Oh for gods’ sake!

“In the entire first century Jesus is not mentioned by a single Greek or Roman historian, religion scholar, politician, philosopher or poet. His name never occurs in a single inscription, and it is never found in a single piece of private correspondence. Zero! Zip references!”

Bart Ehrman,  American New Testament scholar

 

Surely, one can be forgiven for saying: ”Jesus who?”

 

 


31 thoughts on “Oh for gods’ sake!

    1. He could have been an obscure minor wandering rabbi, whose importance was blown all out of proportion by his later fan club. That would square with his having existed, but also with no writer having mentioned him.

      I’ve read Ehrman’s writings on why he thinks Jesus was an actual person, and while I’m not convinced, I can see why Ehrman might be. It’s mostly stuff in the gospels that doesn’t match up with the beliefs of the later christians, that they would have been unlikely to include in their writings on their own.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Knowing what Bart knows, I don’t think one can say what he said without believing in Jesus. I’m familiar with the intellectual exercise to look every stone. His research shows he most likely didn’t exist, yet he believes he did. Sound familiar?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hitchens has a good take on JC. It has to do with the inconsistencies in the story about the birth line of the Messiah, and about where he was born. If the story were really made up why wasn’t he just born in Bethlehem and in the line of David? So, Hitchens speculates there might have been a person behind the myth. This bit might be in his book, god is not Great and it’s in one of the you-tube videos. GROG

          Liked by 3 people

    2. @Jim

      As far as I am aware because Ehrman accepts the Josephus references as containing authentic elements.

      https://ehrmanblog.org/do-any-ancient-jewish-sources-mention-jesus-weekly-mailbag/

      1) So we have references to him by Josephus (the only historian we would actually expect to mention him).

      2) We have the authentic letters from Paul that mention meeting his brother James.

      3) we have incongruous elements in the Gospels (like why spend all that time saying he’s from Nazareth and then shoehorning Bethlehem so he can fulfill biblical prophecies in the OT if he is entirely fictional).

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @ Consoledreader
        Why do you consider the truncated passage in antiquities to be authentic?

        Also … we have the writings of Philo who was/would have been a contemporary of the character Jesus of Nazareth, and yet, he made absolutely no menton of him.
        Why do you think that was?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. “What’s the buzz, tell me what’s a happening …” Considering the role of oral communication, aka gossip, at the time, this is highly suspicious. Consider this. The Bible mentions some wealthy Christians being converted soon after Jesus’ resurrection. Would not one of these hire a scribe to seek out every member of that community who had an interaction with Jesus and write down what he said to them? Whole bunches of people supposedly “walked with him and talked with him” including all of the surviving disciples. Shouldn’t there have been exit interviews, tell alls? Something? What we got was and highly fictional gospels decades after the fact.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Not just the early christians. If Jesus had known that he was delivering the most important message ever, and that it would be transmitted to future generations in writing, why didn’t he write it down himself? Why didn’t he have a scribe among his followers? Why do none of his teachings start with “This is important, write this down….”? He supposedly had 40 days between resurrection and ascension, what was he doing all that time? He would have had plenty of time to write or dictate a book.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Contrary to what so many believe, Yeshua did NOT come to “save the world.” If one wants to grant him any kind of purpose, it was to bring the Jews back to Yahweh. It was PAUL who turned him into a “savior” and even then, this “title” was provided for the Gentiles. And so it is today.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Well, there is a page from the diary of the lesser known apostle, Henry the Shoe Cobbler, that was found 40 or so years ago in a Mexican restaurant near Tel Aviv, Israel, that has the following bits of pertinent information written on it. On the top right corner the year, 29 AD is written. This is proof the document is authentic and from the early first century. The text of the diary page states, “I had the chicken burrito, and my, now pay close attention here, rabbi, Jesus, had the veggie tacos. The restaurant ran out of tacos after we ate, but Jesus went back into the kitchen, waved his hands around, and suddenly there were enough tacos to feed hundreds of people, AND, all the Coke and Pepsi in the pop machines was magically turned into wine. After this, Jesus and I went home and watched Netflix before going to sleep for the night.” Now, if this bit of info doesn’t PROVE that Jesus lived AND had super powers, buddy, I don’t know what else would!

    Liked by 6 people

  3. Oh, one more thing. Let’s say some definitive proof exists that there was a character named Jesus who was an itinerant rabbi about in the right time period. So? Does that prove he did miracles? Does it prove he did the miracles claimed for him? Does it prove he was divine? Hint: no it does not. All it does is kick the can down the road. Think about all of the books written about the “historical Jesus” all of which came to different conclusions. We would still be in the same place, just without a debate as to whether there was such a person or whether it was entirely “spiritual,” aka fictional.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s often my response to an apologist who is trying to argue for a historical Jesus. Whether or not there was a historical “Jesus” doesn’t have any relation to all the stuff various christian sects believe about him now. Just as our body of Robin Hood legends doesn’t hinge on whether there was ever a historical “Sir Robin of Loxley”.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Except that Robin Hood is not indoctrinated into kids, or claimed to underpin politics, the law or in Yahweh/Allah guise whether certain idividuals should fly commercial airliners into tall buildings in ”His” name.

        .

        Liked by 2 people

      2. and you can be a for real person that became tagged (or tarred, if you prefer) as a “Savior” at just the right time to haul out a new religion to replace the weary Roman religion with its multitude of gods and goddesses. Every good story needs a hero, right? You’ve got the saints, all you need is a hero that isnt around to protest.

        who to pick who to pick…ah. Met him once or twice, nice fella, got himself trapped in a cave and died there, he’d be perfect. what was his name…oh, yeah, Jesus of Nazareth. Nice and obscure. We can get up some folks to be his friends, you know, I think this will fly. Make that death really kinda gruesome, folks love a bit of blood and lashings, ya know…

        Liked by 2 people

  4. That’s what I say..who cares or not if he was a real person. He was a human with no magical powers, just a bloke trying to make a living who died early…and 2000 years later we are still killing each other over this BS

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Why would anybody waste their time ark dealing with a man whose life indicts them?

    Seems a non issue/ but plenty of others HAVE written. And there is always the scriptures themselves. No need for biased or inflammatory opinions, such as what you have today as the offspring of ignorance.

    Like

    1. “…a man whose life indicts them?”

      I don’t think that even means anything, at least not outside of your christian bubble. That is some serious “christianese” right there. Save that stuff for your church.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. “And there is always the scriptures themselves.”

    For those who can’t distinguish between reality and fantasy (Who knew schizophrenia was just the basic human condition, formalized through theological exegesis?).

    Thanks, @ShitForBrains. You do serve some perverse purpose, after all.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t need external evidence that Zeus exists. We have the Greek myths themselves.

      We don’t need external evidence that Spider-Man exists. We have the Spider-Man comic books themselves.

      Liked by 5 people

  7. There’s too much stuff in the stories that doesn’t add up — the reign of Herod and the governorship of Quirinius didn’t overlap, Roman censuses didn’t require people to go to their ancestral towns (do you even know where your ancestors a thousand years ago lived?), Nazareth probably didn’t exist until the 2nd century, etc. Given how little the authors seemed to know about the time and place they were writing about, it seems unlikely that any of it would be based on a real person who wasn’t even considered noteworthy in his own time.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. What has become familiar imagery of long dark hair, bearded Jesus certainly didn’t take root in ancient history. Truth is, the earliest known Christian art portrays Jesus as a man/woman/child? cherub of indeterminant gender. Imagery borrowed from the Greeks and Romans.

    Liked by 2 people

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