Jesus of Nazareth?

As many/most of my visitors are non-believers I am going to take it as a given that you don’t believe the character Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the gospels, ever existed, and that you consider this character to be a work of narrative fiction.

What I am interested in is whether you believe there ever was any individual behind the bible character, or was he created from whole cloth?

There are so many aspects of this tale to consider it is difficult to know where to start.

Furthermore, as more and more evidence accumulates it does not point to an historical character but rather points away from one.

What do you think? And why.

Ark.


181 thoughts on “Jesus of Nazareth?

  1. Any individual? Maybe, or maybe there were several individuals whose teachings were conglomerated together. There’s so much myth and legend piled on the story that I don’t think we can really sort it out using only the religious propaganda we have available.

    But does it actually matter? To me, it really isn’t an important question. Is the set of legends that we have about Robin Hood actually dependent on whether a historical “Sir Robin of Loxley” existed at some point? I have similar feelings about all the Jesus mythology

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    1. Wouldn’t you think that proving or at least showing beyond reasonable doubt that there never was anyone called Yeshua would have profound effects o Christianity at large and also Islam?

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      1. It would, if there were any way to do that. But I don’t think that’s possible. There aren’t good enough records from that era to demonstrate the absence of some minor wandering rabbi. And “Yeshua”, which is essentially “Joshua” would have been a really common name, so there could have been a lot of people who potentially fit the description well enough. Some Jewish guy thinks he’s the son of god, attracts a few followers, and stirs up trouble enough to get himself arrested? The Romans probably executed a few of those per week!

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        1. Do you think Jesus believed he was the son of God, or was this another of his “parables”; or simply something his later followers, taking their cue from John, (mis)attributed to him?

          If Jesus did believe it, then he really was a lunatic, contra C.S. Lewis’ attempts to claim divine status for him in Mere Christianity.

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          1. I don’t think there’s any way to sift out what a historic Jesus might have thought from under all the layers of mythology that have been added over the years. It’s all too big a mish-mash for that.

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          2. I take it that by the tone of your comment, Chris, you consider there was a character called Yeshua, or at least someone the bible character was based on?

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      2. Ark,

        I have concluded that there is enough inferred evidence to overwhelmingly conclude that Yeshua’s most likely theological, Sectarian, Torah-loving reforms—based upon known Jewish sects in 1st-century Judea and their distinctions from the Zugot and Tainniam records & evidence—is NOT at all represented accurately in the Greco-Roman canonical Gospels.

        Yes, a silver-bullet proof or disproof of his existence can not be found or composed, probably. The entire historical context is too vast, too complex for the average 21st century inquirer to conclude with 100% accuracy IF Yeshua was real.

        However, there is more than ample contextual evidence to conclude that the Greco-Roman “Christ” never existed. 🙂

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        1. I’m not sure, Ark. I haven’t read Ehrman, yet.

          I think it’s largely immaterial — purely from an historical view — whether Yeshua existed or not. Whatever he was, he was not divine (I don’t believe he necessarily made those claims for himself — why would he? It IS crazy).

          More likely, his followers up to recent times and now, including apologists like C. S. Lewis and @ColorStorm, are “crazy”. But then, we have to re-define what “crazy” means, and that’s a whole other thing in itself.

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          1. You say Jesus wasn’t divine, but the Old Testament proves that something supernatural, or not constricted by time, developed a proof that would point to the Messiah. Jesus said to Cleopas and his friend on the road to Emmaus: “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Do you know what Jesus meant when he said the Old Testament Law would point to the Messiah? How could a bunch of rules prove that Jesus was the Messiah? If you would like to understand this amazing plan of God, you can read how an extraterrestrial being would use the history and law of Israel to prove WITHOUT DOUBT that something “out there” has tried to communicate with humanity.

            https://thefaithfulchurch.com/2019/10/31/extraterrestrial-contact-and-evidence-for-the-faith/

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          2. @ Diana
            The instant you quote the bible to justify the bible you disqualify yourself from being allowed to sit at the table with the grown-ups.
            Take your bible, your Erik Von Daniken books, return to the kiddies corner and carry on playing with the model of Noah’s Ark and all the toy animals, and dinosaurs Santa Claus brought you last year for Christmas, Diana.

            If you promise not to make a fuss we will ask Jesus to save you a lolipop for when you get to Heaven, okay?

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          3. This is where you’re mistaken. The Bible is sacred because it’s a transmission from a supernatural realm that points us to the future messiah. It is the key that unlocks their message and reveals their message to our planet.

            If an extraterrestrial civilization wanted to contact the earth and they just appeared in our skies—how would you know if they were trustworthy? Are they good or evil? The Bible tells us ahead of time who we can trust. It lays out the great story of how they’ve been communicating with humanity. Carl Sagan wrote about this dilemma in his books. But he may not have understood how Jesus was revealed in the law and the prophets. This revelation was used by Jesus as an apologetic on the road to Emmaus. It was so powerful that it caused Cleopas and his friend to say, “Didn’t our heart burn within us?”

            The main message of the Bible is the message of the Lamb. From Genesis to Revelation, the Lamb appears. Why? Because there is a system of justice in the universe…and the Lamb is the provision for covering of guilt. You may not like that system, but it is the system-and the supernatural nature of the Word confirms it.

            The reason it was a Lamb was because it was the only way that God himself (the judge) could pay the penalty. He didn’t lay the burden on any other. Joshua (Jesus) took our penalty on the cross ( see Zechariah 12: 10 and Zechariah 3).

            Even the history of Israel points is to Jesus as the Messiah. I truly wish you would read the article and argue against the points instead of just dismissing the argument out of hand.

            Happy Thanksgiving! ❤️

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          4. It became sacred because people who really looked into it realized that it’s revelations were miraculous. I wish you would argue against my argument and not merely resort to mocking me.

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          5. You mock yourself Diana. If you were able to produce a single piece of evidence for your somewhat ”left field” claims then maybe you might garner at least some mild curiosity instead of disdain.
            Try to remember that, many of my visitors were once fully committed and fully indoctrinated Christians just as you currently are.
            While they no longer consider themselves indoctrinated some might read your comments and consider you need help or even to be further committed.

            While we all understand the dynamic that obliges you to proselytize try to appreciate that on this blog and others that are similar it is mostly a case of Been There Got The T-Shirt Scars.

            You are of course welcome to comment – if only for the entertainment value you provide to some of my deconvert pals – but you will have to do a LOT better than what you’ve done so far, and whining about the treatment you might receive will be like water off a duck’s back.

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          6. You still don’t address the miraculous way the law of Moses describes the coming Christ as a Lamb. Or how the Old Testament law was “fulfilled” by Christ. How was this possible? He was “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” He fulfilled all of the Feasts of Israel. Every Old Testament book points to Jesus. In the Song of Solomon he is the Bridegroom. In the book of Ruth, he is the “kinsmen redeemer.” In the book of Proverbs, he is “wisdom” crying out in the streets. In Isaiah, he’s the “suffering servant” and the “child that was born and a son that was given to us.”

            I’m sorry that some Christians walked away from Jesus. I would ask that they reconsider and look at the evidence for a supernatural message in the pages of the Bible.

            Your willingness to call a person mentally ill because of their faith is completely expected.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_abuse_of_psychiatry_in_the_Soviet_Union

            “ In accordance with the doctrine of state atheism, the religious beliefs of prisoners, including those of well-educated former atheists who had become adherents of a religious faith, was considered to be a form of mental illness that required treatment.”

            Why do well-educated atheists become Christians??! Perhaps it isn’t the hillbilly faith you make it out to be. Maybe there are deeper truths and reasonings you may need to consider.

