Will the real Jesus step up to the plate.

I am seriously interested in reading your views on whether you think the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth existed, and why you think so or think not, and the evidence you have accumulated that helped you arrive at this conclusion.

I am asking because I feel sure that, even among non-believers  there is probably a wide range of different views based on interpretation and your own understanding of scripture and supposed expert scholarly opinion.

If you’re up for it, it could prove an interesting discussion.

As an example. A point Greg makes over on Neil Godfrey’s blog: ”In Galatians, he (Paul) identifies James, John, and Cephas as “pillars” and expresses some disdain for them. I would think that they would be included as the “super-apostles” in 2 Corinthians 11:4-6 and 12:11 where he says his knowledge is not inferior to theirs. That would be a tough claim to make if he thought they had known Jesus as a first century person.”

Indeed! It has always seemed odd ( to me at least) that Paul would set himself above those who actually knew Jesus.

Unless of course … they didn’t!

So, historical figure, yes or no and why?

Colorstorm  etc be warned  …. I don’t think I need spell it out, do I?  Excellent!

 

Carry on …

 

Ark.

 

Edit

I note blogpal paulg has liked the post. Come on Paul, don’t be shy. I am interested in your view and why also.

Advertisements

50 thoughts on “Will the real Jesus step up to the plate.

  1. I’m on fence on the was Jesus real question. Partly because I’ve not seriously looked into it enough for me to feel able to pick a position.

    Do I accept all the stories in the bible attributed to Jesus? No. I don’t accept any of the miracle stories.

    What about the other, non miracle, stories? Well, if the miracle stories are not true and fabricated or embellished, surely some of the other ones are too right? So I question the gospel narrative, from the birth to the death. I think there is precious little to support the Jesus life story.

    What does that leave? I think it leaves other options, it was all made up after the fact, it’s an amalgamation of various myths and over time it’s become believed as truth, there was a Jesus person but he was only a man and over time he’s become a bit of a legend with associated myths, there were several Jesus type people and they’ve been merged into one awesome dude. I’m sure there are other options that could be thought up.

    I am genuinely unsure what to pick because, as said at the top, I don’t have enough information to feel able to confidently nail my colours to a specific idea. I am inclined towards an evolved myth that grew out of the Jewish traditions and that among the many prophet type characters that may have existed various stories stuck and a faux historical character was born. This is tentative of course and I am very open to changing that inclination after being exposed to evidence.

    Like

          1. I lean towards the stories we know and love being the result of evolved narratives and the truth is impossible to extract from the fiction.

            Not unlike Robin Hood and King Arthur.

            Liked by 2 people

  2. Whoa. No three word comments for this post, eh? I’m a tepid mythicist. Not from lack of conviction, per se but because the body of work and controversy is considerable around this subject. I’m going to bookmark this and circle around later with the “big answer”. I’ll be looking forward to any other answers to this question.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a topic that has been forced into the closet since forever, it seems, and one that still enrages most biblical scholars.
      But the closet door is beginning to squeak its way open … come back when you’ve chewed it over. I’ll be interested to read what you’ve got.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It’s by no means a settled issue among secular scholars either. If you watched the most recent debate between Price and Ehrman, the rancor between them was palpable as has been the argy bargy between the historic jesus and mythicist crowd.

        Like

        1. If it’s the same one I am thinking of than yes, I saw it. I thought Price was a little toothless to be honest.He had every opportunity to maul dear Bart and didn’t.
          Ehrman I have less and less respect for these days.
          I’ve said before, I believe he secretly thinks Jesus is a fictional character and is waiting for the right moment to come out publicly; with a book as well.

          Like

      1. The list is long.
        I have no belief in god. How would I believe in a son of a god?
        The genealogy doesn’t add up.
        The facts of the case are not sufficient as to convince a jury of the possibility of such a person existing.
        All we know about him is anonymous.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Was there a guy named Jesus that was a good guy and just wanted peace in the world? Probably. Jesus was a popular name back then. Was he the son of a God? Not likely.

    I have seen a few Youtube vids on the mythicist movement… Not sure I am convinced wither way but I am willing to accept that there was a guy that was a Jew at some point, but that picked up this whole new wave of religions to inspire people that doing good things is a good thing because bad things are bad and you shouldn’t do them.

    In the end… Does it matter? He can’t be the Son of God because as far as I am aware there is no God for him to be the son of. So all in all we are talking about a guy who, at best, managed to make a bunch of people think he was someone he wasn’t.

    Do we care? Not personally. Should we care? Not unless we want to talk about if Heracles was real, after all he was the son of a God, too.

    Like

            1. Basically – and I stand under correction –
              Islam states the Jews lost the original text and made up a new one. The proper story was revealed by God (Allah) via Gabriel to (an illiterate) Mohammed, considered to be the final prophet, over an extended period of time.
              His revelations were espoused in no specific order and recorded on whatever was at hand and later put together in the form of Suras which made up the Qur’an….. more or less.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Oh dear… so another guy saw this religion thing working and dreamed up a 3rd chapter to sell his own flavour of crap.
                This seems a lot like the Mormon holy book.

