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 Did Jesus Really Exist? (Old Forum)
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Papaver
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2 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:02:42  Show Profile Send Papaver a Private Message
This thread originally began 07-23-2000

Did Jesus really exist ? Was there actually a Historical Jesus ? Remember that, besides the NT, there was only 1 independent verification, and that was Flavius Josephus. ("Jewish Antiquities", c. 95CE) But, for centuries the "testamoniuum Flavium" has been questioned as an "add-on" by later christians, or Flavius merely reported the here-say that existed at the time.
There is ample evidence that the Jesus legend may be based on several both real and mythological characters, 1 real character being Yeishu ben Pandeira, aka Yeishu ha-notzri.(see the Talmud - Tosefta and Baraitas). Christians have always denied the connection, but it seems very likely that this is true. But, because the bariatas is so damning to christianity, christians have throughout history tried to censor these charters of the Talmud, even removing them from certain editions. (To this day, the Talmud that christians reference in divinity school excludes these chapters - ). To sum it up - In the Bariatas, it was said that Yeishu was a sorcerer who had corrupted many of the jews at the time. charges were brought against him in Jerusalem, and he was stoned and his body hung up on the eve of passover. prior to this, he was marched through the city for 40days with a crier asking anyone to come forward and testify for him. none did. Yeishu had five disciples,
Masttai, Nagai, Buni, Neitzer and Todah.(Mattai and Todah translate to Matthew and Thaddeus). According to pagan writer Celsus(c 175ce), early christians sometimes called Jesus "ben Pandeira" and that his mother was proven an adultress,divorced by joseph, since she'd fooled around with a roman soldier named Pantheras, and bore jesus in secret.
Other aspects of the Jesus myth may be based on Dionysius, Romulus and other stories from greco-roman mythology. Virgin biths and impregnation of human women by gods were common themes in gr-mythtology. The Herod "slaughter of the innocents" is also a common stroyline in gr-m. Twelve apostles - is this symbolic of the 12 tribes of Israel ? 12 apostles, betrayed by oe of them, doesn't this seem similiar to the earlier story of Joseph who was betrayed and sold into slavery by his 12 brothers in the OT ?
Does anyone have any other OBJECTIVE information, to support or deny these claims?
I have also heard that there is some new information about the "Testimonium Flavium" ?
Can anyone enlighten me ? I also heard that there are writings somewhere that show that the notzi movement(the original hebrew name for the christian movement), was already well underway by the time of 0CE ? this would support the Yeishu connection.
sorry , too long a post.

Papaver

Papaver
New Member

2 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:03:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Papaver a Private Message
Further, was Saul of Tarsus (Paul), the greatest mythmaker of all time to date ?

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Slater
SFN Regular

USA
1668 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:04:03   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Slater a Private Message
A close examination of the story of Christ would strongly suggest that there was no historical Jesus, as the entire religion would appear to be nothing more than a politically expedient Roman construction.
Every aspect of the life attributed to Jesus existed in the religions that were already established in the Middle East at the beginning of the Christian era.
The Mithric version of Zoroasterism supplies us with —Hell, the star in the east, December 25 birthday, Magi, virgin birth, son of God, "Good Shepherd", baptism, Priests named John, sermon on the mount, loafs and fishes, 12 apostles, crucifixion and resurrection on the first full moon of spring.
We also get death and resurrection on that date from Dionysius (and, by my count, 14 other "saviors".) He supplies walking on water and magically producing wine.
Apollonius of Tyana (3 CE—90+/-CE) had his own religion going at the time. He was a Pythagorean who made a pilgrimage along the route of Alexander the Great. While in India he studied with the monks of Krishna and brought those teachings back to Rome. He is credited with bringing the dead back to life and numerous other miracles. The familiar name of Apollonius is Pol, and Krishna in his native tongue of Greek is Christos. This would make Saul part of the myth and not the mythmaker.
The Virgin Mary, Mary Magdalene and Mary the sister of Lazarus are the three aspects of the triune Goddess Mary. Mary was a primary deity of the Galatians.
The image of Jesus with long wavy hair, a full beard, one hand raised in subtle gesture is that of the God Serapis (although Serapis was always depicted as smiling.) Serapis was another "constructed" God, made by the Greeks to appease the conquered Egyptians.
The Acts of the Apostles are minor re-workings of popular travel tales that sold very well in Rome of the first century.
The "Teachings of Jesus," what bible scholars refer to as the "Q" manuscript, are the base on which the gospel stories are built. They are a match with the "Teachings of Hercules." The Roman Hercules, it should be noted, was quite a different person than the Greek Heracles. (Kevin Sorbo not withstanding)
That would cover about just about everything except the writings of Saint John the Divine. They are not based on earlier religions but would seem to be the work of a tormented mind.