            Blessings in Jesus,

            Diana

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          7. You still don’t address the miraculous way the law of Moses describes the coming Christ as a Lamb.

            As the character Moses is a work of narrative fiction what is there to address/explain?

            Why do well-educated atheists become Christians??!
            Most if not all of them come from a religious background of some sort, if only in the cultural sense.

            Those that then convert usually do so because of emotional and or traumatic reasons. Francis Collins is as good an example as any.

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          8. You just don’t get it, Diane. See, the thing is, non-believers don’t CARE about Moses or the Lamb or the Feasts of Israel or the Christ Fulfillment or Solomon or Ruth or Isaiah or Jeeeezus.

            You can FILL the comment section of Ark’s blog with your prattle, but it is not going to make one iota of difference (or change) in the lives of most of his readers because, as he indicated, we’ve been there, done that. And have moved on.

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          9. Is it so far-fetched to believe that there is something more than us in the universe? If extraterrestrial beings tried to communicate with our planet in a way that could be revealed with incontrovertible evidence, how would they do it in a way that the people of a planet would be willing to trust those beings? (This was Sagan’s concern.)

            Would they use one person to share their message? That person could be categorized as a crazy person! So they would use dozens of different messengers. Yet how could all of these messengers describe, in a unified way, a FUTURE person that they’ve never seen? Do you know how impossible that is?

            And not only did they use many messengers, they weren’t all part of the same group. They were spread out over time, each person adding a new perspective to the big picture. This wouldn’t be a big deal—except that when Jesus came he FULFILLED all of these messengers’ portion of the picture. This is another impossibility. How could the life of one man do all this?

            And to say that a mystery writer was able to pull all of the parts of this “greatest story ever told” together is another impossibility. The greatest literature in the world has no comparison to this feat. And is there any other prophetic tradition in the world that compares to this Jewish prophetic miracle? Daniel prophesied the exact day the Messiah would enter Jerusalem!

            And who is this mystery writer? Where is the evidence of his/her existence? To deny Jesus, you have to believe in something that has no name and is never mentioned elsewhere in history.

            Think about how this message was developed and presented. It was supernatural and miraculous. For me to recognize and accept this doesn’t make me delusional—it makes me rational. And it makes those who deny it unwilling to face reality (or worse-willfully ignorant).

            And what is their message? There is a system of justice in the universe and all of us will have to stand before a judge and give an account for our lives. These beings have been merciful and kind. The judge even died to pay the penalty for the sins! All we have to do is gratefully and humbly receive the payment. What does this reveal? That these beings can be trusted! They love us.

            The Bible is the solution to Sagan’s “trust” dilemma.

            Think deeply.

            Blessings in Jesus,

            Diana

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          10. Diane, I know you mean well, but your reply is filled with religious/Christian rhetoric. And bringing Sagan into the mix changes nothing.

            Like I said, there’s little you can say that will alter the thinking of those of us who have already experienced the things you set forth … and found them lacking.

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          11. Mean well? No, it is the subtle way of many an indoctrinated amateur apologist to try to convince you of your ignorance, and sin. Remember: confess and repent.
            And you are in a worse situation than me as you are a back slider!

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          12. Diana, you seem to be struggling with the part of your premise which includes the figure of Moses.
            He wasn’t a real person.
            What is the point of considering the rest of your argument if this is wrong?

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          13. There’s more evidence for the existence of Moses (including the acceptance by millions of people who appeared suddenly in the land of Canaan claiming that they were delivered from slavery in Egypt by a man named Moses) than there is for any mystery writer. Again, the Jews experienced the ministry of Moses and kept a record of it in their sacred writings, but you would rather reject their acceptance of Moses and ACCEPT a mystery writer instead. You demand evidence, but you don’t set the same standard for yourself!

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          14. There’s more evidence for the existence of Moses ….
            Excellent! I love evidence. For me it is the meat and drink of every topic where a claim is made.
            Now we have the beginnings of a proper discussion.
            Please Diana, present the evidence you have.

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          15. The main evidence is that the entire nation of Israel was established on the law of Moses. They had Feasts to commemorate the Exodus. (Just like Americans celebrate the 4th of July.) We believe what we were told about our history because people wrote it down and left a record that it occurred. The Hebrew people left a written record also…and that record included the history of how their nation formed, starting with Abraham and moving through Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and the Twelve tribes of Israel. They wrote down the memory of the death angel moving past those who had placed the blood of a lamb on their door posts. (One of the many pictures of Jesus in the Old Testament.) The sacredness of what happened to them was so important to them that they appointed an entire class of workers called scribes to write it down perfectly. If they made a mistake in copying the document the whole portion would have to be burned and buried. If a king entered the room where they were copying, they were not allowed to look up until they finished the word they were writing. To say that their experience was merely a myth is somewhat anti-Semitic. It’s saying that the ancestors of the Hebrew people lied about their experience. But they clearly treasured their history and tediously recorded every jot and tittle. The Mosaic trip through the wilderness may not have left behind much evidence. Tents, sandals, food…they had no permanent buildings or structures. What would you expect to find? But the existence of the Jews is indisputable evidence of the existence of Moses. In the same way, the existence of the church is evidence of the existence of Christ. Both beginnings are recorded in written language with no evidence that there was any rejection of their factuality in history.

            Do YOU have any proof that Moses was a myth? Or that Jesus was a myth? I prefer to trust the written records of those who said they were eyewitnesses (and suffered for sharing their truth) than to believe the ramblings of some people who lived 2000 or more years later and using their “reason” (without evidence) develop a theory about mystery writers of whom there isn’t one iota of proof of their existence.

            Evidence—seems like you’re the one who needs to come up with some proof.

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          16. You know, Diana, I would be inclined to agree with some of what you wrote in that I do think the Hebrews wrote down some of their history. But I also think much of it was overactive imagination (a death angel placing lamb’s blood on door posts??).

            And some of the other stuff you wrote, e.g., If a king entered the room where they were copying, they were not allowed to look up until they finished the word they were writing. — where did that come from?!!? Has this fact been recorded somewhere in Jewish writings? Or is it more likely attributed to the imagination of a modern biblical scholar to reinforce the authenticity of the Tanakh?

            I know you believe deeply in your faith. VERY deeply in that you have justification for every challenge. Yet none of this makes it true … except to you and others who choose to believe it.

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          17. The main evidence is that the entire nation of Israel was established on the law of Moses.

            And until the age of around 8 I believed a fat man in a red suit brought me presents on 25th December, and I had my parents word.

            As for evidence….
            Have you ever heard of Israel Finkelstein?
            Or maybe Rabbi Wolpe?
            Or how about almost the entire body of relevant archaeologists?

            As for records …. you have none.

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          18. Hi Nan, you’re right. The details of how the Word was honored was written by Samuel Davidson, a biblical scholar, but the concept was recorded by historians such as Josephus Flavius who wrote, “We have given practical proof of our reverence for our own scriptures. For, although such long ages have now passed, no one has ventured either to add, or to remove, or to alter a syllable; and it is an instinct with every Jew, from the day of his birth, to regard them as the decrees of God, to abide by them, and, if need be, cheerfully to die for them.” The Dead Sea Scrolls discovered by a shepherd boy in 1947 in a hole in a cliff on the west side of the Dead Sea confirm the truthfulness of the statement by Josephus. After 1000 years of copying, the texts were nearly a perfect match. Why would they give such honor to those words if they didn’t believe they were tenderly preserving something sacred? The Hebrew people had experienced something supernatural and they believed it was their duty to preserve it for humanity.

