Skip to main content

View Diary: Scholars acknowledge no evidence Jesus existed (823 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  indeed (29+ / 0-)

    scholars seem to agree with you on that more and more, that the purported myth of Jesus is the mother of all propaganda and CT campaigns.

    •  That's not what your linked piece says. (13+ / 0-)
      The notion that Jesus never existed is a minority position.
      ...says the piece you linked to.

      This is sort of like a global warming denial diary. Hey, look at me, I can find four guys who tell me what I want to hear, so I'll pretend my side isn't a fringe!

      Art is the handmaid of human good.

      by joe from Lowell on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 08:59:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  context (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        worldlotus, BYw

        in the context of a Church who would kill anyone challenging their story, going back centuries, is it any wonder that this is a minority position?

        also, anyone is allowed an opinion on the available proof, which is that this story more likely mythologized history than history.

        •  Lol. In 21st century America? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Wee Mama, Vega

          Today, in this country, researchers are afraid to speak out because they fear they'll be killed?

          I was right about you and the global warming deniers. They think their extreme-fringe position, rejected by the large majority of researchers, is just being suppressed,  as opposed to failing on its own within the academy.

          Yes, anyone is allowed a position based on the available evidence. You don't seem to be doing that, though.

          It's more like, you've decided to adopt this respect for evidence as a brand, without actually doing the hard work of familiarizing yourself with it.

          You seem to think the term "evidence" means "this one Raw Story piece that tells me what I want to hear."

          Art is the handmaid of human good.

          by joe from Lowell on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 10:04:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Are you a believer? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brown Thrasher

            If so, did you come to a belief in in  the historical Jesus based on rigorous academic work?  

            Or did you come to a belief in the historical Jesus through some other means, and then have it confirmed by things you read later?

            This should be an interesting answer.


            by otto on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 11:13:19 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Dude, I don't think you get religion.. (0+ / 0-)

              The belief is not a belief in the historicity of Jesus.

              Is there, say, documented proof from the time of the Buddha that did not come from Buddhist sources which prove that the Buddha existed or not? I don't know. Who cares. I still like reading Buddhist texts.

              •  If you avoid the question, sure (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brown Thrasher

                It can be about anything you want it to be if you want to not answer the question.  

                May as well just say, "It's not about that, it's about flower gardens."

                I asked the specific question, because Joe  is attempting to blame the commenter for not doing the hard work before coming to a conclusion.  

                I wanted to know very specifically if Joefromowell had come to his conclusions about the belief in the historicity of Jesus prior to having done any academic research on it.

                I expect that most believers came to the conclusion that their prophet or deity exists, and were constantly fed information that confirms it

                JFL, however, expects that people whould not have opinions on issues prior to doing any research.

                I would like it the commenter would respond as to whether he holds himself to the same standards of intellectual rigor, in the event he is a believer.

                So, sure, it's about something other than what I asked, if that's what you want.  I'm asking Joe.  


                by otto on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 01:14:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Wait, what question am I avoiding? (0+ / 0-)

                  Like I said, you introduced "belief" into the equation. Joe never mentioned that.

                  This diary is not about belief at all. It is about historical documentation of some dude named Jesus upon which the Gospels were based on.

                  The answer to that question has nothing to do with "belief," it has to do with what historians say about the matter.

                  And I only replied to your comment because you earlier replied to a comment of mine, but what you said was so odd. Likewise, here you sound very odd. As if you had never met a religious person every in your life before.

                  Again, Christian belief has nothing to do with the historical Jesus. Not sure why you don't get that.

            •  Your comment could be taught in logic classes.... (0+ / 0-)

              to demonstrate the ad homenim fallacy.

              Nothing I wrote becomes the slightest bit more, or less, true depending on my race, religion, ethnicity, or any other characteristic.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:48:19 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  joe (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NonnyO, BYw, Brown Thrasher

            i know this has hurt you and for that I'm sorry.

            the fact remains that there is no evidence from when Jesus purportedly lived, only "evidence" from decades later when a movement had been started.

            •  You wish you hurt me. (0+ / 0-)

              This silly, fact-averse diary is no more hurtful than any on any other topic.

              And the fact also remains that the lack of records about a figure who was obscure in his time is not particularly notable.

              This has been pointed out over and over to you, and you won't even address it.

