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?

 

 

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Oh look, CP is back. Let's watch him screw up again.


SMART ASS.


Devestating argument.


the Tacitus reference for the Annals 15:44, he was referring to christians being in Rome at the time and does not confirm any jesus ever lived!


Is that so? He only talks about Christians, but not Jesus himself, you say? Then what's this little thingy right here:

"Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular." (Annales 15:44)


Wooooooops. Better to have a grasp of the relevant material rather than trying to bluster your way through a conversation.


The TF was a forged document no doubt by Euseibus so 18:3:3 don't cut it, neither does the other passage!


Ah, the classic "Eusebius forged it!" trump card. No evidence, no argument, just... Eusebius must've forged it. Why must he have? Well, because otherwise the whole argument collapses, that's why.

As it happens, scholars don't share your opinion. Louis Feldman conducted a study analysing all the scholarly works on the TF in the 80's, and concluded that the overwhelming majority considered the TF to not be a wholesale forgery.

And since the discovery of an Arabic paraphrase of the TF by Shlomo Pines in 1971, that opinion has only gained weight.

As for the other mention of Jesus in Josephus, you conveniently skip that with "neither does that [cut it]". Why the quick dismissal? Well, because all but a handful of scholars agree that this quote is genuine to Josephus, and that it is a reference to Jesus' brother James (who is mentioned in the gospels and in Paul as well).

Why do you -just like most mythicists- slide over this? Because if you don't your argument collapses right then and there.

And we can't have that!

Josephus was not born until 3 years after this jesus!


Well first, I'm always amused at people claiming that Josephus, whose father was part of the priest class and so whose family would have been in contact not simply with the Temple Priesthood but also with their reactions to early Christianity, would somehow be totally wrong about something elementary as Jesus existing

He would have had access to hundreds of people who were alive when Jesus was and would be either helping or observing the early Jewish response to Christianity. So if it was all a lie and some band of heretical Jews had just made this Jesus guy up, don't you think the Temple priesthood -and subsequently Josephus- would have noticed?


And second I never claimed Josephus was a contemporary to Jesus. But since Josephus is a contemporary to virtually none of the people he writes about (like rabbi Hillel, Honi the circle-drawer, Pilate, John the Baptist, the Egyptian Prophet,...) and in fact he's often the only source for these people, you either have to say that (a) Josephus is completely and utterly unreliable about anything that happened before his day of birth, in which case we now lose our only source for just about every Jewish figure in First Century Palestine -including but far from limited to Jesus- or (b) your standards are much too high.


It's rather obvious to all but the faithful (i.e. you) which one it is.

So you fail again! I do not care about your historical bullshit! Whats there is there. So unless you have something concrete thats not hearsay or second hand knowledge bow out like a good little SMART ASS!   


I'll let that paragraph (!!11!1!1!1!1) speak for itself.


Kind regards,


Matt

I agree with nerdlass. Demonstrating that the christian mythology is similar, if not identical in some cases, to pre-existing man-made mythologies can help.

If god had wanted to make a clear statement about his divinity to mankind why would he imitate other religions that are known to be false? That's not a very unequivocal act for someone who is supposedly omnipotent, is it?

Jesus supposedly performed miracles, but so have dozens of the other gods and deities.

If a christian, rightly, refuses to accept that Ra and Horus and Zeuss and Vishnu are real, by what mental process has he come to decide that they are false? And why is that mental process not extended to the christian claims? All are equally without any supporting evidence, so why believe one and not the other?

The question to a christian should not be 'why do you believe?' but 'how do you know what to believe? And how to you know what to reject?'.

'Feeling it in my heart' is not evidence. After all, how many people on their wedding days 'feel in their hearts' that they want to be with their partner forever, and how many of those marriages end in divorce, separation, and even hatred.

Our emotions are often 'wrong' or can at least mislead us, no matter how good our intentions are.

Ultimately, you can only convince a Christian that his beliefs are wrong by asking him to use reason and logic. But if he had the ability to use reason and logic he might not have become a christian in the first place. catch 22.

I love everything you said except the last sentence. I can only speak for myself but I'm betting there are a great many like me, I was born into christianity. Logic is how I woke up to atheism.

I'd advise you to have a read of, "The Jesus Mysteries" by Timothy Freke - a rather out there hypothesis, granted - but some of the facts presented therein provide a lot of "coincidence" to the Jesus story.

