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Sat Nov 2, 2013, 04:47 PM

Was Jesus even born?

on another DU thread about Christmas a fellow DU'er posed the question "Was Jesus even born?"
now there are several angles to this...one was there even a historical person named Jesus who was born of a virgin birth, performed miracles and was politically crucified, died and arose on the third day....
next question if he was born of a virgin...was that a real birth? Was Jesus even born?

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Reply Was Jesus even born? (Original post)
gopiscrap Nov 2013 OP
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #1
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #2
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #11
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #13
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #15
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #27
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #47
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #56
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2013 #99
edhopper Nov 2013 #100
Fortinbras Armstrong Nov 2013 #101
Leontius Nov 2013 #103
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #104
edhopper Nov 2013 #106
Leontius Nov 2013 #107
edhopper Nov 2013 #108
stopbush Nov 2013 #137
Moonwalk Nov 2013 #181
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2013 #204
Moonwalk Nov 2013 #208
edhopper Nov 2013 #186
stopbush Nov 2013 #189
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #5
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #6
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #7
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #12
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #14
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #16
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #17
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #18
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #19
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #22
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #59
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #61
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #63
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #65
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #86
arely staircase Nov 2013 #87
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #88
arely staircase Nov 2013 #89
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #90
okasha Nov 2013 #197
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #96
stopbush Nov 2013 #133
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #134
stopbush Nov 2013 #135
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #136
stopbush Nov 2013 #140
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #142
stopbush Nov 2013 #146
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #149
stopbush Nov 2013 #174
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #176
stopbush Nov 2013 #177
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #178
stopbush Nov 2013 #179
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #180
stopbush Nov 2013 #183
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #184
Marrah_G Nov 2013 #191
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2013 #36
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #49
arely staircase Nov 2013 #45
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #52
arely staircase Nov 2013 #54
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #55
arely staircase Nov 2013 #58
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #68
arely staircase Nov 2013 #69
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #71
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cleanhippie Nov 2013 #85
Goblinmonger Nov 2013 #110
arely staircase Nov 2013 #111
Goblinmonger Nov 2013 #113
okasha Nov 2013 #198
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #62
arely staircase Nov 2013 #64
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #66
arely staircase Nov 2013 #67
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #70
arely staircase Nov 2013 #72
rug Nov 2013 #73
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cleanhippie Nov 2013 #84
meti57b Nov 2013 #173
DesertFlower Nov 2013 #24
Fridays Child Nov 2013 #3
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #4
Fridays Child Nov 2013 #9
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #10
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Fridays Child Nov 2013 #44
dimbear Nov 2013 #8
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #20
longship Nov 2013 #21
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Deep13 Nov 2013 #32
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hrmjustin Nov 2013 #77
intaglio Nov 2013 #143
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intaglio Nov 2013 #167
okasha Nov 2013 #199
intaglio Nov 2013 #202
okasha Nov 2013 #209
intaglio Nov 2013 #210
Cleita Nov 2013 #26
rug Nov 2013 #28
gopiscrap Nov 2013 #30
Cleita Nov 2013 #33
rug Nov 2013 #35
Cleita Nov 2013 #40
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #42
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DesertFlower Nov 2013 #60
edhopper Nov 2013 #83
rug Nov 2013 #91
edhopper Nov 2013 #92
rug Nov 2013 #93
edhopper Nov 2013 #94
Deep13 Nov 2013 #29
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #31
Cleita Nov 2013 #34
rug Nov 2013 #37
AnotherMcIntosh Nov 2013 #41
rug Nov 2013 #50
burnsei sensei Nov 2013 #38
arely staircase Nov 2013 #48
dimbear Nov 2013 #43
wcmagumba Nov 2013 #46
boomer55 Nov 2013 #57
arely staircase Nov 2013 #75
stopbush Nov 2013 #175
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2013 #78
arely staircase Nov 2013 #79
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2013 #95
DreamGypsy Nov 2013 #80
LostOne4Ever Nov 2013 #81
madrchsod Nov 2013 #82
Kablooie Nov 2013 #102
dimbear Nov 2013 #112
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2013 #97
hrmjustin Nov 2013 #98
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #105
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2013 #109
edhopper Nov 2013 #114
cleanhippie Nov 2013 #115
edhopper Nov 2013 #116
AtheistCrusader Nov 2013 #117
edhopper Nov 2013 #118
AtheistCrusader Nov 2013 #119
rug Nov 2013 #120
edhopper Nov 2013 #122
rug Nov 2013 #126
AtheistCrusader Nov 2013 #132
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edhopper Nov 2013 #187
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okasha Nov 2013 #200
Warren Stupidity Nov 2013 #203
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edhopper Nov 2013 #121
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JimboBillyBubbaBob Nov 2013 #131
M.G. Nov 2013 #144
Manifestor_of_Light Nov 2013 #190
M.G. Nov 2013 #192
Leontius Nov 2013 #193
M.G. Nov 2013 #194
Leontius Nov 2013 #195
M.G. Nov 2013 #196
Lobo27 Nov 2013 #182
edhopper Nov 2013 #185
trotsky Nov 2013 #188
Politicalboi Nov 2013 #201

Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 04:48 PM

1. I think Jesus existed. Whether he is who he says he is, is a matter of faith.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 04:50 PM

2. I agree, so the question I am posing is was there a Jesus in the context of what

Christianity claims to be who he is?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:05 PM

11. Why is it plausible that Jesus even existed?

There is no extra-biblical, contemporary evidence to support that hypothesis. Before we can discuss whether Christianity represents Jesus, we must first confirm his existence, and that has yet to be done.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #11)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:06 PM

13. what about the historical artifacts that have been discovered?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:16 PM

15. What historical artifacts?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #15)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:41 PM

27. Possibly all the parts of the true cross:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Cross

According to Calvin:
"There is no abbey so poor as not to have a specimen. In some places there are large fragments, as at the Holy Chapel in Paris, at Poitiers, and at Rome, where a good-sized crucifix is said to have been made of it. In brief, if all the pieces that could be found were collected together, they would make a big ship-load. Yet the Gospel testifies that a single man was able to carry it."
— Calvin, Traité Des Reliques.

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #27)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:18 PM

47. That hardly qualifies as an "historical artifact." At best, it's supposition.

From your source...


The True Cross is the name for physical remnants which, by a Christian tradition, are believed to be from the cross upon which Jesus was crucified.



Anything else to look at?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #13)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:47 PM

56. So you are choosing to ignore the question?

Most do when asked to support baseless assertions, so I don't hold it against you.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #56)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 06:46 AM

99. Apart from a relatively few historical people

Can anyone demonstrate that anyone living 2000 years ago actually existed?

And yes, there are enough pieces of the True Cross floating around to build a ship.

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Response to Fortinbras Armstrong (Reply #99)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 10:48 AM

100. No

and that is the point, there is no demonstrable evidence that he did or did not exist. And if we give the benefit of the doubt and say a person did exist that fits into the basic scenario, certainly the biblical account must be met with a great deal of incredulity.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #100)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 11:29 AM

101. Which is why believers take it on faith.

Faith is defined in Hebrews 11:1 as "the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen."

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Response to edhopper (Reply #100)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 12:28 PM

103. Why is that ?

 

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Response to Leontius (Reply #103)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 01:08 PM

104. Basic reasoning, lack of objective evidence, common sense...

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Response to Leontius (Reply #103)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 01:37 PM

106. That the only evidence

of miracles (which have never been verified anywhere) are a very biased, propaganda source. That what the various figures said, including Jesus, were writing well after his death by people who never knew him and our earliest source is in languages other than the original from hundreds of years later.
To name two problems with the account in the NT.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #106)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 03:00 PM

107. Your first point is typical of much of early history. The scources for three of the Gospels are very

 

likely based on the recollections of eyewitnesses as is part of Luke. There is a consistency in the fragmentary evidence of texts as relating to the extant whole texts.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #107)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 03:32 PM

108. And there is much

in the Gospels that is incompatible. So we left with the Biblical Jesus likely based on a real figure but not being able to say that any of what is actually written as true.
Would you point to any quote and say, "Yes, that is accurate."?

