The ExChristian.Net blog exists for the express purpose of encouraging those who have decided to leave Christianity behind. This area contains articles sent in between January 2001 and February 2010. To view recent posts, click on the "Home" link.
This was a good primer for most newbies but lets not forget another possible man who could actually be linked with Jesus and that was Musoneius.http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/musonius.html
All this happened two thousand years ago. There is no existing proof that denies or proves the existence of Jesus. What exists, has persisted as myth. To believe in the historical proof that Jesus didn't exist is the same as believing in myth. We should, instead, look to science to prove the existence or non-existence of God. For me I look at science, which gives me, proof of evolution. And I look at physics, which tells me that a soul (a non-corporeal entity which is the same as me) could not possibly exist. What is it made of? The idea of soul exists purely as an emergent property of the physical manifestation of my brain and nothing else. Why are we even bothering looking to find historical proof. We all know we can't possibly find any.
It's always nice to have a know it all come along & set us all straight. Jesus is claimed to be the most important man in the world. I think we owe it to ourselves to find out if it holds true or false. The most telling comment you made is why should we care? We should always care what is true or false. Not just on the big issues.
Andrew makes an excellent point; Mr. Keane offers no proofs for his hypothesis other than glib comments.There is a wide gap between saying Jesus (Yeshua) was God Incarnate, and that some dude named Yeshua walked the earth early in the 1st century. In his eagerness to (rightly) disputes Yeshua's divinity, Mr. Keane makes a huge leap of faith himself...and an unneccessary one at that.It doesn't matter if a Jesus wandered around Palestine early in the first century teaching ethics and/or fomenting against Roman rule...he would have been one of dozens to do so. Why not stick to what we know and can demonstrate, rather than fall into the same trap as true believers by stating a claim for which there is no compelling evidence one way or the other?
What Mr. Keane said makes a lot of sense. I think it all goes back to the burden of proof thing. If you say an actual historical Jesus existed, there should be some proof to show for it.If I say he didn't exist, so far the proof (or lack, rather) that we have supports this. Until some kind of historical text is found that shows proof of his existence, I can be reasonably sure that Jesus didn't exist. It has nothing to do with a leap of faith, it's just common sense.
jshuey said... "Why not stick to what we know and can demonstrate, rather than fall into the same trap as true believers by stating a claim for which there is no compelling evidence one way or the other?"Why indeed! Were you born yesterday? Does religious belief or lack thereof not play a role in your life? Maybe you live on some deserted island where nobody cares what you believe, and where you are never called upon to make a personal statement of your religious position. For those of us living in intensely religious Bible Belt Buckles and Bible Spots where lack of religious belief can be a life or death issue (emotionally and intellectually and in some cases literally) it is mighty important to know what one believes and why. Otherwise one gets tossed about by every wind that blows.It can be, has been, and is being demonstrated that Jesus did definitely exist. We have multiple written accounts and references to him in both religious and legal documents of the time. What we don't have is a non-religious record of him as a living person. Legal references only prove that there were communities of people who believed he existed. We have less evidence that Socrates existed than that Jesus existed. For both Jesus and Socrates we have only the written records of others. Neither of them left a single written word behind. Of Jesus we have written records by many different people. Of Socrates we have only one person's written record. Had Plato not written extensively about Socrates we would not know he ever existed. Whether or not Jesus existed is much more important than whether or not Socrates existed. Why? Because no one's eternal destiny is believed to depend on correct belief regarding Socrates and what he supposedly said. If you know the first thing about Christianity, and you most definitely should if you want to speak authoritatively on this site, you know the opposite is true regarding Jesus and his teachings. You should know that wars are being fought TODAY regarding the validity of Jesus' existence. If the destruction of lives and property on the mass scale is not important to you then I think you are a lost cause. Perhaps you personally do not feel an inclination or need to search these things out. But you have no right ridiculing those of us who do. If you take two seconds to contemplate the name of this site and the reason for its existence, you will know why discussion of Jesus' existence or nonexistence is important. This site exists to encourage exChristians. For the newly deconvert or the person who is still in the questioning stage, statements from people who have searched these things out are extremely important. And none more so than whether or not the founder of Christianity ever existed.