When the dead talk -- they talk to him
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Tiptup
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USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:05:23   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
I and a very, very large portion of the world belive that Jesus existed, made up of both laymen and intellectuals. The points that you raise about Jesus being similar to other pagan ideas is true. Most of these ideas came from the far ancient zodiac. As for how they may have been reformed into Jesus, that is currently impossible to prove, and there is little data that supports this hypothesis. We have an incredibly large body of historical data that would say that Jesus was a real person and that he really existed, far more than any person in history. About the bible, we have found ancient manuscripts that go all the way back to the generations of the writers themselves and there is little or no difference contentwise between them and what is called our modern bible. Its actually kind of funny, because every time a manuscript was found liberal christians would all gather around to say they will show how the bible has changed. But then these manuscripts end up to show that bible has changed very little, and so the liberal christians expand their "global fundamentalist conspiracy" theories even more. Do you two believe in these grand conspiracies or do you take more rational viewpoints?

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Slater
SFN Regular

USA
1668 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:06:16   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Slater a Private Message
The problem is not that the stories of Jesus are relativly unchanged since the first century CE. The problem is that these tales are relativly unchanged since the fifth century BCE. The difference being only that the name Mithra has been switched to Jesus.
As for there being a tremendous amount of evidence for a historical Jesus—thats nice, what is it? Christians have told me about the existence of this vast store of proof since the 60's. Yet in all those years not one has been able to tell me where I might find it. "God" knows I haven't been able to find it by myself, no matter how hard I looked.

When the dead talk -- they talk to him
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:07:08   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
I was referring to church history and the early Christians' testimonies. If you want something like archeological evidence then I will hafta get back to you after I lookup the information in my books again.
From what little I do remember though, is that the Church in various areas were really messed up when compared to the writings of the apostle Paul or any of the other followers of Jesus. After mixing Christian ideas with greek mythology and stuff like that. It wasn't until later, that the church tried to eradicate this confused theology.

I probably shouldn't have entered anything on this debate until I was ready. I didn't think I would be debating with liberal or unitarian style theology coming to an atheist site.

To be truthfull, when I entered my argument, I was trying to make a broad statement so as to win the argument. I was to lazy to actually relook at and type up the information. Since your interested though, I will attempt to do this as soon as possible.

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Slater
SFN Regular

USA
1668 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:08:25   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Slater a Private Message
Ah, Chruch history and early Christian testimony—sorry but I'm afraid that that doesn't cut it as historical evidence.These are only claims and not the proof.
It would be like if I wrote an essay entitled "What I did during my summer vacation." Reading it you recognize that it is the story line of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." You would have every right to doubt that my story is authentic. What would make my story more doubtful is that I can not come up with any evidence to substantiate my claim (it's in a giant warehouse in Maryland... trust me).
Jesus is presented with a storyline that, during his life, was at the very least 500 years old. You don't even get an agreement on the actual story until the Romans use it as a drastic political ploy to get rid of 5 of their 6 Caesars. No you would have to overlook a great deal of history to buy into this outlandish tale.
What is even more suspicious is the part about "Doubting Thomas." In it the church tells you how very very wrong you would be to even ask for proof. They rename credulity "faith" and make it into a cardinal virtue.
I wouldn't buy a used chariot from that lot.

When the dead talk -- they talk to him
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:09:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
Alright, I'll try and look up whatever I can for that information you have posted.
As for your problems with the witnesses' acounts. They contain pieces of each others testimonies, and manuscripts have been found that are within the lifetimes of the men who would have wrote them. If there was nothing like modern Christianity before the Roman Empire made up their own version, then why would Christians follow it? Are you a disbeliever of even secular history and believe that Christians were not persecuted by the Roman Empire? Why would most Christians all of a sudden decide to go along with their former enemies, totally scewing the beliefs that they had previously died for?

