Show me the evidence.

Once again, I got embroiled in a discussion about evidence for the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth and once again I was told:

Though, if one holds your current line of reasoning, one would have to say that no historical figure can be substantiated, at least those who’ve existed before DNA technology, or photographic capabilities.

Thus, to say “evidence” does not exist, would, in fact, be erroneous, as there are numerous myriads of contemporary written claims to such.

Really? I am not aware of a single claim or account, yet it seems there are ”myriads” .

These would be apologist types simply have no grasp of what evidence is. They take an unsubstantiated  claim in a ‘book’, assume that it must be true and consider this is evidence. One might as well liken such an arrogant  assumption to claiming historicity for Harry Potter.

 

Ark.

43 thoughts on “Show me the evidence.

  1. Actually there are lists of “absence of evidence” for the existence of the Jesus character. These are historians and commenters who wrote during the time, who commented on such issues, and included far smaller things than raising people from the dead, cursing fig tress, and whatnot, yet no mention of Jesus at the time. People who lived in that area or had vested interests in that area (e.g. Pliny) that commented on everything under the sun … except Jesus. These lists are quite long. Any apologist who uses the “argument from silence” should have to defend this one.

    All that aside, I think this is another common trope of apologists. To characterize the evidence requested as being “photographs,” “DNA evidence,” etc. which clearly cannot exist, nor has anyone every asked for such things. This casts ridicule upon the evidence requesters without having to break a sweat.

    But how about a table with Jesus’s name carved in it as “Made by” from all of those years as a carpenter or a document written by Jesus, clearly he was literate, no? What about all the books with titles like “Jesus, My Friend” written by all of the people who played with him as a child or grew up with him. Not a single “tell all” book written by any acquaintance he had, even his “so-called” disciples. Not one of them wrote “My Travels with Jesus” or the like?

    What one does find if one looks are myriad forgeries. There are enough pieces of the One true Cross in people’s archives to create a two-story log cabin. Phony miraculous weeping statues, etc. The history of apologetics is rife with frauds and cons, many of which endorsed by this or that church or “holy order.”

    Liked by 9 people

    1. (“Thus, to say “evidence” does not exist, would, in fact, be erroneous, as there are numerous myriads of contemporary written claims to such”.)

      On that basis, then, anyone can say anything about anyone without a shred of proof, without a drop of blood or a dollar bill, and because they wrote it down, that makes it so. ??
      Evidence means visual proof. Not just someone believing that it happened, and wrote a book about it, not just someone who has decided that because he believes its true, it must be, there you see, it’s written down. Right there. That’s your evidence.
      “Claims” is an unfortunate choice of words, it’s right up there with “allege”.

      right from Mr. Dictionary: state or assert that something is the case, typically without providing evidence or proof.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are also myriad claims of alien abductions and post-death Elvis sightings. Your interlocutor fails to understand that claims in themselves do not constitute empirical evidence.

    Furthermore, the most compelling evidence in support of Christianity would be the physical appearance of their physically resurrected man.. If he exists, why has he gone into hiding?

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I will just keep it simple. Absence of evidence is evidence of absence. That is why people are required to “believe” and have faith, which really is the crux of the human problem. The byproducts of these thought convictions sets humanity at odds with each other—a barrier to human potential. It actually gives one the right to condemn another man for his genetics—or another belief through belief.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Good points Jim. Over on Ben’s blog and latest post I went round-n-round with a lady who had hardcore-to-die-for “Faith,” BUT… she could not give ANY testimony as to why she had that faith!

      Would that THEN mean that she has Faith based on her “Faith”? 🤔😵🥴 Ugh, my brain hurts.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Well, we can convince ourselves of nearly anything. It’s easier to be fooled, than to be convinced you’ve been fooled. Grouchy Farmer (I believe it was) did a tarot table experiment in college. They selected study subjects and retrieved background information. The readings were extremely precise and the subjects were astonished. After the readings, they were told the truth, and no one would believe they’d been set up. The truth is they wanted to believe more than be right.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. The truth is they wanted to believe more than be right. — Sums up Christians (and other religious believers) quite accurately. Believing makes one feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Being right, while satisfying, tends to be rather dry and unemotional. It’s too much the way things are. Fantasy is soooo much more fun.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Fiction outsells non fiction 3-1. Seems about right. On another note, challenging beliefs is essentially challenging the validity of their hope, and that’s where things get tricky. The release of hormones has them cling to that hope with an argument, now you’re arguing reason against physiology. It doesn’t go far.

            Liked by 1 person

      2. I love it. I believe, because I believe. Then again, anyone who can worship a God that apparently invented himself out of pixie dust shouldn’t have too much trouble with believing anything.

        Liked by 2 people

  4. You have a point Ark. Always have. 😉

    Your quote of what this Apologist stated is littered with fallacies and ambiguity — I would spend 45-mins and 3,000 words pointing them all out — that if water were poured over the non-sense it would hold water like a colander! 🙄 (face-palm) But I’ll address this part:

    …there are numerous myriads of contemporary written claims to such.

