There are a few reasons why Christians are Christian. One of the main reasons is to do with Jesus and who he was and what he did. After all if he was who he said he was and performed those miracles, rose from the dead then it would be foolish to deny his claims about being the son of God and that the way to heaven is through him. What's a way to convince them that the gospels cannot be true?
You need to make up your mind, if the story is not false then by definition he must of existed, but as you then move to the fuzzy middle ground of probabilities I can only assume that you are not completely sure that it is not false. Moreover, there is no consensus amongst ancient historians concerning his existence there is only learned conjecture.
As there are no contemperaneous documents concerning his existence please explain how we "can formulate our own ideas of what type of man he might have been." That would require proof which we do not have.
"The myth of Jesus of Nazareth is his legend. He has made an indelible mark on history." He has not done anything of the sort the Bible has. Had the Bible referred to him as Fred the result would have been the same. It is the widespread dissemination of Biblical mythology that gave rise to the importance of the Jesus figure.
I will make it clear to you.
You are wrong because you assert that the Jesus story is false. Most scholars do not question the historicity of Jesus only dismissing the supernatural aspect. Like I say, the guy probably existed and you are wasting your time arguing the contrary with Christians.
Jesus might have been a teacher and healer as well as a leader. He like everyone else of that time lacked scientific knowledge and believed in the supernatural. The christians worship the supernatural myth of Jesus which we know is false. This is the point you should take up with the christians.
I have asserted nothing of the kind I simply pointed out that his existence is open to debate as can be seen in Ehrman's latest effort in establishing the historiocity of Jesus.
Pointing out to Christians that he did exist but had no supernatural qualities reduces him to the position of angry Rabbi of which there were many at that time. And you are then faced with the problem of convincing Christians that he was nothing special.
please follow the link below to the next chapter in the debate "did Jesus exist"
"Jesus might have been a teacher and healer as well as a leader."
Again with the "might have" So, taught what ? healed whom and how ? lead what exactly ?
If Jesus did not exist at alll, then it should be easy to prove it to atheists because they do not view the matter form the perspective of faith but will only look for facts. Others are also making similar claims but no body seems to have historical proof. It would indeed be very advantageous to atheists if we could prove that Jesus did not exist. The whole structure of Christian belief will then collapse. If the faithfuls do not accept evolution as a fact in spite of tremendous scientifi proof, how can they tolerate a blow to their fundamental belief without concrete proof that satisfies rules of historical research?
You are right, of course, to make the point that the whole edifice of the Christian faith stands or indeed falls on the question "Did Jesus exist". However, my point was (or is) to raise an element of doubt which can't be easily countered by the faithful.
As they are fond of making claims that require no evidence (the essence of faith) then it is for them to provide the evidence, upon which their faith stands, (other than Biblical claims) that Jesus existed. Thus throwing the onus of proof back to them.
I have always felt and said that the onus of proving their beliefd should be thrown at them. However, they have no ability to prove or disprove anything. This is why they always adopt negative tactics. Science is a good support to us and so we should make every effort to provide proof.
I agree that we should always provide evidence to support any assertion.However, in this case,that whilst the evidence appears to be in it's sources are questionable. Thus we can legitimately ask for evidence of the existence of a figure which underpins an entire faith.
Knowing the nature of the faithfuls, our path is cut out for us. We have to place reliance on science and, time and again, have to confront them with scientific evidance. I have just read that the present pope has said that evolution may be acceptable to bible. The fact is, however thay may deny science, they, in their minds know very well that what science says is true. They keep denying it till they find suitable face saving device.
my goodness.. oops this is a reply? i meant discussion
You cannot convince a christian of the truth. Period. They absolutely DO NOT want to know. It scares them. Brainwashing has convinced them that the slightest doubt will be met with eternity in hell. A masterful way for the church to keep the numbers up, and control the congregation. Very few will be converted (convinced).
You're wrong. The fact that I'm an atheist today was because someone took the time to convince me.