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          19. Santa was a true character (St. Nicholas) whose story was embellished over time. The Gospels remain the same. “ Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

            Finkelstein and his camels? So what? Have you ever heard of Nelson Gluck, William Albright, F.F. Bruce, Merrill Unger, or Sir William Ramsey (one of the greatest archaeologists of all time). Ramsey set out to prove that the book of Acts was a product of the second century. After studying Luke’s work for 30 years he was surprised to conclude:,

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          20. “Luke is a historian of the first rank; not merely are his statements of fact trustworthy…this author should be placed along with the greatest of historians.” He also noted that, “Luke’s history is unsurpassed in respect of its trustworthiness.” Why? Because even though some scholars had cast doubt on Luke’s record concerning the census of Quirinius, or that Lystra and Derbe were in Lycaonia, etc., but Ramsey discovered so much archaeological proof that Luke was telling the story of first century events that he had to change his mind. I could write down everything he discovered: an Egyptian papyrus, a monument, pavers, inscriptions, etc. It’s a fascinating story of discovery!

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          21. Don’t know where to respond directly but good ol ark-,you never fail to amuse.

            Wolpe and Finklestein are midget dwarves in comparison to ‘dare I say,’ that renowned scholar who to this day has no equal: the esteemed Bible believing Austrian Jew, Mr. Alfred Edersheim, whose singular work, ‘Old Testament noble history,’ is unparalleled in documentation and worth.

            Also, to directly aim to your gripes about a man from Nazareth……..his other work: ‘The life and times of Jesus the Messiah,’ is yet a further indictment against any and all who cry for ‘evidence.’

            As to your heroes who do not believe a word of Scripture, the venerable Dr. E. not only believes the record, but answers in defense on the level of Steven, when once in the day, Saul/ then Paul nodded in agreement with the rock throwers.

            Gee, I wondered what happened.

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          22. You have touted Edersheim for a number of years and I really do not know why. Continuing to cite someone who was a gap creationist merely reaffirms the widely held belief that you are as abysmally ignorant as he was, and whereas he may have had an excuse as he had no knowledge of the scope of geology that is available today you have no excuse.
            You might as well be citing the Wright brothers as the foremost authority on air travel.

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          23. Indeed I have cited him many times. If you would take the time to actually consider his work- you may have a more harmonious outcome.

            His Bible history exegesis is second to none. As to ‘gaps,’ so what, your ‘science’ cannot even predict correctly a days forecast having all the alleged new and improved tech.

            It really is boring to hear the excuses men make regarding their dismissal of scripture, having ALL evidence, while accepting the useless opinions aka facts, having zero evidence.

            The atheist take on Bible history is a laugh a minute, sorry to say.

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          24. ok doug.

            Here’s a thought though for you. You are standing ALONE, at the peak of K-2. Maybe -60 degrees F that day.

            No one with whom to converse. No book on math or refrigeration. No flowers. No tea. No side dishes.

            Just you and the magnificent view and your absolute smallness in the presence of something greater. So, where in the world does evolution even begin to creep up in your mind, having no reference for such a thing, no time, no yesterdays news, just you, alone.

            Dont you feel small? You should. If you do not, you think waaay too much of yourself, and not just you, but anybody who reads this.

            How dare you say that here and Everest were ‘accidental’ works of cosmic irrelevance or random mountains of purposeless design, having a structure and foundations without an engineer.

            It’s embarrassing to cling to a world view that it built on selfishness. Yeah, stand on the summit, and point your finger to almighty God, tell Him He did not create the ranges, and tell him your own brain grew from dew and poo.

            And you boast of evolution? The facts of life are against you at every turn. But i digress. Scripture agrees with me.

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          25. I am aware that when ad hominems creep into discussion one is generally regarded as having ”lost the argument”. However, the fact that you continually deny evolution gives me enough leeway to simply say: Fuck off CS, you are an idiot.

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          26. Ah yes, complete oblivion to the points I consistently make.

            Where is your PROOF of your little god evolution when standing in the majestic company of Everest?

            Are you not embarrassed to see such beauty without One who gives you ability to appreciate beauty?

            But maybe one of your other friends may see the big picture.

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          27. Santa was a true character (St. Nicholas) whose story was embellished over time.

            Okay, I’m prepared to roll with your comparison.
            We can agree then that, like Santa being based on St Nick the biblical character Jesus of Nazareth was based on an itinerant rabbi of unknown origin whose character as portrayed in the anonymous gospels was a highly embellished work of narrative fiction.

            ”Luke’s work”?
            Who is this character Luke you refer to?

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          28. On a slightly different but not wholly (holy?)unrelated topic, out of curiosity do you believe in demon possession and exorcisms?

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          29. Finkelstein has had a lot more to show than camels.
            Ramsey was a chemist. Ramsay was the chap you are looking for. He also thought all of the Pauline epistles were genuine. So much for his judgment!
            Albright considered the mention of camels an anachronism, (and much of what he tried to prove regarding the bible turned out to be a false hope as demonstrated by the evidence.)
            I am not familiar with the others, but did a quick google for Gluck. Nothing he found strengthens your case regarding Abraham or Moses.
            However, based on the ones I am familiar with I doubt those I have not researched will offer anything to substantiate your claims either.

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          30. ”Where the Hades do these people come from? ”

            Oh, and, Diana, you do know I am not American. yes?

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          31. Your ‘Thanksgiving’ wish has as much relevance to me as me wishing you well over Eid.
            Furthermore the revolting and completely unnecessary slaughter of millions of turkeys doesn’t sound very ‘thankful’ either.

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          32. @Diana

            There is no direct reply button under the comment I wanted to respond to, so I will reply here and we’ll see what WordPress does.

            “ To say that their experience was merely a myth is somewhat anti-Semitic. It’s saying that the ancestors of the Hebrew people lied about their experience.”

            No, it’s not anti-Semitic to claim that Moses and other tales in the Bible are a myth. For starters, a person can be mistaken about something without lying. Likewise, we know that stories can be fiction while still having something important to say about the world and the way things are.

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    1. Christ is God and Christ is Real. your attacks on Him show that.

      Venerable Fulton Sheen’s Essay “Two Kinds Of Atheism” shows that:


      There are two kinds of atheism: one is the passive atheism of the intellectual; the other is the militant atheism of Communism. The bourgeois or passive atheist is under the necessity to explain away his unbelief, but the Communist invokes not skepticism but persecution to prove his unbelief. Passive atheism is tolerant and willing to allow religion to coexist with it. Bourgeois society begotten of this denial of God is an incoherent aggregate of individuals saved from total collapse only by an extremely complicated armature of law—not to mention armies, police, court-houses, customhouses and monetary systems. This society has no consistency or unity since it is founded on negation. Communism has strength because it does not so much deny God as fight against Him.

      It is the reality of God which gives strength to the militancy of Communism. Communists are no Don Quixotes battling windmills, fancying them to be enemies; they are hardened, practical men who always have God before them; otherwise they would not fight against Him.

      This indirect affirmation of God which is hidden in all militant atheism was revealed in my experience in a London church one Sunday morning. The entrance to the church was from the rear. As I entered, I found a young woman standing on the altar steps, haranguing the congregation saying, “There is no God! There is no God because there is too much evil in the world; science has proven there is no God. Every night I go out to Hyde Park and talk against God. I circulate all England with pamphlets denouncing God,” etc.

      At that point I approached her and said, “My dear young lady, I am very happy to hear that you believe in the existence of God.”

      She said, “You silly fool. I don’t.”

