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Is hearsay the only evidence of the existense of Jesus?
Posted: 23 October 2013 04:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Does anyone know of a book or other publication listing the names of Biblical scholors who believe the evidence for Jusus is based on hearsay?

Thank you

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Posted: 23 October 2013 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I found a Skeptics Stack Exchange the other day. It has everything I know about the historical Jesus, well, maybe some detail left out.

It’s Skeptics.stackexchange.com, then search for historical Jesus. The answer with 121 points was written by a PhD

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Posted: 24 October 2013 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Why would you need a book to tell you that? If he existed at all, Jesus left no writings behind. Nothing is written about him for decades after he supposedly died. By those facts alone, the “evidence” of his life is either hearsay or so attenuated in time from the alleged occurrences as to be highly suspect.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 05:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Here are some historical references (evidence if you will) for Jesus having been a real person.

Josephus AD 37-97   Jewish

Tacitus AD 55-120   Suetonius, Thallus, Pliny the Younger Roman historians

Also see “Evidence that demands a Verdict”  Josh McDowell

No evidence?  umm   27 NT books from the majority greek texts

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Posted: 24 October 2013 06:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I don’t see that it makes any difference.  The effects that the concept of such a person, real or fabricated, have had on the world have been extreme.  Probably most Jews and Moslems don’t care, and most Christians wouldn’t accept any negative evidence. 

The important things are the ideas presented that have been driving much of more modern thinking.  For example, if some conspiracy theorist worked to prove that everything attributed to, say, Plato was really written by others in the name of a make-believe person, it wouldn’t diminish the meaning of those writings.

Occam

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Posted: 24 October 2013 06:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Josephus and Tacitus are both mentioned in the stackexchange, and a million other places on the web. One is widely reported to be a forgery added centuries later, and the other is a reference to Christians, not Christ. There were no Christians until after Paul and Paul does not show up until Acts. The existence of Christians doesn’t prove Christ.

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Posted: 24 October 2013 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Anyone who cites Josh McDowell as an authority on anything has made a joke of himself.

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Posted: 25 October 2013 09:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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My sister gave me a copy of “Evidence” and being open-minded, I read it.  The thing that struck me is that Josh McDowell claims to be a “skeptic” but he doesn’t really act like one.  You wonder how many historians he had to talk to before he found the people he quoted in the book!

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Posted: 25 October 2013 10:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Occam. - 24 October 2013 06:11 PM

I don’t see that it makes any difference.  The effects that the concept of such a person, real or fabricated, have had on the world have been extreme.  Probably most Jews and Moslems don’t care, and most Christians wouldn’t accept any negative evidence. 

The important things are the ideas presented that have been driving much of more modern thinking.  For example, if some conspiracy theorist worked to prove that everything attributed to, say, Plato was really written by others in the name of a make-believe person, it wouldn’t diminish the meaning of those writings.

Occam

I think it was Einstein who asked what they would do with the house he lived for his position in Princeton U. He said he hoped they would use it for whomever followed him. This is the opposite of religion, which takes every word, every scrap of wood that might be related to their chosen one and holds it up as sacred, does not allow it’s value to be questioned or what it represents to be changed.

This is part of the proof of Jesus’ non-existence. At the time, his impact was minimal, other than people who wrote the books about him, no one seemed to notice. Paul had to do a considerable amount of marketing, and he still died in jail. It was 300 years later that the ideas and words were edited, reworked and remarketed when Christianity finally started taking off. And by remarketed, I include a lot of book burning and destruction of the competition. These would not be considered fair tactics today and governments would not get away with it, but at the time, it was quite effective and it stuck because there was no competition for a long time after that.

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Posted: 26 October 2013 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Occam. - 24 October 2013 06:11 PM

I don’t see that it makes any difference.  The effects that the concept of such a person, real or fabricated, have had on the world have been extreme.  Probably most Jews and Moslems don’t care, and most Christians wouldn’t accept any negative evidence. 

