Apparently you can't do polls on here.... but

Do any of you think that Jesus actually existed? What do category do you fall into?

A. Believed he existed, claims are false

B. Believed he existed, claims are exaggerated

C. Don't believe he existed

D. Believe he existed, claims are true (sorry had to leave the idiot category open)

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"If the Antiquities was written in 90, one might think that the early patristic apologists would sing its praises. How about Justin Martyr (mid 2nd century)? Nope! Irenaeus and Theophilus of Antioch (late 2nd century)? Nada! Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria (turn of 3rd century)? Nyet! Origen and Hippolytus (early 3rd century)? Nein! Nein! Cyprian (mid-3rd century)? Wrongo Again! Lactantius and Arnobius? (late 3rd century).NO! and NO! Church historian and propagandist for Constantine as a Christian, Bishop Eusebius of Caeseria? BINGO!"

Wrong. Origen (early 3rd century) does mention Josephus' account about Jesus (BINGO!) and he also mentions that "Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Christ". Now this is strange, considering the interpolated text that we have clearly does give the impression that Josephus believed Jesus to be the Christ. The best explanation of that evidence is that these clear interpolations in Josephus' text were added after Origen's time (probably by a transcriber) but that there was indeed an original text about Jesus and this is the one that Origen references. So unless Eusebius (who worked in the early 4th century) had a friggin' time machine, it's clear how he can't be responsible for the entire reference.

"A passage which describes Jesus as “a wise man” who “performed many wonderful works,” who “won over many Jews and gentiles,” who was perhaps a teacher of the truth, cannot be described as neutral, and would hardly be viewed as such by Christians."

So what? You want a neutral record? Then it might be best to drop ancient history altogether, because just about every source we have of the ancient world is filled with biases one way or the another: a historian's task is to weigh the biases of one text against those of another. It's entirely likely that Josephus would refer to Jesus as a doer of wonderful work (since he was an insanely superstitious Roman himself) or a wise man.
BUT, Origen does NOT reference the Testimonium (BINGO!). His commentary applies to the "James, the brother of Jesus" passages which I will deal with in another comment. In fact, the silence by Origen on the TF is rendered that much more compelling. Again, the undisputed non-reference to the TF by more than a 1/2 dozen of prolific apologists over 200 years compels a stunning silence.

In as much as any bias is reflected in the work of Josephus, it was against emerging sects or new cults, never in their favor. Christian apologists know this and this is why they strain with special pleading to proffer an alternative text that would not run contrary to the bias of the author.
Origen also says that Josephus "does not believe Jesus to be the Christ". If he was only referring to the second passage then he couldn't possibly have made that statement since that passage only refers to "the brother of Jesus who was called Christ, James".
In addition, the second passage only makes sense in light of the first: Josephus would not have made the side-note "oh by the way, remember that Jesus the Christ character? Well, his brother James was one of the characters in this story right here..." unless he had already made a reference to Jesus the Christ before that.

Oh by the way, the Testimonium Flavium is not merely recognised as partially genuine by "Christian apologists". It's regarded that way by the majority of Biblical scholars, Christian or otherwise.
You make an appeal to authority premised on centuries of vested interest (majority of Biblical scholars) over and above an empirical study of the evidence. I, like most people here, do not adhere to "majority" or "consensus" conclusions about agreement on Christian theology. Historically, the opinion on the TF was divided.

You are wrong about the conclusions of Origen. He only references "the Brother of James" passages and the rest of the chapter, concluding Antiquities. He characterizes the content in ways that do not comport with the remainder of the text that have survived to our time, as I will explain in my comment on this evidence. The TF as it reads in our time is very clear in ways that were not apparent to Origen. From the Greek, one sentence translates to "He was the Christ (or Messiah)." The Greek word used is christos. This is in total contradiction to Origen's assertion.
"You make an appeal to authority premised on centuries of vested interest (majority of Biblical scholars) over and above an empirical study of the evidence."
I do no such thing. You're the one who dismissed the majority opinion (i.e. the TF is partially genuine) as "special pleading by Christian apologists". That's garbage: plenty of non-Christian historians hold that conclusion.
So don't give me crap about making an appeal to authority: you're the one who dismissed them out of hand as "Christian apologists" without basis. I'm merely pointing out that that is wrong.

"You are wrong about the conclusions of Origen. He only references "the Brother of James" passages and the rest of the chapter, concluding Antiquities. He characterizes the content in ways that do not comport with the remainder of the text that have survived to our time, as I will explain in my comment on this evidence."
I'll wait for your next post then.
Have any of you seen the movie the Man who came from Earth? Interesting movie for taking place in one cabin with no special effects. Also an interesting scenario on the origins of Christ and his connection with Buddha. A scenario of total fantasy, but a good watch I thought. I am certain it comes off as anti christian dogma to Christians, but I think the idea was only meant to be a mental exercise. Being written by a former Star Trek writer, it's no surprise to see these cultural tenants turned upside down to review.
I'm not suggesting the movie's concepts are plausible at all, it's just a novel bit of entertainment I would recommend.

It's basically about a man who brings all his closest friends to a cabin to tell them he has been alive for 14,000 years. These people all happen to be college professors and scientists, as the main character is as well. The whole movie is basically a semi skeptical inquiry by his friends to determine if he is lying or not, and how a life for 14k years could effect a person.
There probably was a man named Jesus that started a religio-political movement in first century Palestine. In fact, one of his apostles was called the zeolot which leads me to believe that he was part of that group as well. The stories about his miracles are largely stolen from the Hebrew scriptures, and I would suspect that the others are simply made up or stolen from pagan sources. The story of a dying and rising god is a well known pagan myth (e.g. Osiris), and I think that it was merely taken from the mystery religions of the Roman Empire and applied to Jesus over time. So I guess I fall in the "B" category.
This would be called a Euhemerist or Evemerist position, The events and activity of this region are quite well documented for the time, but there is a dearth of textual evidence for your founder of a religio-political movement you mention. I have started to critique the "scrappy" evidences on the previous page.
Interesting.... I learned some new words today. thanks!
no
I believe, as if belief has any credibility, that jeebus lived, but was the Houdini of his day, a showman. Like now, there was a living to be made as a religious warbler. Also, no education, no knowlege of anything and cultural superstition made a fertile ground for what has become the single biggest con of all time.
Yes, but Arrian states up front that he prefers a source who was contemporary to Alexander, Ptolemy (the "Anabasis", now lost). What author references any source that was actually contemporary to or within a few years of the alleged Jesus?

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