Most people think that Jesus was the only "miracle" worker - I like to point out to them, that Pythagorus raised the dead and walked on water, according to folklore... and he could do math too. ;)

Thanks. The problem I have with fringe books like that is that they are fringe books. It would be hard to convince a Christian that the account in that book is more historically accurate than the accounts in the Bible.

 

For Pythagoros I'd need a reference to an original text stating that he raised the dead.

From memory, at the back of the book is a list of the references, which are noted throughout the book. I'd also point out to those questioning sources, about the tertiary nature of Biblical sources...

I'd advise you to have a read of, "The Jesus Mysteries" by Timothy Freke - a rather out there hypothesis, granted - but some of the facts presented therein provide a lot of "coincidence" to the Jesus story.

Answer honestly: did you check the facts that were presented by Freke & Gandy in their book?

I'm only asking because, Freke and Gandy are known for writing gems like this:

  • The Complete Guide to World Mysticism (1998)
    The Hermetica: The Lost Wisdom of the Pharaohs (1998)
    The Wisdom of the Pagan Philosophers (The Wisdom of the World) (1999)
    Be the Change: How Meditation Can Transform You and the World (2009)
    Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians (2002)

Those sound like the kind of guys whose facts you want to check and then check again five more times.

It's like the trailers for horrible movies. They flash positive reviews on the screen like, "Best movie I've seen all year." In small print that you won't have time to read, the quote is from The Walnut Grove High School newspaper. 

So I have to agree, you can argue quoting any book you want but the fact remains that if your citations aren't from a known and respected sources you're just waisting peoples time. Also, sending people on a reference goose chase is a smoke and mirrors trick anyway. Kind of like the grifts miracle workers would pull on unsuspecting idiots 2000 years ago. My argument would be who cares? Who cares if he was real or not. He was a slick willy, just like the modern traveling faith healers or Las Vegas magician. I take that back, I don't want to insult Penn and Teller. If they had their act going back then we'd all be worshiping a loud giant and a silent gnome...

 Trying to convince a Christian of the rather obvious idea that he did not exist in the divine form that they claim he did may, indeed, prove futile. However, you could point out that there are no contemporaneous documents detailing his life, there are only passing asides from Josephus and Tacitus. You might also point out that there are NO original documents which relate to the Gospels what we have are copies of copies of copies, seperated by decades from the purported divine existence of the Jesus figure.In other words there is no "eye witness" evidence of his God like properties, none, zero, nada.

 You could also point them to the Council of Nicea in 325 organised by the Roman emperor Constantine  (who rather oppurtunistically converted to Christianity) during which it was decided what to include in the Bible myth and what to reject. Thus emphasising the "man made" rather than the divinely warranted origin of the Bible. Of course you could by-pass all of the above by simply pointing them to the works of Biblical scholar Bart Ehrman where you will find all of the above information in much greater detail.

 However, the above, notwithstanding, it may prove impossible to convince a xtian that Jesus is not the divine son of their God it is the basis of their faith after all, there is no harm in trying though. Please follow the link below to a glossary of Ehrmans works. They are interesting and informative in their own right anyway

 http://www.bartdehrman.com/books.htm

 Of course you could also point out that since Darwin there has been 150 years of scientific discovery, and advancement, in Evolutionary Biology, Physics, Astronomy, Cosmology, etc, etc ,etc. Which when added together remove the need for a God or His Son ( which are one and the same along with the spirit apparently) to explain our existence. Which I would argue goes to the heart of does (or did) jesus exist.

@ Nerdlass and David Raphael.skg

 Pointing out the similarities between the Jesus myth and other myths of a similar nature is a good way to go with some Christians as it removes the claim that the Jesus cult is unique in it's divine form, below is an informative Wikipedia page on the "God's" Horus, Mithra and Krishna.Note the startling similarities with the Jesus myth.

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus_Christ_in_comparative_mythology

 You could then ask them to take the Outsider Test for Faith (OTF) devised by the former Christian Minister, now atheist, John Loftus, the premise of which is simple they only have to apply the same critical  approach to their own faith as they do to others when they dismiss them. Please follow the link below to John's blog for a full explanation of the OTF.

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2011/06/ouitsider-test-fo...

The Jesus story is not false.

Jesus of Nazareth probably existed and to this extent most ancient historians agree. Of course, he didn't have supernatural powers because that's impossible. The supernatural does not exist.

There appear to be few if any contemporaneous records of his life so we can formulate our own ideas of what type of man he might have been.

The myth of Jesus of Nazareth is his legend. He has made an indelible mark on history. 

 

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