webgiant wrote: Ghavrel wrote: Squall83 wrote:
webgiant wrote:There is a strong argument that there was no historical Jesus.
Oh, I always thought his existence had been proven...
The existence of a historical Jesus has been proven to roughly the same extent as the existence of Socrates. While there may be a "strong" argument against a historical Jesus, it is by no means the view held by the majority. Most ancient scholars have little doubt that there was a historic man who was an itinerant preacher and around whom the Christian religion began to crystallize. Most arguments against a historical Jesus rely on the faulty assumption that ancient history and modern history are pursued the same way.
Yes, the oft-mentioned possibility of a completely ordinary preacher guy starting Christianity who ... Of course, he was probably not named Jesus, and may not even have existed at all
Lots of speculation in there. But since every professor of ancient history at every university in the world would tell you that Jesus existed, and he left this huge footprint in the historical record -- that's why the Jesus-myth dorks all run around finding excuses to ignore data, rather than producing any --, I don't think we need spend much time on that nonsense.
as Philo of Alexandria (c25 BCE-47 CE), the well-known historian of the "period of Jesus",
Name one of his histories. <hint>
You're reading crap written by people who (a) are ignorant and (b) couldn't be arsed to check their facts. Philo didn't write any histories apart from the story of his embassy to Caligula.
makes no mention of a strolling preacher named Jesus (or any other name) who was the talk of the land, nor of any band of 12 disciples who went around talking about a "Jesus Christ". As Philo was closely involved with the house of Herod, one might expect Philo to be ....<speculation>
Arguments from silence in the work of a philosopher don't mean anything. Philo doesn't talk about much. If you read Josephus and look for senior figures in the Jewish establishment that he mentions in Philo, you'll be amazed at what is not there. Philo wasn't interested.
The Jesus of the Gospels did not exist,
You say this with such certainty that I presume you have a time machine and some video footage. Let's see the footage, then.
Alternatively you might just be asserting as fact something you merely wish was true. Don't do that -- it's not honest. (I know dishonest people tend to bluster when this is pointed out -- your call on whether you want that label).
....the Gospels read like an amalgamation of a lot of prior mythologies.
I can just tell we're going to get some of the "Jesus myth" hearsay. Funny how the people who read this never trouble to find out what pagan mythology actually was... This statement is untrue, you make it because you read it somewhere, not because you ever checked it, and it is untrue.
<snip Asclepius -- I never troubled to research it>
Or the cult of Mithras. Again, stop me if you've heard about him: a god-man who sacrificed himself to redeem mankind and rose from the dead to save his people. He and his 12 disciples shared a final meal together before Mithras' sacrificial death. Upon his death he was laid to rest in a stone tomb. Followers of Mithras had to undergo a baptism (in bulls blood) to be reborn anew in the cult of Mithras. Followers could conquer death by eating Mithras' flesh and drinking his blood (by proxy from a slain bull). By invoking the name of Mithras, his followers performed miracles and healed the sick.
I'm stopping you right there, mate. You see, I do know about Mithras, and you don't. Some questions for you:
1. Which ancient text refers to a death of Mithras? Or a resurrection? Or "redeeming mankind"? Or "sacrificing himself"? Or "12 disciples"? (that's a funny one, the last one -- it comes from a relief which shows Mithras surrounded by twelve symbols. The creep who made up all this stuff was too thick to recognise the ZODIAC!!!)
2. Which ancient text refers to a "baptism in bulls blood"? Or being "reborn anew"?
3. Which ancient text refers to followers "conquering death" or "eating the flesh of Mithras and drinking his blood"?
4. Which ancient text refers to followers performing miracles?
Got it yet? The story you just repeated -- with utter certainty and sneering, even -- is total bollocks. You've been suckered -- a creep made up a crude lie to con people who were desperate to believe any old rubbish so long as it slagged off the Christians, and too ill-educated in ancient history to know better. And you fell for it.
Come on -- why didn't you CHECK?! Google is your friend, mate.
There are more mythologies which predate the earliest Gospel by decades to centuries, yet are practically word-for-word of the "stories of Jesus".
No, there aren't, actually. I wonder if you know where you got all this twaddle, even? (Because you don't offer a reference - you just assert it as if you knew it yourself)
This whole narrative actually derives from a certain Kersey Graves, "Sixteen crucified saviors". Have a look at the book on Internet Infidels. It's so bad that the site author felt obliged to put a disclaimer on it. The facts are just WRONG.
Graves himself was a thickie as well as a liar (because what else do you call someone who writes a load of pejorative stuff without bothering to find out whether it is true?) What he had heard was the idea of the "Golden Bough" -- that a lot of Middle Eastern myths contain the idea of the corn-king, the dying and living god who is the myth of the seed, sown, dying and coming back to life. That's the "similarity" to Jesus. But the differences are much greater. No-one ever knew of a historical corn-king -- it's just a story passed around. Jesus lived at a specific time, and had a normal human life. But he made up the rest, based on the corn-king idea and copying any old crap he ran across that seemed convenient. Of course he relied on the fact that his audience didn't have the web and couldn't simply look it up.
The whole "parallels" argument is designed for the dim. It's the way that Atlantis cultists "prove" that Atlantis existed. "Look" they say, "there are pyramids in Egypt and in Mexico! That PROVES connection and derivation!" What it actually proves is that people piling blocks up will come up with pyramids. Anyone can think of parallels between anything. All you have to do is draw your criteria loosely. What they never do is have criteria whereby a story would FAIL the test. The only arguments from "parallels" that work are those which are defined incredibly narrowly, and are almost never encountered outside of specialist works. Anything you or I are likely to have heard of is almost certainly bunk.
Again, anyone is free to believe in a spiritual Jesus who did all the things in the Gospels but in some spiritual, non-physical realm...
Only if they have evidence for it, in my view. Why believe in anything without evidence? (Of course I realise that every element of your life is based on nothing but convenience, but that's your look-out!)
Just living by convenience, doing what those who control the media agenda of the time and place you happened to be born in, and believing what they tell you is normal -- that seems to the be alternative to Christianity. Good luck with it. The people who run that agenda change their stories every 50 years, you might want to reflect. And why would any sensible person trust them anyway?
Be sceptical. If it's convenient it probably isn't true. The establishment hate Christianity because they want to treat women as whores. That's not a rational objection -- and they don't do it for YOUR benefit, nor mine.
All the best,