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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Historicity of Jesus

I really don't understand anti-Christians who try to argue "Jesus never existed." Certainly, someone came up with the doctrines we call Christianity. So what if his name was Bill and not Jesus? What possible issue could turn on that question?

6 comments:

  1. There is a theory that Paul invented Christianity. It is not insignificant if one believes that Jesus was not Divine or not flesh, but was Christ by virtue of a human pencil.

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  2. Do you have a citation of someone who actually says that Jesus never existed? That seems like an extreme point of view that very few people would actually hold to.

    Regardless, it seems wrong to assume that someone came up with the doctrines that make up Christianity. Jesus's preaching plus Paul's writings plus generations of increasingly hegemonistic bishops and more recently a wide variety of non-Catholic preachers have crafted over 2000 years what we think of as Christianity these days, if there's even a set of doctrines that are consistent across all the various sects (I don't think you could find very many).

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  3. http://nobeliefs.com/exist.htm

    Googling "Did Jesus exist" gets 18,500 hits, many sceptical.

    Now, it's quite clear that rather a lot turns on the issue of, "Did the fellow who invented Christianity really die on the cross and rise again?" and similar things like that. But it's quite a differrent question than whether such a bloke existed at all.

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  4. Kevin1:08 AM

    Jesus is mentioned by Josephus the Roman/Jewish historian. The doctrines of the Church were invented mainly by Paul.

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  5. Hmm, well during his reported existence, there were a number of other people claiming to be messiahs as well.

    And I think Monty Python's "The Life of Brian" does a pretty good job showing the inanity surrounding sacred cows and superstition of that time.

    This is not to say that old Jesus didn't exist.

    However, seeing as the entire line of his own family, the Jamesian side, was pushed to the wayside by Paulites, it's difficult to precisely know what the intentions of baby jesus were.

    After all, a good percentage of the official corpus in the New Testament were written by a guy who never met him and many denominations/sects spend a lot of their time strictly focused on interpreting Paul and not James -- due to the fact that Constantine promoted and edified Paul's version a the Council of Nicea.

    I wouldn't say he didn't exist, I just don't think that he was a deity nor is represented best by Paul's machinations.

    Playing the devils advocate on this particular topic can be constructive and should be used on other "faiths" such as Zoroastrianism... did he really exist the way we perceive him today?

    For what it is worth, there is a decent summation discussing these and other ideas:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_Jesus
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesus-myth_hypothesis

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