              Art is the handmaid of human good.

              by joe from Lowell on Tue Sep 02, 2014 at 06:50:24 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Uh, dude? That ARTICLE is CT. (14+ / 0-)

      It bears almost no resemblance to actual Biblical scholarship - the quote from Marcus Borg (who is a Christian, and believes Jesus existed - I've met the man, which I doubt you have, so don't even start) alone is so badly cherry picked that I'm shocked anyone is willing to take it seriously.

      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

      by Ellid on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 09:07:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  what evidence? (5+ / 0-)

        what contemporary evidence? there's the Bible and Josephus from the time of Jesus, both of which were written in the context of the Roman devastation of Israel.

        I am but a reader of the information. That is what I have discerned. If I'm wrong, I will admit it. Please educate me to the other evidence from the time Jesus lived. Scholars in this unpleasant situation would love to have that proof.

        That's the point. In the context of proof that martyr figures and other religious figures were constructed frequently at the time, it looks like “mythologized history” and scholars are being forced to default to that per the current proof.

        •  but the article is dishonest (18+ / 0-)

          Point #1 is an extensive quote from Bart Ehrman that purports to disprove there's any historical evidence for Jesus' existence. But that's clearly a misrepresentation of Ehrman, because Ehrman strongly believes in an historical Jesus.

          Cf his book Did Jesus Exist?:

          In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts the question, "Did Jesus exist at all?" Ehrman vigorously defends the historical Jesus ... [and] ... methodically demolishes both the scholarly and popular “mythicist” arguments against the existence of Jesus. Marshaling evidence from within the Bible and the wider historical record of the ancient world, Ehrman tackles the key issues that surround the mythologies associated with Jesus and the early Christian movement.
          I can't place much value on an article written by such a blatantly dishonest author.
        •  There were over 40 historians (6+ / 0-)

          and recorders of current events living in the areas where Jesus is alleged to have lived and during that time. NONE of them made a single note on him.

          •  You do realize (4+ / 0-)

            that most of those sources are not extant?

            It has been suggested by scholars from time to time that a couple of these may well have had some mention of a historical Jesus.

          •  BULLSHIT! I am calling you out for total bullshit (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Catte Nappe, Ellid, Ahianne, Vega

            here. You have made this claim in the past that forty historians were silent. When I asked you for names, the fifteen you gave were not from that time and place - not one single one of them.

            I have rarely seen such flagrant dishonesty at Daily Kos. Your original claim might have been ignorance and naivité. To repeat it when the error has been pointed out to you is stunningly dishonest.

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 04:12:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Remsberg (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Ellid, Ahianne, Wee Mama

              A list of 42 names compiled in 1909 by one John Remsburg

              Oddly enough, his life story is a bit like that of Jesus. Small town guy, who ended up travelling around and giving lots of talks

              Remsburg "delivered over 3,000 lectures, speaking in fifty-two States, Territories and Provinces, and in 1,250 different cities and towns, including every large city of United States and Canada."
              And since then, he has apparently become widely known and very highly influential in some circles.

              Even so, while I was born less than 100 years after that time, I have never heard of him until today.  None of the many historians, poets, essayists, commentators, etc. that I have read who were his contemporaries (or near contemporaries) ever mentioned him! (Perhaps he didn't really exist?)

              Seriously, I can't imagine anybody trying to pass that list off as some sort of definitive scholarship. It seems to presume that as widely known as the "story" of Jesus Christ is today, it must have been just as widely known (and interesting) to any and everybody in the world of that era - and that without anything like the internet to "spread the news". Even with the internet, and people reading far more widely, I have seen folks asking "and just who is Honey Boo Boo?" Maybe she doesn't exist either.

              “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

              by Catte Nappe on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 05:11:09 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  What is stunningly dishonest is to continue (3+ / 0-)

              to claim that a man named Jesus walked the earth and was central to the Christian mythologies.

              Call bullshit all you want. I've done my homework on this question. And, as the diarist is pointing out, the
              "evidence" for Jesus is disappearing into the sunset, where it has always belonged.

              •  Relying on a crappy article like the one on RS (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Wee Mama, DAISHI, Catte Nappe, Vega

                is not "doing your homework" by any standard.  

                What you've done is what a lot of people with an axe to grind do:  you found quotes that support your presuppositions and link to them.  Nothing more.

                I don't believe Jesus was the Messiah, but I'm not enough of a fanatic to believe he was a myth.  What's next, a ringing defense of the "Jesus was a magical mushroom" stupidity that Hugh Thompson tried to promulgate a while back?

                This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                by Ellid on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:43:04 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I pointed you to Gooserock's excellent diary about (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DAISHI, Ellid

                Baird's linguistic work. You have never addressed that evidence.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 08:21:30 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  And again you totally deflect when (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Ellid, Catte Nappe, Vega

                your error is pointed out.