The important things are the ideas presented that have been driving much of more modern thinking.  For example, if some conspiracy theorist worked to prove that everything attributed to, say, Plato was really written by others in the name of a make-believe person, it wouldn’t diminish the meaning of those writings.

Occam

Excellent point Occam.

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All the Gods and all religions are created by humans, to meet human needs and accomplish human ends.

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Posted: 26 October 2013 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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deros - 23 October 2013 04:04 AM

Does anyone know of a book or other publication listing the names of Biblical scholors who believe the evidence for Jusus is based on hearsay?

Thank you

Here is a place to start: http://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywords=the+jesus+seminars&tag=googhydr-20&index=stripbooks&hvadid=35264351641&hvpos=1t1&hvexid;=&hvnetw=s&hvrand=18861491351221495944&hvpone;=&hvptwo;=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_6qx6nvwzbq_b

IMO, it is important to put Jesus, whether he was an actual individual or a mythological convenience,  in the manner of Ned Ludd, into historical context, in order to understand how the Christian myths evolved over time.

Keep in mind that according to the Bible Jesus was executed for his attack on the moneylenders in the Temple as was Bin Laden.  Give you perspective on the actions of the Roman’s as well as the followers of Jesus.

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Gary the Human

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Posted: 26 October 2013 10:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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It doesn’t really matter if the person described in the New Testament as Jesus ever existed.  What do we have? Claims that a person named Jesus, about whom many unsupported claims have been made, then and now, existed in reality. Even if we give the biblical writers the benefit of the doubt that such a person existed, where is the documented evidence that any of the supernatural claims about him were true? The question should not be, “Did the person described as Jesus exist?” The answer to that is of absolutely no consequence. The question that should be asked is,  “Where is the documented evidence that the Jesus of the bible was divine or anything other than an ordinary human being with no supernatural characteristics?”

Lois

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Posted: 27 October 2013 08:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Lois - 26 October 2013 10:22 PM

It doesn’t really matter if the person described in the New Testament as Jesus ever existed.  What do we have? Claims that a person named Jesus, about whom many unsupported claims have been made, then and now, existed in reality. Even if we give the biblical writers the benefit of the doubt that such a person existed, where is the documented evidence that any of the supernatural claims about him were true? The question should not be, “Did the person described as Jesus exist?” The answer to that is of absolutely no consequence. The question that should be asked is,  “Where is the documented evidence that the Jesus of the bible was divine or anything other than an ordinary human being with no supernatural characteristics?”

Lois

I was going to argue with you. To your first sentence, I think it does matter. But then you end with the correct reason why. The difference between the stories being stories, or the stories being a composite of characters, or one itinerant preacher are minimal. But, was the resurrection real? That matters.

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Posted: 27 October 2013 11:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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To Garythehuman:  Where did you get this idea?  It surely didn’t go over well with the temple honchos.

  Keep in mind that according to the Bible Jesus was executed for his attack on the moneylenders in the Temple as was Bin Laden.  Give you perspective on the actions of the Roman’s as well as the followers of Jesus. 

The above statement is pure opinion mixed with untruth. 

Here’s the truth:

Luke 23:1-5 Three-fold count and all the trials were done illegally .i.e at night, no full tribunal, etc.

1)  He perverted the nation Israel.  False charge.      Mth 5:17
2)  He forbade giving tribute to Caesar.  False charge.  Mth 22:21
3)  He claimed to be the promised Messiah.  True       Jn   4:26

The last is the only charge he was convicted of (blasphemy) which only would have been an offense if the claim were to be false!

[ Edited: 27 October 2013 11:23 PM by rodin46 ]
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Posted: 28 October 2013 09:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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If I remember the Bible correctly, as far as the Romans were concerned, there weren’t really any charges to bring against Jesus.  He was only arrested and tried at the instigation of the Pharisees.  The moneychangers incident probably had something to do with it, don’t you think?

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Posted: 28 October 2013 10:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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If you go over to freethoughtblogs, Richard Carrier and Dan Fincke are weighing in on the reasons for even asking this question

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