      I said, “I understood you to say just the contrary. Suppose I circulated England with pamphlets against a belief in twenty-footed ghosts. Suppose every night I spoke at Hyde Park about twenty-footed ghosts. What do you think would happen to me?”

      She said, “You would be crazy. They would lock you up.”

      I asked, “Why are you not crazy? Do you not put God in the same category as a twenty-footed ghost? Why would I be insane and not you?”

      She said that she did not know why. I answered, “Because when I fight against a twenty-footed ghost, I am fighting against a figment of the imagination. But when you are fighting against God, you are fighting against Something to which your hatred indirectly attests. You are fighting against Something just as real as the thrust of a sword or an embrace. But a twenty-footed ghost could never inspire me to such militancy. Only hatred of an existent, all-powerful Judge of my conscience could provoke me to such hatred. Do you think we would have any such thing as anti-cigarette laws unless there were cigarettes? Do you believe that there would be any such thing as Prohibition unless there was something to prohibit?”

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          1. Ah, thanks blhphoto. I just spent about 20-30 mins over there on his WP blog “NigelTeapot’s Abattoir”. When finished I left him this comment:

            After browsing your blog here, all four Main menu items at the top, for around 15-20 minutes in order to better understand who you are and why you write with so much anger—I hope you are not suffering from chronic hypertension and high blood-pressure—I decided this WP blog is essentially an echo-chamber of all the sensationalizing shock-jocks, e.g. Joe Pynes, Rush Limbaughs, Bill O’Reillys, Sean Hannitys, and Megyn Kellys, et al ad nauseum… all of which equate to Howard Stern. That doesn’t say much, but they sure are loud, incessant crash-cymbals. 😄

            Do you possibly have another blog with a lot less anger and more rational, objective content? I’d be very interested in that if you do. Thanks.

            It is sitting in his Moderation folder awaiting great praise and a ticker-tape parade! 😉 😛

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      1. I tried going to NIGEL is a TEAPOT‘s WordPress blog to read what solar system Nigel was from and what specific Xian denomination he belongs to, but as what seems to be the trend these days with whacky, bizarre Xian bloggers… this was the response I got:

        nigelisateapot.wordpress.com is no longer available.
        The authors have deleted this site.

        Is it safe to conclude Ark that not only can “Jesus [the Greek] Christ™” NOT be shown to have ever existed (except in the imaginations of comic book readers), but NIGEL in a TINY, NON-EXISTENT TEAPOT also doesn’t exist either? 😉

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        1. Oh, he may have switched names from Nigel Is A Teapot to Nigel Is A Despot. Happens all the time with Christians which is why following my Great Uncle Todd’s religion is far more fun and less intrusive on other’s life’s and sensibilities.

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          1. Yes, I eventually found the self-victimized narcissist. 😄 Do you THINK he has some anger-management issues? His blog is basically nothing but social, political, and religious non-sense anger. Lol

            Case and point of untenable logic:

            If you say something correct, but have the wrong foundation, you are still wrong.

            Umm, is it me or does that reak of disjointed, flawed rationale? Wouldn’t it be more correct 😉 to say… “If you say something WRONG because you have the WRONG foundation, then…” oh boy, wait… here it comes… 🤪

            you are still wrong“? Because if one ever has the “wrong foundation,” then how is it possible to be correct? Riddle me that one please! 😄

            I’d wager that Mr. Crackpot with no tea has a WRONG foundation with his logic!

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          2. Just because I found his blog doesn’t necessarily mean I read it
            Don’t bother me aujourd hui. I am still sulking after Liverpool’s Champions League fiasco last night.
            Grumble, mumble, throw shoes at the tv ….
            😦

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          3. They were beaten by Atalanta – 0-2 at Anfield.
            Bear in mind they thumped them at Atalanta a fortnight ago 4-0.
            I understand the injury problems, and lord knows we have a list a long as your arm, but Klopp has a habit in these situations of putting on a weaker team and then, if it all goes belly up, bring on a few big guns to try to rescue the situation.
            After the 60 min plus mark we went 1-0 down and Klopp decides , okay, enough is enough, and set about making 4 substitutions all at once. And guess what? While they were warming up Atalanta stuck another one in and that was that.
            Oh, we’ll qualify I’ve no doubt, but we could have done so on the night and had spotless record to boot.
            Put the strong team on from the whistle, bang in a couple of goals THEN sub off the big guns straight away and bring on the second-stringers.
            To make it worse Klopp admitted pre match that this game was no gimmee!
            Now we have a cross against our name a slightly demoralised egg-on-their-faces group of players and I have to explain to my missus why the TV screen has a boot-print on it!
            SMH.
            I think I’ll find a Pensioners Lawn Bowls team to support.

            Liked by 1 person

          4. 😆 Oh Mr. D, me thinks you are being TOO pouty. 😉 I understand Klopp’s reservations in using your big-guns at all for that match—yes, your boys WILL qualify/advance—as long as you keep the pointless games like Atalanta at Home respectable. Two nil is NOT an embarrassing loss given all the factors this year, injuries, etc.

            Your Reds are going to be just fine. Calm down and put that search for a PLB team on hold! Geeeezzzz. 🙄 Have you been drinking too much espresso lately!? 🤭

            Like

    1. Here’s a funny thing the humorless people here would not be able to laugh at (mostly because its well above you, but also because you are humorless):
      If you say something correct, but have the wrong foundation, you are still wrong.

      Like

  2. I’m more and more of the mind that such a person never existed in any form outside of the mind/minds of those who created him. Was there a “real” person who was the basis for Thor? Amon-Ra? Odin? My Great Uncle Todd who, as a youth, possessed the powers of Superman? I don’t think so. Is Jesus any different than any other myth? I’d say no. Unless…well…unless he WAS a real guy living on a flat earth who fell off the edge one night whilst in a drunken stupor! Yeah!!! That’s it!!! That’s what happened!! Mic drop, baby!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Let me give you a hint before I am finally done with this blog (who am I kidding, the reprobates here will attack me until the end of time because they see a Catholic and go “MUST ATTACK TO MAKE MY SHAME OVER SIN GO AWAY!!!”):

      Christ is God, Fully God and Fully Man. The King Of Kings, The King Of Heaven And Earth, The Second Person Of God, The New Adam, and The Complete Fulfillment Of God’s Covenant To Israel.

      pagan “gods” (mere created, contingent beings) are all demons.

      you fixate on created, contingent beings because you are one yourself. you hope to try to present yourself as competitor to God and DEMAND (who gives a single ****ing **** what you demand anyways, hellbeggar?) that God somehow be a mere created, contingent thing like you because you feel you can one-day control and usurp created, contingent things.

      you can’t even make a chair dance or tell the sky to stop raining. what a pathetic “god” you pretend to be and demand we worship instead of God Himself.

      Heh.

      Contrition, Conversion, Confession, Penance, and Repentance. use this one chance God gave you to Repent (that you call your life on earth) well.

      Like

        1. Let me give you a hint before I am finally done with this blog (who am I kidding, the reprobates here will attack me until the end of time because they see a Catholic and go “MUST ATTACK TO MAKE MY SHAME OVER SIN GO AWAY!!!”):

          Jeff, that is CLASSIC narcissism and self-victimization. Remind you of anyone or many anyones? 😄🎻 Cry us a river. 🙄

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Reminds me of Yahweh! “HEY!!! You bitches BETTER not worship ANY gods but ME!!! If you do, why…why…why…I’ll MURDERATE ya’, dats what I’ll do!!” (Also reminds one of tRump–the orange baby turd who America just FIRED!)

            Liked by 2 people

    1. Not sure why so many believe/accept the most unreliable book of fanciful folk-tales. Geez.

      Actually, I do know why.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Hey Chris/ Tkx but who on earth could have written the book of Romans without an intellect well above their own???????????