                Like

                1. Pretty much how the story went , yeah.
                  There is even a school of thought that believes Mohammed was a fictional character as well. They are considered more fringe than those that believe the Jesus character is a work of fiction, but they exist.

                  Liked by 1 person

                2. But I thought they had proof that he was a real guy…
                  Although I should probably stop right here because you have to question all “proof” In the bible

                  Like

                3. Smile … exactly!
                  Back it up three steps and rather say, what evidence do they have for the guy.
                  Immediately you are not obliged not to simply accept what you have presumed.
                  Most of us grew up believing all these characters were real, from Moses to Mohammed, even if we dismissed the miraculous stuff.
                  But just how sound is the supposed historical stuff?

                  And why have we traditionally not asked such questions?

                  Like

        1. Some scholars consider the passage in annals an interpolation, especially as Tacitus was not cited by any of the church fathers, who surely would have used the passage from such a respected historian as defense of their position and the character.
          Much like the TF is not cited by anyone before the 4th century or before Eusebius in fact.

          Like

          1. Ah, that is an important note. And you’re right, the first apologists would have been all over it, writing about it, and sending letters between each other about it. They didn’t, so it didn’t exist.

            Liked by 1 person

      1. If by contemporary, you mean lived in the same years historical jesus did, then no, Tacitus wasn’t a contemporary. He did the bulk of his writing early 2nd century. I’ve talked to many apologists who ballyhoo about Tacitus as a credible extra biblical source who like to argue that within 50-60 years *is* contemporary. Fortunately we don’t use that standard for “eyewitness testimony” in court. I don’t accept it either.
        Here’s the Tacitus quote they love to reference:

        “But not all the relief that could come from man, not all the Bounties that the prince could bestow, nor all the atonements Which could be presented to the gods, availed to relieve Nero From the infamy of being believed to have ordered the Conflagration, the fire of Rome. Hence to suppress the rumor, he Falsely charged with the guilt, and punished Christians, who were Hated for their enormities. **Christus**, the founder of the name, was Put to death by Pontius Pilate, procurator of Judea in the reign Of Tiberius: but the pernicious superstition, repressed for a time Broke out again, not only through Judea, where the mischief Originated, but through the city of Rome also, where all things Hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their Center 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.” [Annals 15.44]

        As far as I know, that’s the only mention god junior gets. He’s not mention as “jesus” rather the honorific Christus, founder of christianity. I would argue the mention was more in the context of Nero trying to distract from the heinous burning of Rome by dredging up controversy about the Jews. That makes sense from a textual analysis of Tacitus’s writing much more than “lemme tell about this guy jesus” sort of thing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. ark said this:

    —I am seriously interested in reading your views on whether you think the biblical character, Jesus of Nazareth existed, and why you think so or think not, and the evidence you have accumulated that helped you arrive at this conclusion.—

    Well then, if you are serious,

    1. read the book of Hebrews for:
    a. evidence
    b testimony
    c. corroborating testimony
    d.witnesses
    e.scriptural consistency

    And oh by the way, an epistle written by pure inspiration with information impossible to fabricate, so yeah, if you are serious…………

    Then there is always the book of Colossians……..it’s all there, free for the taking. Mock it all you want, but the truth fears nothing and stands as the eternal anvil which has sent every atheistic hammer to the scrapyard of irrelevance.

    I repeat: if you (or any body else) are serious, your concerns will be squarely met.

    Like

      1. Sure I can use it, for its internal evidence prevents the unsavory hands of miscreants from constructing or narrating history apart from reality.

        Truth is a bitch. 😉

        Like

        1. There is no verifiable evidence.
          All you are doing is trying to regurgitate polemic.

          Indeed, truth is a bitch.
          Please be aware of the cautionary note in the body of the post.

          Like

          1. Anything can be summarised—for example:

            The Bible:

            God created man in His own Image—and Man returned the favour.

            Boom boom!

            Like

  5. When you look at the story in totality, it is really poor fiction, which would make one think, maybe it was real … no, much too stupid. That God would sacrifice himself to save us from himself is just too bizarre.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When I was still a Christian two factors used to gnaw at me:
    – there was never any physical description provided of Jesus;
    – In John’s Gospel Jesus tells the Apostle John to look after his mother Mary. This puzzled me as Jesus was meant to have about six brothers, and James the oldest brother would have been in his mid 20’s.

    Now I realise these are trivial matters but they seemed to me odd at the time.

    Nowadays I am torn between the Ehrman (historic) and the Carrier (mythicist) position. Both positions have elements to commend them but both can’t be correct. I probably lean towards Ehrman’s position, but with no real conviction.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s