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Response to Leontius (Reply #107)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:58 PM

137. The idea that the Gospels are based on eyewitness testimony is laughable.

If Jesus existed (which he didn't), he died around 30CE. Paul's epistles were written around 65 CE. Mark - the earliest Gospel, was most likely written around 95CE. Matthew could have been written as late as 140CE. Of course, the believers like to push those dates as early as possible. To believe that the Gospels are in any way eyewitness accounts stretches credulity.

The average lifespan in Jesus' day was anywhere from 25-40 years. To imagine eyewitnesses to Jesus earthly life were still around 65 years after his death is silly. To think such people would be able to accurately recall such a life is ludicrous.

Mark is itself a religious allegory, a form that was quite popular in the day. Matthew and Luke are based on Mark, and both are in their ways ham-fisted attempts to churn Mark's allegory into history. These 3 are the syncretic gospels, ie: they "sync" with each other because two of them are based on Mark (and probably the Q). John, of course, is something else again.

As far as text fragments, the very, very earliest text fragments we have that exist for the gospels date to the 4th century - they are copies of copies of copies. To imagine they offer any "proof" of anything is a bit rich.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #137)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:27 PM

181. I also often wonder why anyone thinks such biblical eyewitnesses could write...

...there were plenty of Hebrew scholars in the day, as well as Greek, Roman, etc. But Jesus was a man of the poor and his apostles were all fishermen and laborers. Unlike in later centuries when even the common man learned to write, in the BC and early AD it was not at all common for people to know how to read and write or to get any lessons in such. Most fishermen and carpenters and such were illiterate no matter where they were from. Often, ironically, even aristocrats were illiterate; they hired scholars to write up things for them.

Which means that all stories by any supposed eyewitnesses were most likely oral until they were written down.

This does not necessarily mean they were inaccurate. "Telephone" games aside, because most people didn't write they had phenomenal memories (they had to have such) and would tell stories in song so that they remained accurate. You learn song lyrics and you tend to remember them verbatim, unlike a message or story you might hear where you might get it wrong when you try to tell it again.

Nevertheless, it does make things a good deal more "iffy" if the story came to us verbally over many generations rather than being written down by an eyewitness at the time.

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Response to Moonwalk (Reply #181)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 09:38 AM

204. The apostle Matthew is described as a tax collector

so would be highly likely to be literate.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #204)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 06:15 PM

208. Um, no. Just able to do math. People used marks on slates...

...or beads rather than using actual symbols. And even if they did use symbols to indicate who was who and how much they owed, that's not the same as knowing how to write. I could teach an illiterate symbols for all his friends, and teach him the symbols for numbers. If he's any good at math, he can now write down how much he collects from each of his friends. But he still can't write up a story because I haven't taught him how to write words.

HOWEVER....

As I've never seen ancient hebraic tax collector records, I can't say for sure if this is the case with Matthew. Maybe he did learn how to write so he could jot down "five goats from Joseph the carpenter...." My point is, we moderns take being taught to read and write for granted. Being an actual scholar and learning how to write was it's own rarified profession back then, and not everyone learned it. So if your target audience was working class folk, then you were going to have to tell them the story whether you read it aloud or recited it from memory—and they were going to pass it on to others that way as well.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #137)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 09:53 AM

186. All you say is true

But why are you so convinced that no man this was based on (and turned for there own agenda) existed, rather than use a figure that was already in the oral tradition? That seems more realistic to me.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #186)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 12:18 PM

189. Because the figure of Jesus in the NT is pretty much a straight archetype

of other gods who were popular at the time. Not necessarily in the details, but in broad strokes.

Virgin birth? Hell. The mantra was that Julius Caesar was born of a virgin. Lots of gods and godmen were born of virgins.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 04:59 PM

5. To be fair, thinking Jesus even existed is a matter of faith, too.

Considering the lack of extra-biblical, contemporary evidence to support the existence of Jesus, it places that right there next to the Resurrection in degree of plausibility.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:00 PM

6. There is an interesting point there but I think he exited.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #6)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:02 PM

7. Yes, you've already stated that. Are you agreeing with my point?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #7)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:06 PM

12. I would say that historians believe that all of the writings written about Jesus in the first

 

century were not written by people who actually witnessed him.

This does not mean he did not exist but it is what it is.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #12)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:16 PM

14. Do you agree with my point or not?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #14)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:28 PM

16. I have mixed feelings to be honest.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:29 PM

17. It's difficult to have a conversation when points of fact cannot be agreed upon.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #17)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:39 PM

18. We don't agree on things. You knew that.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:49 PM

19. YOU don't agree on things. If its factual, I'll agree with it.

Is agreeing on facts really that difficult?

In this case, is it not factual that there is not enough extra-biblical, contemporary evidence to support the idea that Jesus even existed?

Either there is, and we can discuss that evidence, or there isn't and we can agree on the facts.

Which is it?

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:35 PM

22. If we cannot agree on even basic facts, what's the point of discussion?

An agreement on what constitutes reality for us all needs to be established in order to have a discussion. Are you not interested in either?

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:05 PM

59. Seriously. How can there be meaningful discussion if basic facts cannot be agreed upon?

This is the problem we are having in Congress right now with the GOP; they refuse to agree to what the facts are.

We know why they do it, because facts undermine their positions and assertions. Is that the same reason you refuse to agree to basic facts as well or is there another?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #59)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:12 PM

61. I am sorry I did not get back to you.

 

I simply do not know if there is other works outside of the canon of the bible. I don't know about some of those gospels that are not included in the bible. They might have been written by an eyewitness. I simply do not know.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #61)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:17 PM

63. So if you "simply don't know", then you take his existence as a matter of faith and not fact.

Can we agree on that?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #63)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:18 PM

65. Jesus existance is not a fact. That is clear. I believe the bible that it says he was here.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #65)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:47 AM

86. So you agree with my initial reply which is that you take it on faith not fact.

Is agreeing with me really that difficult for you? Are you really unable to just come right out and say "yes, that is correct"?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #86)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:52 AM

87. no I base on the overwhelming consensus of academia. nt

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #87)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:54 AM

88. Your post would make more sense were my question directed to you.

You and your Argument from Authority have been dispatched.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #88)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 11:00 AM

89. so if I say I believe in man made climate change because that is the consensus among scientists

Im simply "arguing from authority?" I am glad you concede such nonsense. Since you cannot produce even a handful of peer reviewed scholars of antiquity who will argue Jesus was not a real historical figure I will just accept your last post as your surrender. Feel free to continue howling at the moon, regardless.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #89)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 11:14 AM

90. I say you base your opinion on nothing more than an argument from authority.

And that's all that needs to be said.

When you have factual evidence to discuss, come on back.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #89)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 05:01 PM

197. +1

"Jesus never existed" is the intellectual and historic equivalent of creationism. Not worth taking seriously, much less expending wordage on.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #86)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 03:46 PM

96. I have no problem agreeing with you. I agree that there is not written accounts of him during his

 

lifetime that we know of. I take it on faith he existed. I believe the accounts of him in the bible.