        That book silences the mouths of all good fools.

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        1. Hey, @Circus Freak:
          Many US evangelicals thought Trump offered salvation of a sort, too. Need I say more?

          (As an atheist, what’s Romans ever done for us?)😇

          Liked by 2 people

          1. According to Romans, both Trump and you have been proven to be criminal. Happy now?

            And yes, the 1st of Romans could immeasurably help you if you would remove the fog.

            Like

      2. A perfect and damaging rebuttal Chris. Well done! 🙂

        My comment down below elaborates a bit on why myself and millions upon millions of other intelligent people think Christendom—in any version you find it on Earth!—is a very poor historical narrative of fully contextual events of the time in the Roman Empire. But as a sensationalized DC/Marvel Comic movie blockbuster, it has all kinds of blind Faith-followers around the globe… NONE OF THEM in unanimous agreement as to who, what, how, or where this mystery Superhero did nor his entire purpose for doing what he did (or didn’t) do for all humanity or only a select few of humanity.

        It’s what I call a COMPLETE CLUSTER F*CK of EPIC PROPORTIONS!!!! 🤣

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Scripture is the smallest part of one bit of The Church.

        I said this on another thread to answer:
        “you deny Natural Law in full, so Love and Absolute Truth are totally out of reach (so no Magisterium or Sacred Tradition for you, or any non-Catholic really). you can understand Scripture looks like a book to you, but your knowledge and understanding stop there. Without Natural Law (and there is no way to even recognize it outside The Church and all outside wholesale reject it) you have no means of understanding even the smallest part of one of the five senses of Scripture no matter how much you read.”

        Basically your heresy (that you are a disgruntled member of) saw the smallest part that can be seen by non-Catholics and tried to mutilate it to say whatever they wanted. Unaware that you just molested a book and did nothing to Scripture which is unchangeable nor even able to be taken out of The Church.

        Venerable Fulton Sheen on you:
        “The denial of God springs from a man’s desire not to have a God—from his wish that there were no Justice behind the universe, so that his injustices would fear not retribution; from his desire that there be no Law, so that he may not be judged by it; from his wish that there were no Absolute Goodness, that he might go on sinning with impunity. That is why the modern atheist is always angered when he hears anything said about God and religion—he would be incapable of such a resentment if God were only a myth. His feeling toward God is the same as that which a wicked man has for one whom he has wronged: he wishes he were dead so that he could do nothing to avenge the wrong. The betrayer of friendship knows his friend exists, but he wished he did not; the post-Christian atheist knows God exists, but he desires He should not.”

        Like

    1. “That’s the thing about lions — when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. Grab ’em by the tail, swing ’em round your head…”

      Liked by 6 people

        1. My reward is to spend eternity in hell with fellow criminal D. Trump. Ye gods!

          Oh, if only I’d listened to @Cathy’sClown and read 1st Romans to properly remove the fog!

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I tend to think there was an itinerant Jewish fellow (who may have been) called Yeshua that wandered from here to there talking about Yahweh and his “mighty deeds.” He may have even convinced a few of his followers/admirers that he was related to some of the Hebrew heroes and could perform “miracles.”

    And then this fellow named Saul had an “episode” that convinced him this wanderer was “one special guy” — and quickly became his publicity agent.

    It’s important to remember that even in the olden days, news travels fast and can create wild excitement. Especially among bored goat herders.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. I tend to think there was an itinerant Jewish fellow (who may have been) called Yeshua that wandered from here to there talking about Yahweh and his “mighty deeds.” He may have even convinced a few of his followers/admirers that he was related to some of the Hebrew heroes and could perform “miracles.”

      What do you base this view on?
      Are you sure it is not simply part of our collective cultural indoctrination?

      And then this fellow named Saul ….

      I am inclined to respond with the same question as I asked for Jesus.

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          1. What do you base this view on?

            I thought my response was spot-on to what the bible teaches. I was just having a little “fun” as I didn’t want to get into a heavy-duty discussion. The POV I offered was essentially what I outlined in my book.

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      1. Exactly.

        Who was the messiah guy killed by the Roman’s in 4CE and had the plaque saying he will be (was?) raised in three days?

        He must be one of them… and there would have been heaps. That’s what happens when your land is occupied and there’s no TV or radio, no sports, and everyone smells.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. One problem with the composite figure, as it applies to Noth, his theory no longer hold sway.
          It would be fair to say, I think, that most scholars consider Moses a complete work of narrative fiction.

          But I’ll ride with the composite.
          Okay … next question:

          Why invent a new religion?

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          1. The crisis cultists who invented the metafictional character? They didn’t. It was just a really clever way to impart their doctrinal points through immersive storytelling.

            Paul invented the religion…. A product that was easily sold to the gloomy northern diaspora desperate for some good news from their homelands, which was precisely where the church started; in modern day Syria and Turkey.

            Liked by 2 people

          2. How do we know these crisis cultists invented this character?

            And then, why would Paul (Saul) , a Jew, then elaborate on a tale (religion) about a Galilean Jew preaching a New Salvation through him … sorry, through Him that didn’t involve the overthrow of the Roman occupation and was ostensibly directed at gentiles; a tale that, on the face of it, no self-respecting Jew in his or her right mind was going to buy?

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          3. We don’t know for sure, but we have the Gospel of Thomas (which is argued to be the oldest of the written works) pretty much tells the story. That Jesus character does not eat, breath, sleep, or do anything. He just speaks in cryptic kōans (a form of single-person dialogue), and more specifically in parables when the character himself is addressing larger (fictional) audiences. All the parables in the other gospels are in Thomas, plus about a dozen more. It’s a mobile script.

            Metafiction wasn’t new. Leeds University’s Owen Hodkinson has demonstrated the tool was not only known to the ancients but was in use throughout the eastern Mediterranean well before the 1st Century.

            I wrote about this here:

            https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2012/12/20/puff-goes-jesus/

            This, at least, seems reasonable to me.

            As for Paul, he was a salesman. A con. Judaism was in turmoil at that time. That’s why there were crisis cultists everywhere, and messiahs growing on trees.

            Liked by 2 people

          4. Long time since I read that piece and that in itself is, in a way, a bit disconcerting.
            We known each other for eight years plus.
            Where does the time go?

            Like

        2. Everyone smells john? Too funny. And you know this how? Evidence? Where? Who? Camels and sheep smell like they should. What’s the big deal? Maybe it’s people that smell odd.

          Btw, since you apparently have a fondness for all things Jewish…………..take a look at the song I posted yesterday.
          Distinctly Hebrew. I know what it says, maybe you do too, or can find out. Anyway, some serious ear candy. Enjoy the goodness of God through music.

          And happy Thanksgiving even if you do not celebrate. Lots to be grateful for.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I do reluctantly mask up-

            (Hope u took my suggestion to hear that song at my latest post. Quite stirring for a man to reference the God (Hashem) of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob so unashamedly and with such reverence. Not all Jews cater to your views of their history.)

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          2. As some Christians still consider the myth of Noah and his ark to be historical fact.
            Some people simply refuse to accept truth/fact/evidence.
            What can you do?

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          3. Love it ark. Of course every word of Genesis is factual/ Gilgamesh wrote what scripture provided context.

            That said- your greater concern should be the strange bedfellows that you share with believers regarding your ‘science’ of a global flood.

            Water does not act as you pretend. It always finds its level. The oceans of the world laugh at your ‘globe,’ as does true science, which is observable and repeatable.

            But yes, there was an ark of safety.

