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Fri Dec 19, 2014, 10:33 PM

 

Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there a Jesus Christ?

Interfaith post


David Gibson


(RNS) As another Christmas approaches and the usual holiday laments are unpacked like so many old ornaments — too much commercialism and too little faith, too much food and too little time — there has always been one reassuring constant: The reason for the season is the birth of Jesus some 2,000 years ago.

Sure, you can debate exactly what year he was born, or whether it was December 25 or some other date, and if his crib was a manger or even if he was born in Bethlehem or another city. Fleshing out the scant biographical details of the historical Jesus has been a popular parlor game for centuries.

http://www.religionnews.com/2014/12/19/forget-santa-claus-virginia-jesus-christ/


I wanted to post this in here without the issues and noise of the religion room.

6 replies, 964 views

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Reply Forget Santa Claus, Virginia. Was there a Jesus Christ? (Original post)
hrmjustin Dec 2014 OP
rug Dec 2014 #1
hrmjustin Dec 2014 #2
goldent Dec 2014 #3
wryter2000 Dec 2014 #5
wryter2000 Dec 2014 #4
goldent Dec 2014 #6

Response to hrmjustin (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:48 AM

1. The first Roman persecution of Christians was in 64 AD.

 

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

That's only 30 years but 2300 miles from Jerusalem in a time when feet was the main form of transportation and parchment was the main form of communication.

That's very little time and a long distance to establish a hoax sufficient for the state to impose mass executions.

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Response to rug (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 10:55 AM

2. I think at the very least he existed.

 

Obviously our claims on him are taken on faith but I think at the very least he existed.

It is very hard to get a birth certificate from 2000 years ago. Lol.

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Response to hrmjustin (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 01:40 PM

3. I think the "Jesus didn't exist" debate is being created by the

anti-Christians because they are frustrated that it is impossible to prove the "God doesn't exist" claim. Unfortunately for them, their "Jesus didn't exist" arguments are pretty weak:

> The Gospels were written decades after Jesus supposedly lived.

This argument is a funny one - it sounds like it was written by a 20-year-old who can't imagine that someone could write about something that happened -- Dear Lord! -- decades ago. Do you think anyone living today remembers the 1980s?

> They are unreliable because they were written by promoters of the Christian myth.

As if ancient texts of the time were written by independent journalists.

> The Gospel accounts are suspiciously incomplete, with few details of Jesus’ life.

Wow, the authors decided to write about the teachings of the Son of God, when they could have written about what he was up to as teenager! Come on Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John, where are the "up close and personal" sidebars?

> Many elements of the Gospels conflict or contradict each other.

Yes, very suspicious! We know that today eye witnesses of events always give same story. Look at Ferguson - all witnesses told the same story, didn't they?

> There are no contemporary references to Jesus from non-Christian sources.

Except for the references that do exist. Of course the source materials that do reference Jesus are not completely reliable. How do they know which parts are? It goes something like this:
- Parts that don't reference Jesus - reliable!
- Parts that reference Jesus - not reliable!

> The death and resurrection of Jesus mirrors other pagan myths of the time.

So it wasn't an original idea? I guess that clinches it! This reminds me of yet another reason the Moon Landings were a hoax - Jules Verne had written about a trip to the Moon a hundred years before the Apollo program! Clearly NASA were just copying the plot!

At least the lack of a birth certificate wasn't mentioned. I saw that in an article post to "Religion" a few months back.

Now I realize that the people making these argument aren't always highly skilled. They seem to be missing the concept that the world 2000 years ago is not like the world of today, and you have to think about a time without smart phones and the Internet. As we hear in Jesus Christ Superstar, "Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication." But still, it seems like they are just not trying.

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Response to goldent (Reply #3)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:43 PM

5. And when you think about it

The "mass communication" that existed when that song was written is primitive compared to what we have today, less than 40 years later.

I wouldn't have been "talking" to you here when Jesus Christ Superstar was written.

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Response to hrmjustin (Original post)

Sat Dec 20, 2014, 11:40 PM

4. Interesting

You can be an atheist, even an angry one, and still admit that a preacher named Jesus (or whatever the Jewish equivalent of the time was) existed. The mere fact that the man existed doesn't make him a messiah.

It strikes me that the denial of the man's existence shows a sort of desperation that you don't see among atheists who are comfortable with other people having faith (and there are lots of those).

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Response to wryter2000 (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 21, 2014, 02:11 AM

6. I thought the same thing about Jesus the man vs Jesus the messiah

That is why I think the people making these arguments are the "anti-religion" branch of atheism.

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