Was Jesus an actual historical, flesh and blood, person?
Or a myth?
And what is the evidence either way?
Yeshua, which is the Hebrew name from which Jesus is translated into Greek, (and is commonly utilised today as Joshua) was an extremely common name in that location at the time. It's a bit like bumping into someone named John today.I have no doubt that many of them had names that sounded like Jesus
Actually, I have studied it quite a bit and there's actually no contemporary evidence of Jesus. The first writings about Jesus are Paul's letters about 25-39 years after his death. Then the Gospels (between 40 and 65 years after his death). The earliest non-Christian mentions are 2 brief mentions during the 2nd century which mention Jesus as someone worshipped by the Christians and provide details most likely obtained from hearing what Christians claimed.I haven't examined the evidence first hand so I can't give a strong opinion but what I have learned leads me to believe there was a person behind the myth. Mostly a Roman document that basically verifies the crucifixion of a contentious religious leader called Christ (or Christus) something like that. It's been awhile since I've read it. Apparently there is a lot more evidence for John the Baptist which is odd since he was a relatively minor character in the New Testament.
Here is another, uncited, interpretation from rationalwiki ...The Annals passage (15.44), which has been subjected to much scholarly analysis, follows a description of the six-day Great Fire of Rome that burned much of Rome in July 64 AD.
The key part of the passage reads as follows (translation from Latin by A. J. Church and W. J. Brodribb, 1876):
Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.
(In Latin: ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis poenis adfecit, quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Chrestianos appellabat. auctor nominis eius Christus Tibero imperitante per procuratorem Pontium Pilatum supplicio adfectus erat; repressaque in praesens exitiablilis superstitio rursum erumpebat, non modo per Iudaeam, originem eius mali, sed per urbem etiam, quo cuncta undique atrocia aut pudenda confluunt celebranturque. igitur primum correpti qui fatebantur, deinde indicio eorum multitudo ingens haud proinde in crimine incendii quam odio humani generis convicti sunt.)
Yeah that's one of the 2nd century documents I referred to. Written around 117CE (almost 90 years after Jesus death) and it doesn't contain anything he couldn't have learned from speaking with Christians. There's no other obvious source for his information given that he was born 20 years after Jesus death so he could only have been relying on information he had heard.You missed the primary and most important evidence, Annals by Tacitus, which is the document I referred to above.
I've not heard of these journals and I work at a theological library. Are you able to provide more information?I did an alpha course a few years back and listened to all the evidence presented there about God and Jesus! The journals of that time written by Roman scribes are preserved to this day and they mention the man called Jesus and his followers going from town to town and gathering disciples! The Romans didn't think that he was a threat to them but were amazed at the gatherings that he could assemble. Something they couldn't get even if they made a public proclamation in the streets!
Churches like that drive me crazy. They behave like that and then wonder why their numbers keep dropping. Maybe if they acted as though they actually believed what they preached more people would buy what they're selling.No, not really! This course was at least five or six years ago and the Church bug sort of wore off of me about two or three years ago! I didn't like being shouted at by an Indian guy (not me personally but the whole congregation) about proving our love for God! So I didn't go again and I also found it to be very, very hypocritical! You must love everyone but they turn their backs on the members of the church that looked odd and or could have been poor! Yet they preach something very different!