                You made this claim before. I showed that it is wrong. You insist on repeating it again. If you ever again make this claim and I see it, I will hide read it.

                There is nothing dishonest about using the letters of Paul and the gospels as evidence. Paul's letters clearly exist. They are well-established on manuscript evidence. In addition, the gospels have been shown to have the correct form for a Graeco-Roman biography. There is nothing unusual or out of line about claiming the existence of a Jewish rabbi. Therefore there is no extraordinary evidence needed to prove his existence.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:53:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  The OP is also ignoring (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Wee Mama

                  At least one contemporary or near-contemporary reference to "James, the brother of Jesus."  If Jesus didn't exist, why the hell would anyone claim he had a brother?  

                  This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                  by Ellid on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:42:37 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  From this critique (0+ / 0-)


                    that passage indicates a different Jesus altogether.

                    Plausible or impossible?

                    •  It's ignoring more recent scholarship (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Wee Mama

                      Which is pretty unanimous in believing that the references to Christ and divinity were later interpolations.  There are a lot of those (interpolations) in early texts, and even more pseudopigrapha (works written in the name of a trusted authority or revered teacher by a follower several generations later - or, why most scholars believe that only seven of Paul's letters were actually by Paul.  And no, this list does not include the Pastorals (1st and 2nd Timothy and Titus), which are the ones that admonish women to submit their husbands and slaves their masters.  Paul himself was astonishingly good with working alongside women as equals, to the point of telling the congregation in Rome that  if they had any questions, they should ask his buddy Phoebe, who ran the church at Cenchraea, and leave him alone).

                      This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                      by Ellid on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 03:57:09 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Yeah, I get the interpolations. (0+ / 0-)

                        But I think the critique I link suggests that even the Jesus referred to in the original passages by Josephus as the brother of James is referring to a different Jesus than the 'Christ' of the bible.

                        So, while most recent scholarship tends to discard the Testemonium, they still believe (I think) that the 2nd passage refers to the biblical Christ, and use Josephus as a near contemporary source. If that passage also was interpolated, and originally referred to a different Jesus, then Josephus would no longer have any reference to the biblical Christ, and seriously call into question any contemporary or near contemporary references to his historical existence.

                •  You will "hide read it"? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Words In Action

                  Do you hide read everything that you don't agree with? This is certainly troubling. People use sources all the time on here that other people disagree with, but that is certainly not grounds for hide rating someone's posting. Your reaction is quite hyper and I sure don't appreciate being threatened by it.  Shall I counter with a threat to hide rate your posts if you use the gospels and Paul as evidence for Jesus?  Really, I am hoping that you didn't mean that.

                  Beyond that, the pagan stories of their savior gods are/were also established on manuscript evidence (well some of them.. the Christians destroyed the rest) and I don't see you defending them as a source of truth.  So now Jesus is a Jewish rabbi?  What is your evidence of that?  

                  The claim that a man died on a cross to "save" mankind is an extraordinary claim. Or do you discount that part along with the "miracles"?  As they say, extraordinary claims demand extraordinary evidence.

                  So far, you've got stories written by believers.  That would never hold up in a court of law as evidence.

          •  Why would they? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DAISHI, Vega

            He was an obscure Jewish peasant who caused a bit of trouble and was executed.   It wasn't until several years after his death that anyone paid attention.

            This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

            by Ellid on Sun Aug 31, 2014 at 07:37:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Evidence for this statement please... (0+ / 0-)

              "He was an obscure Jewish peasant who caused a bit of trouble and was executed.   It wasn't until several years after his death that anyone paid attention."

              How do you KNOW this?

              •  How do I KNOW you aren't trolling? (0+ / 0-)

                Go do some real homework, old sport.  Read Crossan, read Borg, read Raymond Brown and Paula Frederikson and ALL of Bart Ehrman, not a couple of quotes wrenched out of context.

                Otherwise, cut it out.  You're being deliberately obnoxious, and it's not especially attractive.

                This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

                by Ellid on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 04:47:57 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You are moving the goalposts and cherry picking (0+ / 0-)

          And guess what?  It's not my job to educate you on what is good scholarship and what is not.  If you're so convinced by a shitty, badly sourced article on a blogging site, nothing I could possibly link to would change your mind.

          Have a nice life.

          This isn't freedom. This is fear - Captain America

          by Ellid on Mon Sep 01, 2014 at 05:38:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site