I believe in the virgin birth, Crucifixion, resurrection, and Ascension into heaven.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #96)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:39 PM

133. The virgin birth? Really?

Do you not know that the passage in Isaiah that speaks of the "virgin birth" is a mistranslation of the Hebrew in the Septuagint? That's the ONLY source in the OT for the belief in a virgin birth, and it's a mistranslation. That's a simple fact:

"Therefore, the Lord, of His own, shall give you a sign; behold, the young woman is with child, and she shall bear a son, and she shall call his name Immanuel. Cream and honey he shall eat when he knows to reject bad and choose good. For, when the lad does not yet know to reject bad and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread, shall be abandoned."
—Isaiah 7:14-16

In this passage from the Book of Isaiah the prophet predicts to King Ahaz that a young woman will give birth to a son who will be called "Immanuel", meaning "God with us", and that Ahaz's enemies will be destroyed before this child learns the difference between good and evil, i.e., before he reaches maturity. The Hebrew word is "עלמה" (almah), which scholars agree means a young woman of child-bearing age, without any connotation of virginity, and the context of the passage makes it clear that Isaiah has in mind events in his and Ahaz's near future. The Greek-speaking author of Matthew, however, used the Greek translation of Isaiah, in which the word is given as "παρθένος", parthenos, meaning a virgin. (Source: Wikipedia)

BTW - nowhere in the NT is Jesus called "Immanuel." So much for prophecy.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #133)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:41 PM

134. I know about the translation. I believe in the virgin birth.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #134)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:45 PM

135. Wow. I've got a bridge to sell you in Brooklyn.

Your belief is proof once again that religious belief is a conceit and nothing more.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #135)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:48 PM

136. First off I already own part of the bbrooklyn bridge so you don't need to sell me anything.

 

Second of all thank you for your thoughts but we disagree.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #136)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:01 PM

140. I appreciate the humor, but you don't own part of the BB and

you've proved again the conceit of religion - ie: to believe as factual anything you wish, without any objective standard whatsoever.

Belief and faith are the cheapest commodities on earth. I really don't understand why people cling to them so vociferously.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #140)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:03 PM

142. Yes I do own some bricks that were apart of the bridge. And as for my belief I am allowed to

 

believe what I wish, just as you are. If you don't like that I can not help you.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #142)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:09 PM

146. I defend your right to believe whatever you will. That's what being an American is about.

However, I don't have to believe that there's a shred of truth behind your beliefs, nor do i need to keep my opinion in the matter to myself. Works for religion just as it works for political beliefs.

I can respect your right to believe while not respecting your beliefs.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #146)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:18 PM

149. I understand. You don't elieve in the virgin birth. It is something not easy to believe in. I have

 

my doubts like everyone, but I believe it. You are more then welcome to challenge my beliefs but there is nothing I really can say to you. You either believe or you don't.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #149)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:54 PM

174. "You either believe or you don't." What a lazy statement.

Do you feel the same about people who believe in Odin or Anubis? Obviously, their religious beliefs are just as credible as are yours.

You may well allow for their religious belief, but wouldn't such beliefs color your opinion about their sanity in general?

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Response to stopbush (Reply #174)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:02 PM

176. Whhat do you want from me? I believe it. If you have a problem with it that is your problem not mine

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #176)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:04 PM

177. I don't have a problem with your faith. Just letting you know why i find it so easy to

dismiss your beliefs.

You know the concept of Jesus' virgin birth is based entirely on a mistranslation, yet it doesn't phase you. You still believe it.

There's nothing admirable in blind faith.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #177)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:06 PM

178. and what do you want from me?

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #178)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:07 PM

179. Well, I was hoping for a serious discussion, but your blind faith rather closes that door.

If you want to talk about fairies and werewolves, we could do that.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #179)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:09 PM

180. I am not going to engage a person who is going to insult me.

 

Goodbye.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #180)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:34 PM

183. Buh-bye. Don't let the door hit ya where evolution split ya.

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Response to stopbush (Reply #183)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:36 PM

184. Very rude. I did nothing to deserve your scorn.

 

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Response to stopbush (Reply #183)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 11:47 AM

191. Justin always tries to be polite and engaging to everyone on DU

You could have found a way to be a little more civil.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:03 PM

36. No, the resurrection is implausible, because it is unknown, biologically

while the existence of someone in 1st century Judea doesn't require any 'miracles'. If he did some preaching and ended up being crucified, that's still plausible, even if there's no non-partisan evidence for it. It's a huge leap from that to a resurrection.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #36)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:20 PM

49. Fair point. The Resurrection is implausible, while the existence of jesus is plausible.

Its just not probable, considering the lack of evidence to support that idea.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:14 PM

45. not for historians.

For almost all historians his non-existence is implausible.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=3968156

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #45)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:25 PM

52. Hogwash.

No extra-biblical, contemporary evidence exists to support that idea. If it makes you fele better to accept that without the evidence to support it, go for it.

Me, I'll file that right behind Bigfoot, Nessie, and all the other mythological hooey we humans have concocted.

If you know of some evidence that would support that idea, please share.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #52)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:27 PM

54. name me three published peer reviewed historians who say Jesus of Nazareth

wasnt a very real person.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #54)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:33 PM

55. Find me one peer-reviewed paper that proves a negative.

I can find countless papers with equal validity that refute "virtually all historians" that think its a settled matter.

Try reading more than Wikipedia and Apologists websites.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #55)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:04 PM

58. peer reviewed historians who claim Jesus didn't exist are about as common as peer reviewed scientist

who deny global warming. You may find one or two but they are rare. Even Dawkins admits this.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Jesus#Existence

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #58)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:22 PM

68. Find me one peer-reviewed paper that proves a negative.

Or one that documents the evidence to support your claim of an historical jesus?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #68)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:26 PM

69. atheists for jesus by richard dawkins

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #69)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:31 PM

71. You obviously do not understand what a peer-reviewed paper is.

That would explain a lot.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #71)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 11:20 PM

76. I know I am still wating for just three from your side

Hint, three will be the most you ever find. About like climate change among scientist. Fact is the argument that Jesus didn't even exist is not taken as credible or serious among historians.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #76)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:45 AM

85. Since you seem unable or unwilling to produce anything peer-reviewed

That supports your assertion, I'll take the point.

One does not get to make an assertion then challenge others to prove said assertion wrong when evidence does not exist to support the assertion in the first place. That's a common tactic among religious believers. It's a childish and boring game that I will leave to you.

Lets chat again when you are ready to converse as an intelligent adult would.

Have a nice day.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #76)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 04:38 PM

110. You're the one with the positive claim

 

You're the one with the burden of proof.

Conversely, provide me with three peer-reviewed published articles that prove there is no tea pot orbiting mars.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #110)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 04:53 PM

111. yeah because martian teapots are a real academic discipline like history, etc



And no the burden of proof is on anyone claiming the vast majority of historians and other scholars of antiquity are wrong. That is quite an assertion.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #111)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:30 AM

113. You don't really understand burden of proof do you.

 

Do you understand what the null hypothesis is?

"vast majority of historians and other scholars of antiquity"? Seriously? Please, as asked above, provide the published articles from your sources that prove the existence of a historical Jesus. Shouldn't be that hard for you.

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Response to Goblinmonger (Reply #110)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 05:07 PM

198. You're aware, of course,

that Russell made that analogy well before Sputnik. There could, and will eventually, be a teapot orbiting Mars, if for no other reason than that an astronaut has a sense of humor.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #45)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:15 PM

62. Do you even read your own sources?

Richard Dawkins wrote that while Jesus probably existed, it is "possible to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all."


What historians have written peer-reviewed papers proving the existence of an historical jesus? I'd like to read it.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #62)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:18 PM

64. yeah dawkins says possible but not widely supported

Who do you think he means not widely supported by?

