Controversial Did Jesus Actually Exist?

Discussion in 'Religion & Spirituality' started by Doctor Omega, Mar 27, 2017.

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Did Jesus Exist?

  1. Yes.

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  2. No.

    4 vote(s)
    44.4%
  1. johnnybear

    johnnybear Member: Rank 5

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    They used to play music in the hall played by a professional band with guitars and synthesizers! That part I did enjoy! I used to expect a few of them to come out with giant hands just like Kenny Everett used to back in the eighties! HaHaHaHaHa
    JB
     
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  2. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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  3. johnnybear

    johnnybear Member: Rank 5

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    I'd rather see footage of Cleo Rocos to be honest, Doc! :emoji_smirk:
    JB
     
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  4. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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    kenny everett - house cleaning with cleo rocos



     
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  5. johnnybear

    johnnybear Member: Rank 5

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    I wish they'd release the series on DVD before I expire!
    JB
     
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  6. McQualude

    McQualude Member: Rank 3

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    I'm the first person to mention Annals by Tacitus, not you. The Romans kept written records. Yes he could have known and apparently did, and he is a credible source. Christian stories are irrelevant, they sell him as a messiah. Tacitus showed nothing but contempt for Christians. It's interesting that little else about his writings is contested except this one little tidbit about Christus.
     
  7. Gavin

    Gavin Member: Rank 6
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    My point is that the Annals were written in the 2nd century (about 116CE - so some 80 odd years after Jesus' death). That's not a contemporary reference.
     
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  8. McQualude

    McQualude Member: Rank 3

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    Tacitus had access to contemporary documents. He doesn't have to be contemporary, that's your agenda talking.
     
  9. Gavin

    Gavin Member: Rank 6
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    I honestly don't have an agenda. As I said, I believe that Jesus existed. But from a scholarly perspective (I work in the library at a Christian theological college) it's not enough to show that Tacitus had access to contemporary documents. To be scholarly rigourous you'd need to demonstrate that the information about Jesus came from those contemporary documents. And you can't. It's certainly possible that he got his information about Jesus from contemporary documents. But it's equally possible (and far more likely) that he's using information from later sources (such as Christian writings) to fill in the gaps. The likelihood of Jesus being mentioned by name in contemporary documents is small, given that he was fairly insignificant in his own lifetime (by contemporary standards). He was an intinerant Jewish rabbi with a small following, who was killed early in his ministry. It was only as his followers began spreading the word that people's understanding of Jesus' importance grew. There are certainly things that can be extrapolated from Tacitus' writings about Jesus. It provides a 2nd century source confirming what Christians at the time believed, and it confirms that Christians were well established in Rome at the time of Nero and distinguishable enough to be successfully blamed for the Great Fire. The fact that a noticable percentage of the population believed in Jesus around 30 years after his death can be taken as supporting the likelihood of his existance. To create a religion around a totally fictional character would likely take a longer gap between his supposed existance and the establishment of the religion.

    My point is, that in the absence of any actual contemporary documents, there is no actual contemporary evidence for the existance of Jesus. Tacitus' writings (even if they are based on contemporary documents) can only count as second hand evidence, especially since they provide no information about Jesus that wasn't available from other Christian writings. That's not to say that Jesus didn't exist - as I said I certainly believe he did. And there are plenty of other historical figures for whom we have no contemporary evidence of their existance - a good example is Socrates. All of the information we have about him comes from people writing about him after he was dead. But we don't doubt his existence. Jesus seems to be the exception, probably because believing in his existence is linked to believing in his teachings, which then require a commitment.
     
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  10. chainsaw_metal1

    chainsaw_metal1 Member: Rank 8

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    Not necessarily, if I may play Devil's advocate. As a former Christian, now atheist, I can buy into the idea that there was a figure head who's legend grew into what became Christianity. As we know just from reading the gospels, Jesus wasn't out to start a new religion, but to break away from centuries old dogma (which people took to mean "start a whole new religion with all new dogma). I also know that in the time and place, there were more individuals being posited as messiahs than just Christ. He was just the one who had more people buy into the legend of. So I can, as it were, accept that there was a rabbi with a ragtag group of followers who looked to reinvigorate the peoples' spirituality, but I don't have to accept that he was a demigod. Same as I can accept that there may have been historical figure upon whom Perseus was based, but I don't have to accept that he was sired by Zeus.

    However, I'm stepping away from the conversation now, before my agenda comes under attack.
     
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  11. Gavin

    Gavin Member: Rank 6
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    It's certainly possible to believe in a historical Jesus that's different to the religious Jesus. In fact throughout most of the 20th century scholars tried a variety of approaches to try to identify some historical facts about Jesus from the writings about him. These days most scholars acknowledge that, while there almost certainly is a historical Jesus, it's not possible to confirm anything specific about him because the writings are based on a theological understanding rather than attempting to provide a history.
     
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  12. johnnybear

    johnnybear Member: Rank 5

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    The theory you are putting forward is similar to the King Arthur and the round table one! There was a man who kept the country together after the departure of the Roman legions in the fourth or fifth century! The Romans had promised to return but never did and their was peace in the land while 'Arthur' was in charge, each feud was settled between Angles, Saxons and Britons! But once he had died the Angles sent messages to their kin in Germany, the people there had had their lands washed away in floods and needed a new home in which to settle and that in effect led to them invading Britain and killing those who fought back! The Britons who escaped to Normandy resettled there and named their new home Britany and it was their descendants who accompanied William the conqueror to attack the country five hundred years later and called it a reclamation!
    JB
     
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  13. McQualude

    McQualude Member: Rank 3

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    So you believe in a man and simultaneously believe there is zero evidence to support this existence. You keep changing your story to try and be right, but Tacitus' writings on Christus are accepted as credible by historians. People who are experts in the field, on both sides (believers and non), accept Tacitus writings. Your argument is straight from amatuer atheist blogs that attempt to discredit Tacitus and downplay Christ in order to discredit Christianity. And you have nothing, nothing but conjecture. Lots of people work at libraries, it means nothing. I once worked at a hospital, it doesn't make me a doctor. The man who started a religious revolution and inspired one of the world's leading religions would have been noted in his time. You don't inspire that sort of following by being insignificant. Also, Christ being a real person, his credited teachings, and Christianity are three different things that have no bearing on one another.
     
  14. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

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