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Slater
SFN Regular

USA
1668 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:10:29   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Slater a Private Message
Why would most Christians all of a sudden decide to go along with their former enemies?
Very simple. The Emperor of Rome decreed that everyone become a Christian under pain of death.
As for secular history, did you know that in the great Coliseum of Rome (I'm talking about just this one place now) almost twice the number of Pagans were put to death by Christians as vice versa? Why did they die if Christianity were true? (I don't expect an answer—I'm misusing logic in the same way you did to "subtly" prove a point)
Read the New Testament, it is a purely Roman document. Every time a Roman officer is mentioned he is decent and fair. It's those nasty Jews ya gotta watch out for. "Give unto Caesar that which is Caesar's," —doesn't sound like a revolutionary to me. Sounds like a good citizen of Rome.
I take that remark about men writing manuscripts while they were still alive
to imply that the NT has eyewitness reports.
If only it did.
It's funny, we have plenty of first hand accounts of Apollonius of Tyana. We have some of his own writings, several books by his apostles and even some Roman literature on him written during his career. He lived in the first century CE, was a magician and brought the teachings of Christ (a Hindu God not an Israeli rabbi) to Rome.
But Jesus/God never wrote anything. His apostles never got around to the old word processor either. Nor did the Romans, who compulsively made notes about everything else under the sun, notice that God was strolling around on the lakes of one of their provinces.
Not a word from anybody.
It's almost as if it never happened.
The people that did write things down, decades later, wrote of the tenets of Zoroastrianism mixed with a little Dionsian cultism and a dash of Hercules.
Funny stuff for Jews to be writing about, don't you think? Why would Jews write about pagan religions that were so popular in the Roman Legion and say that their Messiah followed them?
Try a little healthy skepticism, ask questions, it'll do you good.

When the dead talk -- they talk to him
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:11:22   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
First of all, I have read the entire New Testament and I have read nothing that makes it a pro-Roman document. It is a pro-Old Testament document, with bad views of the Pharisees. What little it did say about the Romans was not in a good light. Especially when it speaks of people being thrown in prison by them, babies being murdered by their military, and Jesus being crucified by their local ruler.
Just because Jesus says at one point that his followers should be responsible citizens, does not mean that Romans rewrote the New Testament. There are allot better ways to spread pro-Roman propaganda then a couple small verses speaking of a person submitting himself to the laws of a ruling government. Perhaps you should be a little more skeptical about what liberal-Christians tell you the bible says.
Finally about your point that more pagans were killed in the coliseum after the Christians came into power. This had little if nothing to do with Christianity, and a whole lot more to do with governmental policy and free blood sports for the masses to watch.
Also by the way you worded your argument, sounds like you attempted to blur the facts in order to try and make a point. You say more pagans died in the coliseum under Christians then vice versa. I'm willing to make a bet that just as many, or even more pagans died in the coliseum under other pagans before Christianity took over.

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Slater
SFN Regular

USA
1668 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:12:21   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Slater a Private Message
The blood thirstiness of Christians is a matter of record. In the past two thousand years countless numbers of my fellow Atheists have been tortured and burned alive by the Christian Church. The order to commit this atrocity comes from quotes attributed to Jesus himself, the prince of peace, the God who is love.
The persecution of Atheists exists to this day. Fortunately for me, murdering people for the opinions they hold has gone out of fashion.
But that is not the question before this forum. The question is Was there a historical Jesus.
I contend—
There is no archaeological evidence.
There are no writings from anyone involved.
Some of the events described are physical impossibilities.
All of the events described match the mythologies that were currently active in the middle east. And had been active there for between 500 and 1700 years (as of 1 CE.)
I should point out that all of these mythologies have since been declared by the Christian church to be "false teachings."
Christianity has not only incorporated the occasional folk legend into its cannon, it is comprised of nothing else.
We have no facts on which to base a claim that there was a historic Jesus.
We do have enough evidence to the contrary to make any such claim highly suspect.
The New Testament, as we know it, came into being during the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea. Church leaders, all of whom held their office at the behest of the Roman Emperor and Privy Council, edited the Bible. This group of government appointees declared most of the accepted writings to be apocryphal. They edited the remaining works, ordering the unapproved to be destroyed.
That is secular and church history.

( As you said: Also by the way you worded your argument, sounds like you attempted to blur the facts in order to try and make point.
Myself, I have the honor of being Irish—that is just the way that I talk, I'm not trying to obscure anything.)

When the dead talk -- they talk to him
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:13:20   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
Boy oh boy. Well lets just say that you have won the argument for now. But in the words of Arnold Swarz... (Damn how do you spell his name?) I'LL BE BAACK!

