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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That's exactly what I'm saying ;)
Personally I think contrasting what the historical Jesus might have said to how he's been interpreted (i.e. Jewish Messiah to living God) gives us more than enough arguments Christianity as it is; no need to conjure imaginairy historical arguments for that. It lowers the overall standard of our arguments and diverts the attention from the real and valid criticism: that whatever Jesus said, his message has been altered by gospel writers and by Paul to suit Gentiles.

@Boris: Err, yup, that's nice. If ever you actually have some evidence to support that there are in fact irreversible falsehoods in the story of the historical Jesus, by all means present them. And send an e-mail to the scholars working in this field while you're at it.
pesky dictionaries. i know messiah is compatible with divine in this century; this century being the context in which i use the word. i tend to adhere to present-day norms -- just cant be bothered to observe 1st century conventions im afraid. sorry. exclamation point.
Except we're talking about a FIRST-CENTURY PERSON and how he was viewed IN THE FIRST CENTURY. It doesn't matter what Messiah has come to mean or how you've come to understand it.
Your claim was that if Jesus was divine, he would've been mentioned in history. This is false for about a hundred different reasons, but the most important one being that Jesus was not regarded as divine IN HIS TIME PERIOD. So for you to expect them to mention the divinity of Jesus even when this wasn't believed in Jesus' time period, is downright absurd.

This really is history 101: you can't protect modern beliefs and modern significance on ancient events.
Matt, I don't think Boris is making any points, he never was but for his original post. His original post in this discussion was just another of the sort I talked about, someone chiming in their answer to the topic starter without paying any attention to the current discussion or evidence. He came in comparing Jesus to Jack and the Beanstalk.
You then challenged him about the evidence.

Since then, he has done nothing but defend himself by dancing about creating new arguments for every counter point you make, and making ad hominem attacks, there's no rational to it. He is just reacting, distorting any semblance of an actual debate or argument. And now that you seem to be calling him on it, he is actually pulling the old - " I know youre having a hard time figuring out what im saying, thats obvious -- thanks for your honesty anyway." -card.

In a way, I'd say you were trolled. But I think he actually thinks his continued points are valid and make sense in the context of your debate,(which they really don't).
Yeah, well, at least I gave him the benefit of the doubt.
I would disagree about the only people being biased in this matter being atheists. The majority of Christians I know have no idea what the evidence is for the reality of a historical Jesus, I was raised a Christian in a very fundamentalist family, and I live in Oklahoma City.
It wasn't until you shared with me some of the evidence Matt that I finally learned what this evidence was, all too often the Christians I know only heard that there was some sort of evidence out there, without knowing the evidence to cite. I am almost 30 and it took this long to learn about when I've been asking about it my whole life. But I never took the time to go out and research it, of course, which I could have done more about. But my point is, not many who follow the religion do. So it may as well be without any historical basis for majority of Christians that I know. Not much of a point to make, but I felt it needed to be pointed out.
Sure. I know there's a lot of misinformation out there and most Christians (or atheists) honestly don't know either how history works or how we can know almost for certain that Jesus at least existed.
But as far as I can tell, the Christians are at least being sort of consistent here: sure, they might not know exactly what evidence there is for Jesus, but then again they might not know the evidence for Hannibal. They still believe in both though, which at least makes it consistent, if based (as often) on ignorance.

But the bias comes in when I see atheists who happily accept the existence of Hannibal or Theudas or Boudicca, but will then turn around and start demanding evidence for the existence of Jesus of the kind that they would not ask for in the case of Theudas, coming up with elaborate conspiracy theories and what-if-scenarios to justify why he might not have existed. But they would never go through the trouble of doing the same for Hannibal. This is irrationality at work (although to its credit, the Nexus is one of the few places where the Jesus Mythicism hasn't gotten off the ground).
I'm happy to share what I know about that subject with those who are willing to objectively analyse the evidence, but all too often I find that the only ones clinging to the non-existence of Jesus as some kind of article of faith are my fellow atheists. Which is very, very sad.
more like an article of skepticism. warlords, rulers, etc. these have precedent to make ones perspective amenable to credence, and they dont connote divinity like jesus does. despite this, i doubt most of these same atheists you accuse of being unfair would cry foul if you challenged the existence of other, better established historical figures. personally, im not attached to these pseudo-analogous figures; just so happens i didnt come on here to discuss them.
And you know this because? You don't know anything about me so drop the assumptions about what I would and would not challenge.

We're also not talking about divinity; we're talking about a specific Galilean preacher to whom divinity was later attributed. It's not the same thing, and your insistence on conflating the two isn't going to win you points.
i know enough. and i didnt make any assumptions on what you would or wouldnt challenge. youre not talking about divinity -- thats not a we. divinity was later attributed? later relative to what milestone, matt? im not interested in winning any points, so thats alright.
Later being a period of time (the process of turning Jesus from Messiah into God took time) that started somewhere in the 70's AD and was largely over by the middle of the Second Century AD.
messiah would still fall under divine. but anyway, later than what exactly? later than the period in which he was mentioned by historians?

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