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #64)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:21 PM

66. What evidence is there to support an historical jesus?

What peer-reviewed papers document that evidence? What evidence has wide support for its validity in proving that?

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #66)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:21 PM

67. here Athests for Jesus by Dawkins

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #67)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:30 PM

70. An article by Dawkins is evidence of an historical jesus?

Seriously?

You obviously do not understand what a peer-reviewed paper or the Scientific Method is.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #70)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:33 PM

72. it is evidence of the acceptance of his historical existence among even the most

outspoken atheists. How do you reckon he reaches that conclusion, faith? No because he knows that is what most (virtualy all) historians say.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #72)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:35 PM

73. Ah but Richard Dawkins is no Joseph Atwill.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #73)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:45 PM

74. right?



The Jesus mythicism argument is as far out their on the fringe of scholarship as climate change denial. What are these people reading? Apparently they only read atheist selectively because any atheist with serious historical credentials will tell you there was a historical Jesus.

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #72)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:39 AM

84. Actually, he is conceding the point.

Arguing with those or whom evidence is not necessary, such as yourself, is an exercise in futility.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 05:11 PM

173. Jesus may well have existed, a religious Jew and a revolutionary against Rome.

Rome didn't like revolutionaries and so they executed him in the worst way possible that they had at the time, crucifiction.

For those "followers" who turned against him at the time, .... they undoubtedly knew the same thing would happen to them if they did otherwise.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:13 PM

24. i agree, but i don't believe

he was born to a virgin and i don't accept him as my lord and savior. obviously i'm not a christian although i was born and raised roman catholic.

i do however, believe in his messages, i.e., feed the hungry, house the homeless, care for the sick, etc.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 04:56 PM

3. I don't believe that there's any artifactual proof or any reference to Jesus that's dated to the...

...33 years he was supposed to have lived. The God Who Wasn't There is an interesting little documentary about this question. I'm sure there are others, too.

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 04:58 PM

4. how can you get ahold of that documentary?

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Response to gopiscrap (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:03 PM

9. Here you go.

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #9)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:04 PM

10. thanks

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Response to Fridays Child (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:14 PM

25. i saw it. very interesting.

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Response to DesertFlower (Reply #25)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:00 PM

44. I agree.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:03 PM

8. It doesn't take a lot of effort to see that we'll never really know. Like King Arthur or William

Tell, maybe yes maybe no. Too much excitement gets let loose on this, the important thing is to realize there isn't any real knowledge, and to go on in a healthy agnosticism. You can always write the most interesting stories on empty blackboards or blank pieces of paper.
There's a defeatist attitude going around in historical Jesus studies nowadays, which is fashionable. It's to say that the search for the Historical Jesus is a waste of time. I don't agree. Looking enough to see that He is truly lost is worth the trouble.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 05:58 PM

20. Do you know of any evidence to support the idea of the existence of Jesus?

Up thread you implied that there were historical artifacts. Which ones are you referring to?

To answer your questions, we need to examine the evidence that supports the assertion. Since there isn't any, it's reasonable to conclude that it never happened.

Which makes further discussion about Jesus' life (and death) rather uncomfortable for those asserting his existence.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 06:17 PM

21. Well, the evidence for his existence is a bit slim.

There's virtually none outside the gospel narratives, which themselves are rife with historic inaccuracies and anachronisms. (E.G., Nazareth did not exist as a town when Jesus was allegedly born. Nobody would ever have taken a tax census as reported in the birth narrative in Luke -- it's madness to believe it did. Did the witnesses at the tomb say anything? Mark says no, others, yes. Etc., etc., etc.) Much of the Jesus narrative has precedent in earlier legend and myth. This latter fact is most damning to Jesus' existence in history.

One cannot prove a negative. If there any kind of convincing evidence that Jesus existed, I would have to change my opinion on this, and I would do so gladly. But that would not argue for any claim for him to be any semblance of a god or sonogagod, which is another matter altogether.

Of course, I reject the latter on the general principle that it also has all the elements of myth (which nobody can credibly deny).

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:02 PM

23. To believe he did not exist requires the belief in a mid-first century conspiracy,

 

the proportions of which would cause Alex Jones to blush.

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Response to rug (Reply #23)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:54 PM

32. False.

While a conspiracy is far more likely than a divine being, there did not need to be a conspiracy for people who may not have known each other to assume he existed and did at least some of the things ascribed to him. Remember that the oldest part of the NT is the letters of Paul, written perhaps in AD 40. Mark comes at about 60, Luke, Matthew, and Acts about 75, and John just after the turn of the century. Much of the history of the of the early church was orally transmitted and presumably embellished (since the earliest accounts have far few miracles and stories than later ones) before being reduced to writing. Most people were illiterate so the basic narrative existed in their memories or memories of stories, rather than as written instructions. This is also why there were so many Christian varieties in those days.

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Response to Deep13 (Reply #32)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:08 PM

39. Not at all.

 

There was an early coherence to Christianity, most notably seen in the Council of Jerusalem held in 50 C.E.

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Response to rug (Reply #39)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 11:37 PM

77. +1.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #23)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:06 PM

143. Nope, there is nothing from the 1st century which supports a corporeal Christ

The early letters of Paul never mention him as an more than an ideal. Mark shows every sign of being a compilation of prior legend and tales and in the original version never even mentions the resurrection. Dealing with Josephus separately, there were several other historians and collectors of tales at that time and none has any mention of any Jesus.

Flavius Josephus is dealt with separately because of the fraudulent "Testamentum Flavianum" texts which suddenly appears in his writings at the time of Eusebius in the 4th Century. No commentary on Josephus' histories by prior church fathers (notably Marcion) or others make any mention of such an earth-shaking admission by a non-Christian.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #143)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:10 PM

147. There is nothing in the record to support a conspiracy.

 

Or to support any other explanation for that matter.

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Response to rug (Reply #147)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:58 PM

165. There is every evidence of a mystery cult

based on similar ideals to the Dionysian and Mithraic cults. It does not require a conspiracy of confabulation in the 1st or early 2nd Century whereas your contention does require a conspiracy; a conspiracy of silence from trustworthy sources outside the Christian community. My contention only requires that later believers insist on a corporeal Jesus to justify their beliefs. It is not even unusual for such cults to insist on the fleshly reality of their god/prophet. Mithraic, Dionysian, Herculean, Zarathustran and Osiris cults all insisted that their principles led an earthly life.

The contents of the Bible is not evidence for Jesus as virtually in its entirety it was edited, redacted and amended. Paul's later letters were heavily edited and, in some cases, fabricated as were the supposed writings of Peter. John of Patmos, who produced the Apocalypse (which surprisingly is an early text) never identifies a fleshly Jesus.

Mark, Matthew, Luke and John read like literature even including elements that no person could have seen; for example who witnessed the events in the Garden of Gethsemane prior to the arrest? All that ignores the massive contradictions between the various Gospels

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Response to intaglio (Reply #165)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:01 PM

166. Then it should be a simple task to identify it and establish how it wrote the Scriptures.

 

Similarity to Dionysian and Mithraic cults does not do it.

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Response to rug (Reply #166)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 03:21 PM

167. Well, no-one does know who wrote the scriptures

Mark, Matthew, Luke and John do not identify themselves. Paul is unidentified and completely un-reported outside of his epistles. The epistles of Peter and James are certainly not by the worthies claimed as their author.

Although they are not commonly available now there were significant bodies of literature about Dionysus, Mithra and Osiris; indeed I have seen it asserted that such mystical romances were quite common in the 1st and 2nd Century.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #143)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 05:14 PM

199. Wrong about Paul.

He clearly states that Jesus was a real person, "born of a woman," who was crucified.

