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Is hearsay the only evidence of the existense of Jesus?
Posted: 28 October 2013 12:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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advocatus - 28 October 2013 09:18 AM

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?


It was politics.

“. . . the most likely crime for which Jesus was crucified is reflected in the Gospels’ account of the charge attached to Jesus’ cross: “King of the Jews.” That is, either Jesus himself claimed to be the Jewish royal messiah, or his followers put out this claim. That would do to get yourself crucified by the Romans.

“The royal-messiah claim would also help explain why Jesus was executed but his followers were not. This wasn’t a cell of plotters. Jesus himself was the issue. Furthermore, Pilate took some serious flak for being a bit too violent in his response to Jews and Samaritans who simply demonstrated vigorously against his policies. Pilate probably decided that publicly executing Jesus would snuff out the messianic enthusiasm of his followers without racking up more Jewish bodies than necessary.

“Jesus’ crucifixion represented a collision between Jesus and Roman governmental authority, an obvious liability to early Christian efforts to promote their faith. Yet, remarkably, they somehow succeeded. Centuries of subsequent Christian tradition have made the image of the crucified Jesus so familiar that the offensiveness of the event that it portrays has been almost completely lost.”

http://www.slate.com/articles/life/faithbased/2009/04/why_was_jesus_crucified.html

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Posted: 30 October 2013 10:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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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 think you’re right.  It’s not realistic to expect empirical evidence of a miraculous event that happened 2,000 years ago.  They barely even had the concepts of rational explanations or evidence in those days.  It would be about like trying to prove that Ezekiel’s chariot was really a flying saucer!  It’s moot.  The big question is if Jesus rose from the dead, where is he today?  If a Christian could give me a good, solid reason to believe he’s still around today, that would be something!  But to all intents and purposes, he only seems to exist for people who already believe in him.

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Posted: 30 October 2013 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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advocatus - 30 October 2013 10:41 AM
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 think you’re right.  It’s not realistic to expect empirical evidence of a miraculous event that happened 2,000 years ago.  They barely even had the concepts of rational explanations or evidence in those days.  It would be about like trying to prove that Ezekiel’s chariot was really a flying saucer!  It’s moot.  The big question is if Jesus rose from the dead, where is he today?  If a Christian could give me a good, solid reason to believe he’s still around today, that would be something!  But to all intents and purposes, he only seems to exist for people who already believe in him.

Agreed, but is it any more realistic to expect empirical evidence of a “miraculous event” that happened yesterday?

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Posted: 30 October 2013 01:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Lois - 30 October 2013 11:59 AM

Agreed, but is it any more realistic to expect empirical evidence of a “miraculous event” that happened yesterday?

I got into a long conversation with a guy who explained in several different ways that expecting evidence for a miracle is a misunderstanding of miracles. He said if God wanted all of us to see his miracles, he would have done that by now. We talked about experiments to prove prayer doesn’t work, but he refuted them because somewhere off on a mountain somewhere in a remote village, a prayer could have cured someone. He could regurgitate an understanding of the scientific method, but then he would claim that is an unfair system, designed to disallow the supernatural simply by definition.

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