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          4. *Sigh*
            Sometimes I forget when I leave comments addressed to you that your nurse occasionally forgets to administer your meds.

            Like

  4. it would appear that i am no longer able to respond to any of your posts since i am no longer part of WP. My fault, i suppose, since it seems one must be a member of WP to do more than just read into your site. or anyone else’s in fact.

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  5. …whether you believe there ever was any individual behind the bible character, or was he created from whole cloth?

    …as more and more evidence accumulates it does not point to an historical character but rather points away from one.

    What do you think? And why?

    Question #1 and my Answer — From whole cloth, or rather brand new 1st thru 4th-century papyrus and 1st thru 4th-century Greco-Roman minds and political incentives and motives.

    Question #2 and my Answer — I’m in complete agreement with several other commenters here that “Jesus Christ” of the trendy Greek Canonical Gospels is… if not an unreliable amalgamation of various anachronistic, oral stories and Greek theology (Apotheosis to a Christ) poorly canonized over three centuries… then a complete overhaul by GRECO-ROMAN Church Fathers and what they wanted for a brand new religion favorable to the Gentile Roman Empire, not factual Messianic Judaism. This is why it “points away from any verifiable historical character.” I’ve more or less said this for quite some time here, Gary’s blog, and other blogs about falsely impersonated Christianity. 🙂

    Ask ANY Christian two things:

    #1) Which New Testaments about Jesus are they blindly believing? and…

    #2) Was Jesus a Greco-Roman or was Yeshua bar Yosef a Sectarian Jew of the Late Second Temple Period who only wanted to reform/restore Israel back to God’s Kingdom on Earth? Temporarily leave out Saul/Paul of Tarsus, all and everything of him! According to the 4th-century CE canonized Epistles, Saul/Paul never really addresses his “Christ” as a real, in-person man! He ignores (or the belated Church Fathers do) that controversy or bad problem for good Greco-Roman reasons.

    None of them can adequately answer these two questions without showing their blind ignorance, ESPECIALLY ColonStorm up above! They’ll just do a ridiculous, side-show dance side-stepping the questions with overly OVERSIMPLIFIED rhetoric… as CS (ColonStorm) did above with Chris Schilling and as he always does with anyone who doesn’t identically believe what he does… including our “factual” Flat-Earth. 😆🤦‍♂️

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Actually, thinking about it, any fair haired, blue eyed, white skin guy wandering around the middle east 2 thousand years ago with a sheep under his arm, walking on water, raising the dead and turning H2O into a passable claret and not getting a mention in any historical records gets my vote 👍👍✌

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Looks like Jesus might also be saying, “Go ahead, Mary Magdalen, you can change into your bathing suit in front of me. I promise not to peak! Really….I do!!!! I swear to Me, I won’t peak!! honestly…I won’t. Really.”

        Like

      2. I shall say only this unto you my dis-believing, scouse supporting, heretic for you are already damned to eternal hell……”We are top of the league I say we are top of the league!”

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Ark,

        No, you haven’t banned yourself. I have over the years posted password-protected posts. Those with my password for those posts can read and comment. You are welcomed to my password for these posts.

        Do you by any chance have my email? I don’t quite know how to do this as I don’t want to advertise my email here or give out my password either. Are you able to see my email when I comment here?

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I think the treatment of the miracles in that article combined with Hume’s argument makes the idea of christian miracles or any other for that matter untenable

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Well, you would have to go back before the anonymous gospels were written and I guess this would be with Saul of Tarsus/Paul
      Now, what’s interesting about this character is he does not feature in the historical record anywhere outside of the epistles.

      In fact his epistles were only known once they were ‘collected’ by Marcion, whom it is presumed then gave them to the church.

      Once the church had these ‘letters’, which they fleshed out with additional forgeries ~the Pastoral for example – they needed a backstory. Remember: ”Paul’ never met the character Jesus, he only claimed to have encountered a vision, and he would likely have been a contemporary – if he too was a real historical person, that is.

      On this basis it is not difficult to imagine the early church carefully constructing the first gospel – Mark. – which is basically a pastiche of Old Testament parallels.

      One only has to read the gospels to realise they are riddled with errors and have no real basis in actual historical events.

      gMatthew for example incorporates 600 plus verses from gMark – basically plagiarized.
      The title Jesus of Nazareth in itself is a fiction, a misunderstanding/misinterpretation of Nasorene,(or other spelling variant) which was a term levelled at members of a particular sect rather than a village/town.

      This list of contradictions, and outright nonsense is almost too numerous to mention, but we can if you are up to it?

      But there really is nothing that anyone can assert that is convincing enough to suggest a real historical character lies behind the narrative fictional character of the bible.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, this is easy. The only references to an earthly Jesus are to be found in the gospels (and a tad bit in Acts of the Apostles).

    Question: If you remove all of the tropes which are references to established Jewish, aka Old testament, scriptures, what do you have left?

    Answer: A … the … and … left …He … etc.

    Since Jesus (a Latinized version of Joshua or other common names) was a very common name there had to be many Jesuses walking around during that time period. That one of them was a preacher is probably guaranteed. Is there any way we could tell if the gospels referred to one of these characters? No. So the question is moot.

    The mere fact that Jesus is quoted as saying three different things on the cross is clear evidence that we are not talking about eye witness testimony of any real events.

    The only reason people are looking for an historical Jesus is they have been told over and over and over that one existed. If people would have been told that Santa Claus was a real historical person over and over and over, there would be books written on the “Search for the Historical Santa” and articles claiming that an Arctic explorer discovered the remains of an older Santa’s workshop. There would be a black market in historical Santa artifacts, etc.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. “ Furthermore, as more and more evidence accumulates it does not point to an historical character but rather points away from one.”

    What new evidence has accumulated that supposedly points away from a historical Jesus?

    Like

    1. I suppose the term ‘new’ is relative. And you’ll note I didn’t use the word new either.
      In this case, however, evidence ( or complete lack thereof) has been there all along it is merely a case of uncovering and collating it.
      Cultural indoctrination has ensured most of us have blithely accepted the established primary rhetoric / dogma when it comes to religion.

      As for specifics, you could look at some of the work of Carrier, for example, long winded though he can be at times.
      Also, archaeology where it relates to a place such as Nazareth.
      In fact, it could be argued that, to some degree every archaeological discovery that refutes any biblical claim also diminishes the historicity of many of the characters it supposedly portrays as ‘real’ – the character Jesus is no exception.

      Most people outside of these discussions who have little or no interest in the subject would be unaware of these examples.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re right that you didn’t use the term, “new.”

        Anyway, to answer your OP question, I think it’s most likely the case that there was a historical itinerant apocalyptic preacher named Jesus behind the stories than he was a complete wholesale myth. Like the majority of people on the thread I don’t think there is any definitive way to know for sure and it’s certainly possible that Jesus could’ve been created wholesale. I just think that is less likely to be the case given the accumulated evidence and it points towards a real person behind the stories.

        1) Paul’s letter where he mentions meeting Peter and Jesus’s brother James to me is the most convincing piece of evidence.

        2) the references to Jesus being from Nazareth with the shoehorned Bethlehem birth stories to fulfill prophecy suggests a known historical tradition/fact that the gospel writers had to force to fit in with prophecy. Also, my understanding is the current archaeologists working there have interpreted their findings that Nazareth did exist at the right time such as Ken Dark and Yardenna Alexandre.

        While there is a lot of debate about the two references in Josephus and it’s possible that both references could be interpolations, there is an ongoing scholarly debate on this issue. I tend to lean towards that it’s more likely something was said and the second reference is even more likely to be authentic. In which case we would have a reference by a jewish historian writing about that time period and figures like Jesus and he actually mentions them.