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Response to okasha (Reply #199)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 07:44 PM

202. Galatians 4:4

:1 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
4:2 But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
4:3 Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
4:4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
4: 7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
KJV

Firstly this follows chapter 3 which stresses that faith is the all important measure and not reality. In the later verses ot points out that all are sons. More importantly he does not identify the event of the birth, the family, the mother nor the lineage. There is no mention of when this birth takes place and indeed it reads like a poorly formulated version of many non-Christian "born of woman" gods and demigods.

Read the conclusion of the chapter and it becomes even more clear that Paul is discussing the Saviour born of woman as a metaphor for the state if the Gentiles to whom the letter is addressed.
4:28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.
4:29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.
4:30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.
4:31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
KJV

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Response to intaglio (Reply #202)

Tue Nov 12, 2013, 04:49 PM

209. Nice try, but no cigar.

Paul clearly differentiates between God's son, "made of a woman, made under the law (ie. a Jew" and the sons by "adoption."

The women in the second passage are entirely distinct from the mother of the son in the previous passage. The freewoman is Sarah, the bondwoman, Hagar, mother of Ishamael.

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Response to okasha (Reply #209)

Tue Nov 12, 2013, 06:10 PM

210. and so would any worshipper of Dionysus

or Hercules or Aesclepius, and they were clear on the unreal origins of of their deities.

The single fragmentary quote from one verse does not support the weight you put on it because an ideal birth of the god from the flesh was just as valid as any other. Paul does not say that God caused the conception but that he "sent forth his Son" who is made of a woman. In Greek and Hebrew the order in which things are stated is important; if the sense was what you wish it to be then the order would have been "God made his Son of a woman under the Law and sent him forth." In this context it is telling that Paul does not support his affirmation of faith with reference to the real world; the birth, if birth is what was meant, is "of a woman" and not "of Mary" or "born of a woman in Bethlehem."

Then there is the oddness of the phrase "made of a woman," when the belief at the time was that a woman was just the fertile field on which the seed of the father grew; the only comparison with this is where Eve is made of Adam. This makes sense because Jesus, in Paul's teaching, was meant to redeem mankind from the sin of Adam.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:38 PM

26. I doubt it.

There doesn't seem to be evidence outside of the gospels that he was a real person and, if he was, that the events surrounding him actually happened. I do like the ideals ascribed to him, but I think it was a collective collaboration of the sect that popularized this human-like god in a world whose gods had human attributes.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #26)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:45 PM

28. Is there any evidence for that last sentence?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #28)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:48 PM

30. I was gonna ask that myself.

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Response to rug (Reply #28)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:56 PM

33. Yes. The late Joseph Campbell wrote about it.

He posits that the world that the Jesus myth arises from was a Greco Roman world where the god hero is a son born of a mortal woman to a god and it was a popular religious story of the time.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #33)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:02 PM

35. Posit sounds more like a hypothesis than evidence.

 

There remains the question of how an early Christian church indisputably existed within decades were there not an historical Christ.

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Response to rug (Reply #35)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:15 PM

40. I'm just going to exit right here.

I don't like challenging people's religious beliefs unless they are harmful. JC is an okay guy whether or not he was real.

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Response to Cleita (Reply #40)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:30 PM

42. Very sensible. I'm going to follow your lead.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #42)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:25 PM

53. Don't forget to take Joe Atwill with you.

 

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Response to Cleita (Reply #40)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:24 PM

51. No problem.

 

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Response to Cleita (Reply #40)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:05 PM

60. i agree. nt

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Response to rug (Reply #28)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 10:27 AM

83. You must

know of the parallels between the Jesus myth and the many other myths of savior type gods that were in middle eastern cultures?

http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus/

The Jesus story was far from unique.

My opinion: A man named Yeshua may have existed on which the biblical writings were based. I seriously doubt that most of the Bible (even the non supernatural stuff) has much bearing on the actual figure. There is so much that is incompatible between the four gospels and so much that seems to try to just confirm OT prophesies that we can discount the NT as a historical source. And at this point we are dealing with Greek and Latin translations from hundreds of years later from these questionable sources.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #83)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 11:40 AM

91. Strictly speaking, they are not parallels at all.

 

Similarities are not parallels and are far from establishing a wholesale looting of pre-existing myths. That would require evidence which is lacking. There is no more evidence of that than there is of your stated opinion. Interesting speculations, but not evidence.

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Response to rug (Reply #91)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

92. I think the case is much stronger than

you wish to give credit, but then acknowledging such is a problem for your belief in the divinity of Jesus as portrayed in the Bible, so it's understandable.

I put forth my thoughts as opinion, because there is so scant evidence for any of this we can only speculate and make educated guesses.


Similarities / parallels: pot-A-toes / pot-a-toes Sargon/Moses, Horus/Jesus

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Response to edhopper (Reply #92)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 01:51 PM

93. "acknowledging such is a problem for your belief in the divinity of Jesus as portrayed"?

 

Before you resort to condescension you should look down at see if there is any evidence to support you.

Any belief or faith I have is certainly no impediment to recognizing bullshit for bullshit. Especially bullshit cloaked in the mantle of cool rationality.

Speculation < Evidence

Speculation + Bias = Bullshit

Here. I'll add some info on Horus for you.

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Response to rug (Reply #93)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 03:13 PM

94. message deleted

Last edited Sun Nov 3, 2013, 06:19 PM - Edit history (1)

posted a argumentative, sarcastic reply.

Not worth the agida to either of us.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:46 PM

29. He was born if he existed, but we don't know if he existed.

That's not really the question that concerns historians. What we wonder is why people believed he existed and what they believed about him? How did those beliefs cause them to act? How was society changed by those beliefs? How did those beliefs fit into the larger world-view?

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:52 PM

31. Whoever came up with the phrase "Render unto Caesar" was real. But was it JC or Titus Flavius?

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 07:57 PM

34. Good question. n/t

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #31)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:03 PM

37. Geez. Please google Joseph Atwill on DU in the last month.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #37)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:29 PM

41. Google it yourself. My response is my own and not dependent upon any previous DU post.

 

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Response to AnotherMcIntosh (Reply #41)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:23 PM

50. I don't need to. I read his thoroughly discredited crap in five threads in four forums.

 

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:07 PM

38. I believe that a Joshua of Nazareth existed, lived past 30, and then

was executed by the Romans at the behest of religious authorities who wanted civil peace.

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Response to burnsei sensei (Reply #38)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:18 PM

48. historians only universally agree on two things about Jesus

He was baptized by John the Baptist and executed by Pontius Pilate.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 08:42 PM

43. Don't be distracted by Joseph Atwill and the like, there are perfectly respectable scholars who

Last edited Sat Nov 2, 2013, 11:00 PM - Edit history (1)

hold the view the JC wasn't real. The belief is generally called mythicism. It goes all the way back to the Tubingen school, through the Dutch radicals, and persists to the present day.
One ominous truth is that scholars who adopt the view tend to languish unpublished, and sometimes lose their positions. It's a hazardous opinion.
Don't confuse it with the belief called Docetism, which is sometimes unfairly applied to mythicists. That's a bit different.

Probably the most available author upholding the reasonableness of the mythicist position nowadays is Robert M Price. Another interesting source is the always controversial Vridar. Both are scholars, neither is actually a mythicist, but both insist that mythicism is defensible. That's about as far as anybody can really go.



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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:15 PM

46. No Jesus...and a bit of snark....

I do not believe in the "magical" Jesus, maybe a physical human around that time, I do believe in Brian, and the gathering of shoes!



[link:|

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 09:59 PM

57. Great site for exploring the start of the Christ myth

 

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Response to boomer55 (Reply #57)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 10:49 PM

75. this sight does not argue Jesus didn't exist

but that earlier myths were later applied to Jesus: virgin birth, etc.