    Contemporary? Huh!? From the Christian POV there is only 1st – 4th century CE sources and evidence required. Unless archaeology finds and dates an item to that window, anything after the 4th century is secondary and reliant on the primary sources/evidence for any value/significance… and hence could fall into a category of Secular importance. Beyond those scientific/historical parameters, there is absolutely no reason to consider THEIR modern evidence/commentary as serious. That would be the same as interviewing O.J. Simpson’s… children’s/grandchildren’s… 2nd-removed cousins and their friends as to what REALLY happened on June 11-12, 1994 with the murdering of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman. THEN believing hook, line, and sinker what those “contemporary” descendants tell their descendants 2,000 years later in 3894 CE as Gospel Gold!!!

    Geezzz, seriously!? Ark, has a large portion of the human population’s IQ taken THAT much of a nose-dive?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. From basics, you cannot prove that someone never existed any more than they can prove that someone existed who never did. (Bugger … I just bit my tail … moving on) so why all this never ending never resolvable kerfuffle about (say) how many warts on Jesus’s nose? Does it matter a damn?

    Face it—-if ever they found THE actual Tomb, Nails, vials of Blood (enough of those around to float the Ark, some cynic once drily observed) … so wot? IF they could prove that a genuine JC ever existed — does that prove the veracity o0f the claims for that man? Which are just a little … over the top, no?

    Again I repeat (stones on seedy ground, but I duz me best, Guv) that we should be highlighting the contradictions. Because we all know rthe truth of contradictions, don’t we?

    We could start with God’s omniscience and His Holy Habit of asking questions of mortals—questions, let’s face it, that are totally redundant. Pointless. Unnecessary, And a bit silly too, ‘cos even an Omniscient knows all the answers millions of years before they are asked.

    “Hey! You! That Cain fella down there—”
    “… Oops … yes, Mr God, Sir?”
    “Where’s ya Bro, Son?”
    “… are you sure you’re really Mr God, Omniscient Lord of all Eternity, and you’re asking ME? Get thee hence … I think you are really Satan in a feathery costu— ”
    “Damn! Rumbled …” (Exits stage up, fuming …)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If Jesus was crucified, and if he resurrected himself from the tomb, and hung around for–what–thirty days or so? visting people and showing them his wounds (“hey, you guys, you wanna see a neat scar?”), where did he go after that? Did he waft himself off to heaven, like Mary, or did he just poof out of existence?

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    1. Oh my! Did you miss the scripture that talks about him being lifted into the heavens? Oh yes! He’s “up there” even now … sitting at the right hand of his “father.”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. yes, yes, shame on me. And how convenient to be wafted away, saving us all the trouble of hunting for his (you should excuse the expression) remains.

        Had to look up the difference between Ascension and Assumption: Mary’s Assumption, shoes, hat, purse, and Jesus’ Ascension. Why there should be a distinction, I don’t know, but it sounds like she got pulled up before she had a chance to change out of her street clothes, and Jesus just poofed out of existence, and how convenient is THAT.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So please ark, answer your own question. What ‘evidence’ will u demand and accept as credible, that will once and for all give further that the scriptural narrative is true?

    What ‘evidence’ can u add to ‘in the beginning ‘ and it’s Author?

    What ‘evidence’ can be added by careless theologians and disinterested govt personnel to assist you in believing that the Lord Christ is seated on God’s right hand, after a brief stint to earth, per the narrative?

    What evidence will satisfy you apart from scripture? Tkx

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    1. CS:

      I can’t speak for Ark or any of the others … but if I were down at the beach or lakeside and someone came strolling across the waters (sans obvious means of support) to me, I’d be tempted to rewrite my grip on Reality.

      If that’s a but much to ask, if He were to demonstrate resurrecting an obvious deceased … that too would be a tough one for any atheist. Sadly a good illusionist might turn water into wine, but that ‘up-and-at-’em corpse’ would be the humdinger. Yes, it would convince me … can do?
      First hand, please. (We’ve all heard the good old “You should have been here yesterday—the fish were jumping into the boat!” after a long boring afternoon with nary a nibble.)

      Liked by 1 person

  8. In fact there is very little evidence of who the writers of the Biblical scriptures were, and I believe for the indoctrinated this fact and whether any of the characters including Jesus actually existed does not matter to devoted Christians as much as we may expect.
    I am quite sure the brain’s “feel good” chemicals endorphin, oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine have more to do with it than logical deduction or rational thoughts.

    Take the emotional feeling that God is present during prayer and meditation or the belief he contacts them in various ways and the happy feeling they must experience as if he is personally guiding them through life, this must have many positive emotional effects and we know this is true for many of religious faiths. This positiveness of course comes with the deeply held subconscious knowledge of death with Satan in hell as the alternative to subservience to God and these people feel this also is a reality, and as the brain has evolved for our protection and defence it is easy to understand how the “feel good” faith for theists and the fearful alternative will override the facts of reality.

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    1. Sklyjd:

      “Hey, God~?!”
      “Yo?”
      “Can you please attend our seanc— (oops …) our Prayer Session next Sunday?”
      “Sorry … no can do; I’m booked in with four hundred and fifty-three thousand church services, six million at-homes and I alone know how many solitudes. Just wing it—you don’t need me anyway; as a pastor surely you know that!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @ inspired
        @ Zande

        Soooo, Batman has a verifiable genealogy eh? So, Batman’s pedigree and paternity can be traced 30, 40, 100, 200, 500, 1000 years, etc etc?

        Will your level of embarrassment ever cease?

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        1. Embarrassed? I’d be mortified to have such a shit username as @ColorStorm, let alone hold the sort of fallacies you do and express them on forums like this one.

          Liked by 1 person

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