fulfillment of Christ's prophecy of the destruction of the Temple.

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.
Most Biblical scholars do not go to church every Sunday.
 
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