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Response to boomer55 (Reply #57)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:00 PM

175. That's an excellent site that should be visited by people making the argument against a corporeal

Jesus ever existing.

The author presents a nuanced way of looking at gods that is easily accessible. Recommended.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sat Nov 2, 2013, 11:47 PM

78. No. No contemporaneous historical evidence of his existence.

 

We know Julius Caesar existed because he wrote, and others wrote about him.
We know about other historical figures far older as well.

There were lots of gods who were born of a virgin on December 25th, were worshiped and adored, and had magical powers. Like Apollo, Osiris and Mithra. That seem to have the same characteristics of Yeshua ben Yusuf.



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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #78)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 01:12 AM

79. you are confusing the existense of the man with myths about him

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Response to arely staircase (Reply #79)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 03:28 PM

95. here: Absence of evidence is evidence of absence.

 

http://www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

To illustrate this extraordinary absence of Jesus Christ literature, just imagine going through nineteenth century literature looking for an Abraham Lincoln but unable to find a single mention of him in any writing on earth until the 20th century. Yet straight-faced Christian apologists and historians want you to buy a factual Jesus out of a dearth void of evidence, and rely on nothing but hearsay written well after his purported life. Considering that most Christians believe that Jesus lived as God on earth, the Almighty gives an embarrassing example for explaining his existence. You'd think a Creator might at least have the ability to bark up some good solid evidence.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 01:27 AM

80. Here's a musical take on your question, by Nashville singer-songwriter David Olney...

...who recently released a thematic CD entitled The Stone.




Something happened. Back there all those centuries ago. Something not easily believed or easily dismissed. Two thousand years of glory and horror, of love and hate, of beauty and violence have only made those long ago events murkier and more enigmatic. But nothing comes of nothing. Something happened. The Stone is an attempt to address those events. From varying points of view (a con man, a donkey, a murderer and a soldier), a story is told. A picture struggles to emerge. Nothing is proved. Nothing is denied.


Nashville, TN–So says folk/blues performer/songwriter and rising YouTube star David Olney in describing his new recording, The Stone. Following 2011’s David Olney presents Film Noir, The Stone is the second installment in Olney’s current series of “mini-album” releases. The new collection features three of his previously released songs completely reinterpreted (“Jerusalem Tomorrow,” “Brays,” “Barabbas”) and three new tunes (“Brains,” “Flesh and Blood,” “A Soldier’s Report”) to round out the story. It’s no mystery what story is being told, but this is in no way a religious thing. It’s just another telling of the Greatest Story Ever Told presented by a great storyteller.

“Writing ‘Jerusalem Tomorrow’ was like reading a detective novel,” explained Olney. “I did not know where the narrator was taking me. It turned out to be not just a journey through space but through time. I would say it is about Jesus. But Jesus is conspicuous by his absence. I hit on the idea of writing about the Easter story from the points of view of some of the peripheral characters. How did they respond to these events (whatever they were)? What in the world did they think was going on? And something did go on. It did not happen the way it has been handed down to us, I have no doubt. But something in fact did happen. Of that I’m sure.”

<snip>

“These characters want to tell their story,” he said. “And in telling it, they want to explain themselves to us — why they felt how they felt and acted the way they acted. Would you and I have felt and acted differently?”


The concept and realization is great.

Here are two of the songs -

The con man's story, Jerusalem Tomorrow:



and, if you advance to about 2:38 in this Fireside Chat, A Soldier's Report:





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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 01:33 AM

81. Was Jesus ever born?

No. Because his actual name was Yeshua

Was there an historical Jesus?

Based on sources like Josephus, pretty much all historians believe he was a historical person, and given my ignorance of the historical record I must defer to them. So I am going to say probably.

Was he born of a Virgin?

That is not possible. If there was a virgin birth it would be a clone of the mother. No.

Performed miracles?

I dont believe in miracles. The laws of nature bend for no man. So again, no.

Crucified and died?

Again, going with the historians and gonna say: Probably.

Arose on the third day:

NO. Dead is dead.


I think there was a Yeshua of Nazareth. I think he was crucified. I do not think he was divine. I do not think he preformed miracled.

[p class=post-sig style=margin-top:0px;text-align:center;]

[div style='color: #B20000;font-size: 2.000em'] [center] Not all those who wander are LOST!!! [/center]


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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #81)

Sun Nov 3, 2013, 01:35 AM

82. he existed , was a prophet not the son of god, and was probably crucified

one has to study the conditions of the jews during this period. the relationship of the priests and the romans to understand why there was a myth or the truth about the prophet.

i feel most if not all of what he is attributed as saying are universal truths from many civilizations.

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Response to LostOne4Ever (Reply #81)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 12:10 PM

102. Yeah, but he could make one hell of a pine nightstand.

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Response to Kablooie (Reply #102)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 07:19 PM

112. The only report from close to Bible times is that the family business was making farm implements,

things like the tongues used to pull plows.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 12:20 AM

97. There are no contemporaneous writings stating that he existed. Duh.

 

Please check out the link at my post above.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #97)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 01:17 AM

98. That is true but that does not mean he did not exist.

 

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #98)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 01:11 PM

105. It means that his existence is improbable, yet plausible.

And the difference between plausible and probable are oceans apart.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #105)

Mon Nov 4, 2013, 04:33 PM

109. We know about Julius Caesar.

 

We know about Marcus Aurelius, as in "Omnia Gallia divisa est in tres partes." I took Latin in high school and we had to read the stuff these REAL PEOPLE wrote.

We know that Plato and Socrates were real people.

We know that all the Roman Emperors lived.

We know that Prince Siddhartha, Gautama the Buddha lived, 600 years before the alleged Jesus.
There are shrines with his hair, teeth and bone pieces left after he was cremated.

We know about pharaohs. We have mummies and writings in hieroglyphics. The Rosetta Stone talks about Ptolemy (Watch Carl Sagan in COSMOS for that one) which Champollion translated.

So why aren't there any contemporaneous writings about Jesus, or by him, like the Emperors?

You're grasping for proof, HRM. You are grasping air.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #105)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 09:35 AM

114. hippie

You are saying that Jesus probably did not exist at all. I am of the opinion that the stories are based on a preacher from that period (or maybe an combo of several). Though his childhood and all the supernatural stuff was made up and contoured to fit prophesy. So while there might have been a real person behind the figure in the Bible, we can't accept it as written.
Why do you feel that no such person existed at all. No arguing with you, just curious about your thinking here.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #114)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 10:10 AM

115. The complete lack of evidence for starters.

See Manifestor of Lights post above #109.

Add to all of that that fact that the story if Jesus is hardly original, it's no stretch to see how it is a retelling of older "god" stories.

Notice the reactions we see by most to this simple question. Every excuse in the book is used to try and disprove the idea that Jesus didn't exist, and the one thing needed to do just that cannot ever be found; evidence.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #115)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 10:41 AM

116. I think there are two figures here

the Jesus of the Bible, whose story I agree was aligned with older concepts and also as religious and political propaganda. And the possible real person that the stories are based on. The Gospels were written not too long after the person named Yeshua purportedly was crucified. So i don't see why they would not refer to a real man. He was a very minor figure at the time, with no real political standing, so there being no contemporaneous writing is not peculiar.
I guess i put myself in the plausible and more probable than not probable category.
I haven't read enough of the academic arguments for and against to have more than idle speculation.

BTW and interesting parallel would be the "Saint" Juan Diego, who though canonized, may not have existed.