        The Tacitus reference. It seems unlikely to me that he got this information by just asking a Christian on the street rather than looking at an official record.

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        1. given the accumulated evidence

          Specifically, what accumulated evidence are you referring to?

          …. Jesus’s brother James to me is the most convincing piece of evidence.

          Carrier disagrees with this and so do several scholars. As the TF is regarded as interpolation it renders the ”James” passage in Josephus even more suspect.

          I’m not going to bother going over the Dark/Alexandre position yet again, but the term ”of Nazareth” was retrofitted by the writer of gMatthew based on a misunderstanding/translation of the term Nasorean or its variant spellings.
          The name Nazareth appears nowhere in Jewish writings of the time and Josephus appears completely unaware of it, which is telling in itself.
          Considering how appalling a writer the author of g Matthew was, I am surprised anything he wrote is given any credence at all.
          As for the Tacitus reference. You seem to be only rehashing well worn, highly sceptical claims.
          But, like everyone, you are entitled to your opinion. .

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “ Specifically, what accumulated evidence are you referring to?”

            Everything I literally just wrote you . . . (That you even responded to!)

            “ Carrier disagrees with this and so do several scholars. As the TF is regarded as interpolation it renders the ”James” passage in Josephus even more suspect.”

            I agree several scholars do regard it as an interpolation, which I already acknowledged when I mentioned there was scholarly debate on this issue. At the same time, many other scholars consider it partially authentic and even more scholars consider the second reference to be authentic.

            In terms of Nazareth. Yes, I’ve heard that theory, but I will go with the trained and peer-reviewed archaeologists on that one just like I would go with the findings of the peer-reviewed trained medical doctor and scientist in subjects related to their expertise.

            And you seem to be rehashing tired Jesus Mythicism tropes, which reflect more your biases and wishful thinking than reality. Like I said, a case could be made that Jesus is nothing more than a myth and complete fabrication, but I think what we do have points to it still being more likely that a real life Jewish Jesus became the source of the stories existed.

            Like

          2. Yes, I’ve heard that theory, but I will go with the trained and peer-reviewed archaeologists

            Peer reviewed? Have you a link to a peer reviewed study of any digs at the supposed site of Nazareth?
            I’ve read the Nazareth Farm report.

            Re. The TF. Louis Feldman was regarded by some of his peers to be a/the leading authority on Josephus and one of those who initially subscribed to partial authenticity of the TF. After years of further study he concluded it was an interpolation in its entirety – as was the original view when it first turned up thanks to Eusebius.

            I think what we do have points to it still being more likely that a real life Jewish Jesus became the source of the stories existed.

            There is greater probability the TF is an interpolation in its entirety as it was once regarded.
            No source is quoted in annals by Tacitus .
            I have never read anyone else suggest that his source was from Roman records, and Tacitus certainly did not say this is where he dug up this ‘nugget.’

            Therefore what mentions we have are highly dubious.

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          3. I have read this before.
            1.Do you have details of the experts who reviewed her data
            2.Do you know how it was ascertained that the site was determined to be Nazareth?

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          4. And so?

            Do you know of a single peer-reviewed piece of a single archaeological dig?

            Have you even read the Nazareth Farm Report?

            Come back when you have ….

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        2. If you are wondering why I treat Dark with a healthy dose of scepticism and to be honest, an equal amount of disdain you may be aware that he is now claiming there is a good possibility he has discovered the home where Jesus was raised!
          The internet is awash with his amazing discovery. Aren’t we so lucky, especially as we are only weeks away from Christmas when Jesus was born.
          Very similar to when Alexandre announced (2008/9?) she/they had uncovered another 1st century dwelling at a different location that could also have been where Jesus was raised.
          Perhaps Jesus dad, Joseph was into property speculation, or maybe they just needed a bigger place to live after all the other brothers and sisters arrived?

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  9. Having looked into this a little while back, I have the opinion that it is very difficult to know for sure whether this Jesus existed or not. I don’t think we will ever truly know. I’m of the assumption that he was based on some real person(s) who preached some new ideology that went against the status quo, and were crucified for it. It seems reasonable that their followers would then prop up propaganda after the fact, saying he did this and said that. You see this in more modern day examples such as L Ron Hubbard and the North Korean leaders (pick any). They’re both real people but the actual details of their lives are quite sketchy. I am just assuming things here though.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. There is of course no verifiable evidence of the Nazareth Jesus. Believers choose to feel deeply that he existed, does exist and will continue to exist. Their belief-feeling often includes them in eventually participating in the eternal life Jesus would already experience.
      As Liberated expresses, the stories that evolved may have in fact begun with a man in Nazareth walking around and talking to people. And there were likely many men who were similar and acted in a similar manner. After the fact, this involves assumption on our part and without holding a belief-truth, one finds it quite simple to accept doubt without proofs to remove that doubt. Atheists, as has been pointed out, are not believers who follow a faith called Atheism because it isn’t a faith at all. Many of us would be pleased to change over to belief if there was any verifiable proof to do so. Your strong belief and your testimony about how Jesus changed your life and so forth, is not proof of anything to do with Jesus of Nazareth existing or not. It is evidence more about you and your relationship to reality. I understand dependency and that humans often cling to dependencies when they are unable to leave any cul-de-sac of the heart and head. Some dependencies might be less harmful than others and it might be so concerning a non-evangelical belief system that for instance helps an alcoholic stop killing themselves with booze. Their dependency is joyfully transferred to a figure who saves them, somone super-able, super-human. Non-believers are seldom in opposition to people who mind their own business and love a God. If believers could share even half that acceptance and allow others to be as they choose without condemnation and threats of eternal punishment, well then…. but forget it, they cannot and are great-commissioned to go out and save (harm) others. Pity…

      Liked by 3 people

    1. I have no idea who these second mystery writers are.
      But to your second point – ostensibly , yes, not least because there is no evidence whatsoever for the character ”Jesus” as described in the bible .
      It’s also worth considering that the description of a synagogue in Nazareth where Jesus supposedly taught is regarded as a fiction by many – a tiny insignificant hamlet would not likely have a synagogue – and also the site where the villagers tried to sling Jesus from a cliff/high precipice where the city/town /village/ hamlet was claimed to have been situated. It is obvious the writer of gLuke had no idea of the geography of the areas he was describing. This alone raises a number of other interesting questions, but we can discuss those later?

      And you might want to also consider gMatt 2: 22. There is no such prophecy in Jewish scripture. It’s fairly obvious that, like the author of gLuke, the writer of gMatthew was simply making stuff up.

      While I don’t subscribe to Ehrman’s blog, I have not read/or been alerted to anything he may have written on these or similar topics, which are all relevant.

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      1. The common sense response to Christian apologists’ claims of Jesus fulfilling the messianic prophecies in OT scripture has usually been this: the author of Matthew simply wrote his narrative to “fit” the pre-existing texts.

        Certainly, Jews interpret such “prophecies” very differently (why not, after all? It’s their scripture).

        Besides, any sacred religious text that doesn’t inspire rampant multiple interpretations is probably guilty of not pulling its weight, in exegetical terms, at least. 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Looking into your concern over Matthew 2:23, my faith was increased because I had no idea that even the name “Nazareth” pointed to the term “branch.” What an appropriate name that the village that Jesus lived in could point to the messianic family reference.