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:13:43   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
Ok Slater, now you are being silly. You expect me to take your claims about Jesus seriously when you say that Christianity came from Celtic legends and myths. I know you claim to be Irish (I am partly Scottish), but there is absolutely no evidence to back that up. I am mostly Scandinavian, but you don't see me claiming that Norse myths gave birth to the New Testament, although I am sure many of your superficial similarities can be found even in that situation.
You claim that there is no independent evidence from the NT that support that Jesus existed. I believe that the NT is already solid enough on its own, but I will still look into your claims about other sources. But I see little reason to this when person I am doing this for, comes up with far-fetched notions of where the NT stories came from with no proof. Christians can just say that "Satan" made up lies to confuse stupid people like you into seeing similarities with no proof to back up such an origin. Without proof, how can you prove them wrong? If you want me to seriously consider your points then I suggest you stop doing the same thing you criticize Christian history for doing.

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Slater
SFN Regular

USA
1668 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:14:38   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Slater a Private Message
I can see that it is very disturbing to you after being lied to all your life about the origins of Christianity to learn some facts about comparative mythology. You will probably want to do independent research so I will refrain from giving you titles that might be biased. (Of course if you want them just ask).
You might be able to find some stuff on the web, but, needless to say, watch out for your sources. Apollonius of Tyana for instance has been adopted by a "New Age" "Spiritualist " crowd on the web which makes it very hard to find the basic facts for all their hype.

Mary was exactly who I say she was. The Galatians lived in what is now Southern Turkey. They moved there in 280 BCE. Their war parties ranged even into Syria, until 232 BCE when King Attalos I of Pergamon subdued them. The famous Hellenistic victory statue of "The Dying Gaul" depicts one of them. Saint Paul writes his Epistle to them.
Their Pre-Christian religion was that which was common to all Celts through middle Europe to the Atlantic. The names of the Gods change by district (Celts being Celts) She who was Brigit in Ireland, Brig in Scotland, and Bri in Wales was called Mary by the time you got to Turkey and Ma–ri when you were in Egypt. In Egypt her cult was closely related to the worship of Isis because of the death and resurrection of the consort thing.
The cult of the Virgin Mary would have been a big deal just before Jesus' time. The center of it in Israel was at Tarsus.

I assume the reason for including her in the Jesus story was to appeal to the Galatins. She gave the story the extra boost it needed in the Celtic countries of western Europe too. What today we would call "marketing."

Jesus (about as common a name as Bob is now) is a conglomerate of several Gods who were popular at the time. The one I would suggest that you start with is Mithra. Mithra makes up well over half of the Jesus character. A Persian "Angel/God" he was THE most popular God among the Roman legions. You can even find a shrine to him at a fort in Hadrian's wall in Scotland. Mithraism was the main competitor to Christianity until it was banned by the Emperor Theodosius
What you will find in Mithraism (see also Zoroasterism —of which Mithraism was a cult) are, only son of God, virgin birth on Dec 25, shepherds and angels, the good shepherd, magi, baptism by priests called the Johns, Lords prayer with slight alterations, the sermon on the mount with no alterations, loaves and fish, communion, transubstantiation, twelve apostles, crucifixion, returning to life on the first full moon of Spring, coming again to judge the living and the dead, etc. The list goes on and on, but don't take my word for it. Look it up yourself, be skeptical (their bible is called the Zend Avesta if that will help) you aren't going to like what you will find but "the truth shall set you free."

What I find an interesting footnote. To wipe out all trace of them the huge temple of Mithra in Rome was torn down and the Vatican was built on its foundations. Even today you can see Mithric art in the Popes sub-basement.

Oh yeah, if you want to find where your pal Satan he started his mythological career, he was El Sah–Tan evil master of the Jinn in Arabia before he hit the big time.

Ya can't make this kinda stuff up.

When the dead talk -- they talk to him
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:15:33   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
Alright, I will look up your information, but keep in mind that just because similarities exist between standard Christianity and pagan religions (which I already admitted in my first message on this thread), that does not imply, rigidly, that Christianity comes from them. I know believing in wild things like miracles is hard for you, but as a bible literalist, I already believe in a whole range of them, but I will give your ideas the benefit of the doubt, at least as much as makes sense from my point of view.

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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Tiptup
Skeptic Friend

USA
86 Posts

Posted - 05/26/2001 :  19:15:56   [Permalink]  Show Profile  Visit Tiptup's Homepage Send Tiptup a Private Message
Ok, although I am already familar with many of the myths your naming, I would like to read the sources from which you got your information myself. One book I have found is called: "Did Jesus Exist," by a fellow named George Wells. Is this your source? Or do you know of a better one?

Tiptup

-------------------------
I DON'T MAKE SENSE-I GOT MY PRIDE; DON'T NEED NO MEANING; I FEEL NO SHAME-I WILL NOT BELIEVE; I GOT NO CHOICE-I'M OUT OF CONTROL; AND I LOVE IT!!
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