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Response to hrmjustin (Reply #98)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 11:44 AM

117. The burden is not on people who aren't aware of his existence, to disprove it.

The burden is on people who claim he did, to prove it.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #117)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:02 PM

118. Well if he did live

the Gospels were written soon after his death. So I don't have a problem with the idea that they used a person that was talked about and told this fantastical story using him as a basis. Seems more probable to me than making someone up out of whole cloth.

David (not Davey) Crockett lived and died. He was not born on a mountain top and did not kill a bear when he was three.
There was a Saint Nicholas in Turkey who purportedly gave some children gifts. He doesn't currently live at the North Pole though.

Opinions on this would probably fall on a 1 to 10 scale. With 1 being that there is no way he existed and 10 being he definitely lived and was accurately portrayed in the NT. 5 would be you can't say either way. I would be a 6-6 1/2. A soft probably.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #118)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:04 PM

119. 40 years was a lifetime in that period.

That's the best guess at the first of the gospels being authored, 40 years after his alleged death.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #119)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:12 PM

120. Why would someone write a fictitious account of a fictitious person four decades later?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #120)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:24 PM

122. That seems more logical to me

I see it as more likely using a real person to drape the religious and political propaganda around than make one up.
From my POV. it is more probably that the man they based it on existed, but I don't think any part of the NT can be accepted as true except in the most general way (there was a preacher who the authorities crucified, etc.) I highly doubt a single quote in the Bible has any veracity.
Does the real life Saint Nicholas have any relevancy to stories about Santa?

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Response to edhopper (Reply #122)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:49 PM

126. That raises the question of who did it and the purpose of their propaganda.

 

There should be some credible evidence of that.

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Response to rug (Reply #126)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:07 PM

132. There's little evidence of the people who actually wrote it AT ALL.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #132)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:58 PM

138. It was written.

 

If not as presented, where's the evidence of the counter-hypothesis?

You can't have it both ways.

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Response to rug (Reply #138)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:00 PM

139. Still ignoring the one or the other billion adherents mutually exclusive faith issue huh?

You have one or more examples of a faith that was must needs invented for XYZ purposes, and cannot simultaneously be true.

I don't have the answers of 'why' for you, anymore than religion has any. I can only point out that clearly it was done once, if not many more times.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #139)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:07 PM

145. That doesn't even make sense.

 

If you are saying that Islam, or Scientology, or Mormonism were fabrications, that does not in the least establish causation here or provide evidence that this was a fabrication.

You know, Occam's Razor applies here as well as anywhere. The simplest explanation, returning to the OP, is that Jesus, or Yeshua, did exist, led a life of events, and contemporaries passed on what they believe they saw. This is not to say that elaborations did not occur or that the lily was not gilded, but it strongly suggests his existence. Any other explanation requires convolutions, inferences and leaps that the evidence does not support.

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Response to rug (Reply #145)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:18 PM

150. Cite contemporary evidence for the existence of 'jesus'.

Not 40 years on. Not 120 years on. Contemporary evidence.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #150)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:20 PM

152. Let's say there is none. That does not provide evidence of the necessary alternate explanation.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #152)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:21 PM

154. No alternate explanation is required for a work of fiction.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #154)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:23 PM

156. If your claim is that it's fiction, then who wrote it and why?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #156)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:25 PM

157. You seem to have some fundamental misunderstanding of the burden of proof.

If there's no evidence FOR it, nobody has to gin up evidence AGAINST it.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #157)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:26 PM

159. You seem unable to distinguish between a critique and a claim.

 

The scriptures indisputably exist. You claim they're a fiction and a fraud. Prove it.

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Response to rug (Reply #159)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:29 PM

161. Again, burden of proof.

People holding up scripture need to prove it is what they claim it is.

IE: More than a work of fiction.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #161)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:48 PM

162. You're repeating yourself.

 

I prefer evidence of your claim that unknown people manufactured it for unknown purposes.

If you have none, that's ok.

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Response to rug (Reply #162)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:54 PM

163. None is required, unless you're starting from a presuppositon that it is true.

Rational people do not.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #163)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:56 PM

164. I see. Your evidence is a) not required and b) I'm irrational.

 

Persuasive.

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Response to rug (Reply #164)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:19 PM

168. The premise that it must be true and thus disproven is irrational and begs the question. Sure.

You didn't really super-clear establish your personal position.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #168)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:24 PM

169. The premise is that the scriptures exist.

 

Your assertion is they are invented fakes.

Burden of proof and all that.

Or are you claiming the scriptures don't exist either?

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Response to rug (Reply #169)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:27 PM

170. No, that's not what I said.

I bet those scriptures/scrolls are in fact really old.

The material ON them is not proven real/nonfiction.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #170)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:29 PM

171. Therefore . . . . someone created a forgery.

 

The question, again, is who and why. And the evidence that supports it.

Meanwhile, I'm getting off this train.

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Response to rug (Reply #171)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 04:50 PM

172. I don't call fiction 'forgery'. I call it fiction.

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Response to rug (Reply #126)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 10:01 AM

187. I am saying that

Mathew, Mark, Luke and John wrote religious and political propaganda.

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Response to rug (Reply #120)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:45 PM

124. Lots of reasons.

Someone did the same with Mohammed some 700 years after alleged Jesus.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #124)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:48 PM

125. That's not a reason.

 

If it is as you claim, there should be an explanation, with evidence of that explanation. Otherwise it is idle speculation.

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Response to rug (Reply #125)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:50 PM

128. To exert control, for starters.

One might simply look at the coffers of the RCC for billions of reasons.

I bring up Mohammed, because the stories are mutually exclusive. One is certainly wrong. So there you have a foundational 'religion' idea thing that is adopted by more than a billion, and is false on its face.

One or the other. Which (or are both?) is entirely fictional?

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #128)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:54 PM

129. That's ludicrous.

 

Who wanted to exert control, and why?

First century Palestine is far away from the "coffers of the RCC".

But, let's examine that. Some unknown person(s) invented or stole the story of Jesus with the aim of garnerin riches centuries later. OK.

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Response to rug (Reply #129)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:57 PM

130. Or controlling individuals at the time.

I note your apparent disinterest in considering the repetition of events in a mutually exclusive religion, 700 years later.

Only one can be true. (Possible both are fabricated) So at least one of the two currently dominant religions was utterly invented. Ask yourself why.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #130)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:01 PM

141. Ok. By whom and why? Where is the evidence of that?

 

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Response to rug (Reply #141)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:17 PM

148. They are mutually exclusive. (There's your evidence)

I don't need to know who wrote them, why can be assumed. The evidence is that they cannot simultaneously be true.

To Christians, jesus's salvation thingy is the only path to god.
To Muslims, jesus was just a prophet, not god/son of god in the flesh.

If either breaks down, the entire faith is hokum. (It is possible they are both hokum)

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #148)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:19 PM

151. Ah, "I don't need to know who wrote them, why can be assumed."

 

It's all clear now. Unless you confuse theology with history.

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Response to rug (Reply #151)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:21 PM

153. Scant historical evidence for the existence of Jesus.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #153)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:22 PM

155. Zero evidence of an alternate explanation.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #155)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:25 PM

158. "is required."

There I finished your sentence for you.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #158)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:27 PM

160. "exists".

 

Thank you anyway.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #130)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 05:27 PM

200. Very forthoughtful, wouldn't you say,

to "invent" a tale that could possibly--assuming the conversion of a ruling class whose members were not yet born--be used to control a population three centuries later. In the second century, Celsus was describing Christianity as a religion of "women, children and slaves." Not exactly the demographic that would have the still-divinized Emperor trembling in his sandals.

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Response to rug (Reply #120)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 09:14 AM

203. Therefore Harry Potter is a real person.

 

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #203)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 10:06 AM

205. You do not have a good grasp of logic, do you.

 

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Response to rug (Reply #205)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 10:39 AM

206. You have nothing but insults.

 


120. Why would someone write a fictitious account of a fictitious person four decades later?

Not your best effort.