        “It may be that Matthew is associating the word Nazarene with the Hebrew word netser (“branch or sprout”). The “Branch” was a common term for the Messiah, such as in Isaiah 11:1: “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.” Hebrew was written with only consonants, and netser would have appeared as NZR—the same main consonants as Nazareth. In fact, in Aramaic, the common language of Jesus’ day, the word for “Nazareth” and the Hebrew word for “branch” sounded very much alike. Matthew’s point could be that Jesus was “sprouting up” from an obscure village in Galilee; Jesus was the Branch predicted by the prophets, and the name of the town He grew up in happens to sound just like the prophets’ word for “branch.”

        There are other options included in this article also:

        https://www.gotquestions.org/Matthew-2-23-Jesus-Nazarene.html

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        1. The points you are failing to recognise are: 1. there is no connection between the origin of the Hebrew word for branch and the city/town/village /hamlet named Nazareth.
          2. There is no prophecy that suggests a Messiah would arise from Nazareth.
          Matthew was writing fiction.

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          1. The Hebrews were known to use plays on words very often in the Old Testament. One example is found in the story of Eli found in 1 Samuel chapters 1-4. We are told on two occasions that Eli has a weight problem. In 1 Samuel 2:29 the Lord accuses Eli and his sons of making themselves “fat with the best of all the offerings of Israel.” Later when Eli dies, the narrator tells us that Eli broke his neck when he fell backwards off his seat because he was old and heavy. The word heavy in Hebrew is kabed. It is from the same root as the Hebrew word for honor which is kabod. The story of Eli emphasizes that he has not honored the Lord (1 Sam. 2:30). Eli’s heaviness is directly related to the lack of honor that he has shown for God because it is his consumption of the stolen meat from the sacrifices that has contributed to his weight problem. The wordplay between kabed and kabod emphasizes the correspondence between the stolen sacrificial meat and the lack of honor given to God. But there is still more to this story. The word kabod which means honor, can also be translated glory in English. After Eli’s death, his daughter-in-law gives birth to a child that she names Ichabod (notice the word chabod, or kabod–it can be spelt either way—in this name). Ichabod means either “no glory,” or “where is the glory?” The child is named Ichabod because, as Eli’s daughter-in-law states, “the glory has departed from Israel” (1 Sam. 4:21-22). When we follow the wordplay through, we come to realize that the story is telling us that because Eli made himself heavy (kabed) and did not honor (kabod) the Lord, the glory (kabod) departed from Israel.

            There are many other examples of word play in the Old Testament concerning Samson, Jeremiah, Cushan, etc..

            The Israelites would have understood and accepted this type of linguist analysis.

            Hebrew NZR = “branch” in Isaiah 11:1.

            “And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.”

            So when Jesus is called a Nazarene it has a double meaning: the Branch.

            Awww…I never knew this.

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      3. The reason I ask about Nazareth and the mystery writer is if the gospels weren’t written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and they were instead contrived by a mystery writer, how would that writer have any hope of convincing people that Jesus was truly the Messiah if he made an unknown village called Nazareth to be part of the story? Perhaps people are prone to believe in “embellishments” such as healing power or the miraculous, but to expect them to believe a village exists where it doesn’t is unlikely.

        Also, the earliest known extant scripture is Papyrus P52. It’s a section of John 18. John 18 mentions Nazareth twice. This means Nazareth wasn’t injected into the story centuries later (after a village formed?) it was there from the earliest original gospels.

        Another thing I would be concerned about if I were you is that of claiming that something in the Bible isn’t true merely because there isn’t any archaeological evidence for it—because that has happened over and over again and then the archeological discovery is made which confirms the veracity of the scriptures. An example of this would be the existence of the Hittites who were thought to merely be mythical figures, or even the existence of the Davidic Kingdom, which was confirmed by the Mesha Stele and the Tel Dan inscription. There are so many more examples!

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        1. Anonymous writers, Diana.
          Plural.

          As you believe the bible to be accurate please explain why the description of Nazareth and the synagogue incident in gLuke is regarded as a fabrication?

          And I’m sorry, but once you introduce the trope regarding lack of archaeological evidence I lose interest.
          You need to understand how such research works and I have no inclination to try to even point you in the right direction.
          You’ll be telling me Noah’s ark and the flood are historical fact and I have had enough idiocy over the years dealing with the likes of Colorstorm.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. So I’m not that far off in characterizing them as mystery writers.

            I guess I would just like some kind of evidence that “they” wrote the gospels, rather than the people who say they wrote them.

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          2. Your last sentence is hilarious.

            The scriptures are enough. For God’s sake, Israel as a nation confirms the promises of God. If people’s egos were not so large, they would agree.

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          3. So I’m not that far off in characterizing them as mystery writers.

            On the money, in fact. I was just correcting your use of the singular.

            And ”who” says they wrote them? Mark, Matthew Luke and John?
            You know that these names were tagged on, possibly in the 2nd century?

            Please, Diana, tell me you believe in the Flood and Noah’s ark… please

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          4. I think it’s interesting that you are putting your faith in the existence of some mystery writers—of whom there is no evidence (no names, no written testimony, no record anywhere in history) of their existence. You are a person of great faith, Ark!

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          5. Faith, Diana? Interesting choice of word. But I’ll see your ”faith” and raise you a trust. Trust in scholarly expertise, based on evidence – or lack thereof. Expertise gleaned through rigorous application and years and years of study, some of which goes back a couple of centuries I am led to understand.
            And when I say scholars I am , of course, ditching any supposed bias you may accuse me of and including first rate Christian scholars, such a the likes of NT Wright for example.
            For why would one such as Wright, a man of devout faith, state that no one knows who wrote the gospels if he knew who wrote them?

            Oh, and I am genuinely interested to know if you believe as scientific fact the tale of Noah and a global flood as described in Genesis?

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          6. What is your purpose in trying to break down trust in the authorship of the gospels? Is it to further your stance that Jesus was a mythological character who never existed? I guess I’m trying to understand your argument. It must be pretty strong since you are so committed to its veracity.

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          7. I find the topic fascinating, that’s all.
            I am not ”trying to break down trust in the authorship of the gospels”.
            Authorship is unknown.
            As with any anonymous documents, it is extremely difficult if not impossible to verify claims.
            I consider the more pertinent question is why do you put your faith in such anonymous and largely erroneous texts?

            Maybe you missed my other question? Do you consider the Biblical flood tale to be historical fact?

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  10. Do you acknowledge that there have been claims made in the past that certain civilizations didn’t exist, or were mythological, turned out to be untrue because the evidence was found later?

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    1. They haven’t demonstrated with evidence that they have found Nazareth yet. But your question is interesting, I’ll grant you that.

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  11. Maybe you missed my other question? Do you consider the Biblical flood tale to be historical fact?

    I’d hazard a ‘yes’ to that oddly unanswered question, Ark.
    And regarding historical uncoverings and ongoing human interest in knowledge, Diane Lesperance seems interested in suggesting that non-believers are somehow entrenched in non-belief and not wanting to know the best-truth they can garner. Is that so, Diane? Of course, the Christian best-truth ends with the son and all the rigorous following claptrap about ‘knowledge’ rests in their belief, not their honest curiosity. In this effort, they play chessy word games to allow others to find a cul-de-sac for themselves. Unfortunately, my entering a cul-de-sac does not do anything to prove your belief, Christian/whatever apologist, nothing at all.
    Perhaps I have missed a point, or several. But I got interested in Ark’s question regarding the Noah tale, something quite far-fetched as I hold it. In my view as a rather old man, I see him as a shit of a father, obsessed with voices telling him to build a big boat, to spend all his life and effort on obeying the voice. I feel badly for his children, his wife. But his story is quite the template for Biblical faith, the abandonment of human love and familial loyalty in order to serve the master of voices.

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