Today I got into a theological debate with a Christian on Facebook who is the friend of a friend regarding whether or not an historical Jesus existed which I myself seriously doubt, and even if Jesus did exist it's highly doubtful he was divine.

The person who I was debating brought up the letter from Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar and suggested I Google it, which I did and found that there was indeed such a letter.

My question is, is the letter authentic? Was it really written by and for the people it claimed to be? Or is this another Christian scam like the Shroud of Turin and the Josephus fraud?

Does anyone have more information on this or know of any websites or anything that gives accurate unbiased information about this?

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Can you state your sources?

There is absolutely ZERO contemporary accounts of jesus or ANY miracles, followings, trials, crucifixion, etc.  NO EVENT was ever recorded by a single historian of THAT time period.  There were more than 40 known historians and we have many letters of that time period preserved.  The romans were very good at keeping records.  Yet NOTHING on Jesus.

You mention other historical figures to whom you allege we don't have evidence for.  Perhaps you are talking about Caesar?  We have coins & letters in his own hand.  Why nothing from the son of god? Did he not know how to preserve paper?  Hum...

You state that historians mention jesus by name.   Maybe you are talking about historians that mention it more than 40 AFTER the facts?

This cannot account as evidence as it is here-say and some have been proven to be FORGERIES as in the case of Josephus.

What gets me is that you state your case with such ABSOLUTE, as if you know what you are talking about when you most likely don't.

Therefore, please state your sources of contemporary accounts.  ONE will suffice.

I read Bart D. Ehrman's Jesus Interrupted and I tend to believe that Jesus did exist and that he was a minor apocalyptic prophet, like John the Baptist, and that he believed the Son of Man, not himself, will come to judge people and establish the kingdom of God on Earth, not in Heaven. He was completely Jewish in his beliefs and later was transformed by Paul and other Christian writers into what he is today for Christians.

No ancient historian wrote about Jesus because he was one among thousands of Jewish prophets in a backwater province called Judea. But if you read the Gospels carefully you will see that their beliefs were not founded on pure fiction, but on some sort of a conspiracy theory based on historically insignificant events.
I haven't found anything source of the letter from a neutral source so I have to withhold judgment as to it's authenticity and historicity.

One thing sticks at me, however, "we must agree truly this is the Son of God!" If we must agree I would have expected that line and evidence of that to appear everywhere and anywhere in all Roman documents ever found by anyone in any place ever. This is a bit like Lazarus rising from the dead and then no one bothering to ask him or leaving no record of what being dead was like -- it's just too odd for serious consideration.

As far as I'm concerned it's a bit like that quote attributed to Winston Churchill, "Anyone who isn't a Liberal before the age of 30 has no heart .... and anyone who is still a Liberal after the age of 30 has no brain," all distinctions between American and European 'Liberal' and all distinctions between the British 'Liberal' and 'Conservative' parties aside, this would be a really potent quote -- if Churchill ever actually said it or any analog of it. We're talking about this century and we've already lost track of who actually said what. How much easier is it to make up shit about what Pontius Pilate may or may not have said?

When there is no other evidence to lend support, one should not take it into consideration with regards to other things.
"As far as I'm concerned it's a bit like that quote attributed to Winston Churchill, "Anyone who isn't a Liberal before the age of 30 has no heart .... and anyone who is still a Liberal after the age of 30 has no brain,""

Who did say it? Do you know?
To be honest, the quote itself holds so little meaning to me that regardless of who said it or the original analog thereof, it wouldn't change or shake my world view or my opinions on Liberalism or Conservatism, English Parliamentary or otherwise.

That is to say, I don't really care; the words and their intent can't stand on their own merit.

Something like, 'don't be a jerk' or 'don't eat razor blades' make sense regardless of who says it, it doesn't need to come from a Jesus, the person who said it first doesn't need to be worshiped for 'don't be a jerk' to be a reasonable way to carry out your life.

Something like, 'sell all your belongings and follow me,' is a bit much. When the reason is 'because my father is God and my mother is a virgin and I will rise after I die,' makes the request even more odd.
Well I just like to refer to it because apparently I'm a heartless moron :)
It was Charlemaign.
Charlemagne the King of the Franks? "Convert to Christianity or die" Charlemagne?

discussed liberals and conservatives? I find that very unlikely.

Or Charles Louis de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu?

Or someone else?
I think it's better to debate his divinity than his existance. I mean, if he was really who the Bible claims he was, there ought to have been a LOT more sources that mentioned the resserection, right?
I've recently begun to consider the gospels to just be bad fan fiction on an even less than Harry Potter type story.
But debating his existence makes debating his divinity a moot point. It's the base that their whole house of cards is built upon. Pull that card and the rest comes tumbling down. They're not even left with, "Well, even if you don't believe he was a saviour, he was still a prophet and gave a wonderful message."

If the most fundamental "fact" of their belief system can be demonstrated to be false, the rest just disappears in a puff of logic.

So it's all worth debating but getting right to the heart of the matter saves a lot of time and grief. But even if you could show a full census record for the Middle East during the period from 20 BC to 50 AD that had Roman seals all over it, they'd come up with cockamamie reason that there's no mention of Jesus Christ (or Messiah Yeshua, if you will).
"But debating his existence makes debating his divinity a moot point. It's the base that their whole house of cards is built upon. Pull that card and the rest comes tumbling down."

I agree.

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