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #206)

Sat Nov 9, 2013, 10:41 AM

207. That post is not an insult. Your reply was not a logical conclusion.

 

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #119)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:17 PM

121. True but there was an oral history and practiced storytellers.

40 years doesn't seem too long to relate the story of a man. I am not saying that we can know what part of that story was more factual at that point, but that people could talk about him just one generation later is not unreasonable.


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Response to edhopper (Reply #121)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:27 PM

123. Could, but hardly certain.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #121)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 12:50 PM

127. The Q hypothesis is a famous posited source.

 

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 01:03 PM

131. Was he born?

He was born again!

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 02:06 PM

144. Makes not the slightest difference

It makes not the slightest difference one way or the other, since the narratives are what hold power, not the history.

It's a bit like Buddhism; the Dalai Lama's lived faith probably has nothing to do with anything Siddhartha Gautama taught, but if the narratives and practices give him and his Eastern and Western disciples some sort of meaning, history's dead letter is irrelevant.

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Response to M.G. (Reply #144)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 12:08 AM

190. M.G., you know nothing about Buddhism.

 

When The Buddha died at age eighty, many hundreds of monks who had memorized his teachings, because it was an oral culture, immediately wrote down his teachings on palm leaves, in Pali. He sought to find out the cause of suffering in the world.

The first school of Buddhism is Theravada or Hinayana, started by The Buddha in India.
The second is Mahayana (Greater Vehicle) or Chinese.
The third is Tibetan, of which the Dalai Lama is one of several sect leaders.
There is also Pure Land and Vajrayana and Zen (Japanese) Buddhism.

I'm sure the Dalai Lama must have studied the four original books, or Nikayas, of the Buddha's teachings.

I have new translations of the four Nikayas published by Wisdom Publications.

The Long Discourses are 521 pages of actual teaching.
The Middle Length Discourses are 1,151 pages.
The Numerical or Numbered Discourses are 1,588 pages.
The Connected Discourses are 341 pages.

All of these books are large because of notes, indices, glossaries and bibliographies which I have not counted. So there are several hundred more pages in these books.

The bases of Buddhism are the Four Noble Truths, the Eightfold Path and The Middle Way.

I suggest you read up on Buddhism before you make such outrageous statements like that "the Dalai Lama's lived faith probably has nothing to do with anything Siddhartha Gautama taught."

That is a very ignorant statement to make.

There are shrines in Asia holding hair, teeth and bone of the Buddha.
There are relics in the cremated remains of monks which look like pearls or colored stones.

One place: http://www.maitreyarelictour.com/

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #190)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 04:10 PM

192. I know a tiny bit more than nothing about Buddhism.

Last edited Thu Nov 7, 2013, 09:26 PM - Edit history (2)

I studied and practiced the Vajrayana for over a decade under two of the most respected (and orthodox) lamas in the world. I've also had one Zen teacher and I've spent time at Theravada monasteries in Asia. So actually, I know exactly what I'm talking about.

This is way outside the scope of this discussion, but the historical evidence that Siddhartha Gautama taught tantra (to any non-Buddhists reading this, that's the dominant form of Buddhism in Tibet) is pretty much nil.

None of which, incidentally, makes the Tibetan tantric practices I've been formally initiated into, or those the Dalai Lama teaches, less "Buddhist" or less meaningful or less sacred than what the historical personage of Siddhartha Gautama taught, or any practice my Zen Buddhist teacher taught me.

If there's a lesson here for non-Buddhists, its that even people involved in exactly the same religious practices can't agree on their historical pedigree, or their lineal connection to their faith's founder, or how relevant those connections even are. In fact, this somewhat heated exchange proves that such disagreements aren't unique to any one religion, and don't seem to have any impact on what it is that believers actually practice. Which I think goes to prove my original point that the historicity of Jesus makes no difference to the Christian faith at all.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #190)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 05:04 PM

193. So the Buddha wrote nothing but a bunch of monks wrote down what they think they remembered

 

from his oral teachings. I find it totally improbable that any form of religion could have such a beginning and be anything remotely true and credible.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #193)

Thu Nov 7, 2013, 06:28 PM

194. If we're really going to discuss Buddhism....

Last edited Fri Nov 8, 2013, 02:39 PM - Edit history (2)

If by suggesting that in order to be "true and credible" you mean that today's Buddhism has to be exactly what it's founder taught, well then, guess what? You're right! No living Buddhist is engaged in anything historians can definitively trace back to Siddhartha Gautama's original words.

However, that's completely irrelevant to actual practice, since Buddhist tradition holds that one's relation with living teachers, and ability to meaningfully engage with the practices they disseminate, is much more important than Siddartha Gautama's exact words.

That was actually the exact point of my original post, btw; it makes zero difference whether Jesus lived or not. What matters are that large numbers of people have embraced certain narratives involving said figure as sacred myth.

Ditto for any other ancient religion, incidentally, whatever adherents claim. What believers live, think, imagine, and practice is much more important than dead historical letter.

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Response to M.G. (Reply #194)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 01:03 PM

195. That really was not the point I was making and I will not dispute your take on Buddhist

 

traditions but I do believe you make a huge mistake in this statement " btw; it makes zero difference whether Jesus lived or not." it makes all the difference in the truth Christianity proclaims. I also agree that living your faith is more important than reading it.

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Response to Leontius (Reply #195)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 02:12 PM

196. More religious debate...

Last edited Fri Nov 8, 2013, 10:47 PM - Edit history (4)

You wrote "I find it totally improbable that any form of religion could have such a beginning and be anything remotely true and credible." I assumed your point was that Buddhism is untrue because its narratives are historically unreliable and attempted to answer that. Perhaps I misunderstood your point. However, if you're fine with my take on Buddhism we can drop the topic.

In terms of Christianity, historical proofs are not like logical proofs; as long as there's an iota of a chance that a religious narrative is at least possibly true believers will believe what they like. Heck, even if Christianity's narratives were clearly and unambiguously falsifiable, I'm not sure how much difference that would make; Mormonism's historical truth claims are as falsifiable as any such claims could be and that religion still retains large numbers of educated believers. At this point, it's Christianity's narratives which hold power, not the history; I personally know one Christian who flat-out told me that even if his faith was repackaged Mithraism it would still be a valid path to divinity in his mind.

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Tue Nov 5, 2013, 06:33 PM

182. These debates always turn sour.

Your an idiot because you believe in fairies, and what if they do. That is their life and not ours. Just let people believe in whatever they want to believe in.

At the end of of the day no one knows.

I can say an alien from a planet 20,000 light years from earth created us. No on can disprove me, I can be told you're BSing, and I can respond with show me proof that I am, and you can't. But at the sametime I can't show you proof that I'm not.

I suppose when we die we'll find out.

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Response to Lobo27 (Reply #182)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 09:45 AM

185. Until those people

want you to live by what their fairies tell them.

Or do you not notice how profoundly fundamentalist Christians are shaping our laws.

Radical anti-women restrictions are just one example right now.

So yes it does matter what others believe.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #185)

Wed Nov 6, 2013, 11:23 AM

188. And there's the harm to society that comes from the validation of magical thinking.

Charlatans are more readily able to exploit the vulnerable. Politicians find it easier to fool voters.

I mean, if it's OK to believe in certain things without evidence - or worse, DESPITE the evidence - where do you draw the line?

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Response to gopiscrap (Original post)

Fri Nov 8, 2013, 05:35 PM

201. He NEVER produced a

 

Birth certificate. Donald Trump is looking into this as we speak.

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