Lest there be any confusion on the matter (because of what I wrote above) let me state clearly that I am an exChristian. I feel the evidence for Socrates is far more convincing than the evidence for Jesus' existence. Why? Because of the supernatural events supposedly surrounding the birth, life, and death of Jesus, and the sustained religious belief based on these very "signs." Socrates comes across as a regular human person--a weido or eccentric to be sure, but thoroughly human none the less. And sure, lots of Jesuses were walking Palestine a couple thousand years ago. Just like lots of Johns and Joshuas and Bobs are walking the earth today. It seems Joshua/Jesus has been one of the most common and enduring names of Western peoples and civilizations for thousands of years. This, however, is no evidence that Jesus Christ of the Bible existed.
My response to rubysera:There is some confusion about just where you stand on the jesus issue. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I take you to be an unbeliever, but expressing open-minded sympathy.The confusion arises during the following statements:1st, we know "the first thing about xianity" Hell yes, we do. We know more about xianity than xians......that is why we are here. And yes, we can and do speak "authoritatively". That is also why we are here.2nd, my eternal destiny does not depend on jesus, his teachings, or any commentary on his teachings. My destiny stops at the grave. I expect no other.3rd, about the violence fought in jesus' name. Those things are the finest arguements against jesus. I do not care what anyone cares to say about the perversion of his authentic teaching. I look at the actual conduct of those who claimed to be his followers. When I talk about xianity, I refer to the actual churches and doctrines, not some theoretical baby jesus. Only what I see and experience is real.And finally, I will ridicule xianity, or any other religion, as much and as long as I please. Do not tell me that I have no "right" to ridicule xians. Who started this? Who came up with the idea that we deserve to burn in hell? Who came up with the crackpot notions about original sin? Who persecuted witches and heretics? Respect goes to those who earn it, not to bloodthirsty zealots.And at the risk of waxing repetitious, tell me if I have somehow misunderstood you.
The Best Evidence for Jesus's Existence: The best evidence for Jesus's existence is the New Testament itself. New Testament was written within 50 years after the life of Christ. That is like a Vietnam veteran writing his war experiences in Vietnam in the form of a book for us today.William F. Albright, who in his day was the world's foremost biblical archaeologist, said: "We can already say emphatically that there is no longer any solid basis for dating any book of the New Testament after about A.D. 80, two full generations before the date between 130 and 150 given by the more radical New Testament critics of today." There are over 24,000 copies of early New Testament manuscripts are known to be in existence todayThe authors of the New Testament not only testified the truth of the Bible, they also died for it. You atheists do not like New Testament because it talks about miracles, which you do not accept through your naturalistic worldview. Beside your deeds are evil. You cannot stand the light of Lord Jesus Christ, who brings your evil nature to light by exposing the sin in your life. As Lord Jesus Himself said, "And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" John 3:19.20
"Jesus' existence or nonexistence is important."Only to those who can't separate myth from reality. As xchristians, what is important is that Jesus could not have been god, nor "the son of god", because there is no evidence god exists and, indeed to the contrary, many logical proofs he does not.Our argument is not (or at least should not be) with some itinerate rabbi, but with those who followed him (if he existed), distorted his mission, deeds, and persona, and set in motion a cult of superstition and repression that enjoys far too much influence, even today.Oh, one other thing. You are an mindless twit. Your inability to separate wheat from chaff makes you no better intellectually than those who still dwell in the darkness of the christian cult. Grow up!
Paul, you really need to widen the range of your reading materials a bit.And if the New Testament is the best evidence for Jesus's existence - well!Let's take the gospels. If they were really written by eye-witnesses, or with the help of eye-witnesses, then why are there so many mistakes in them that eye-witnesses would have spotted straight away? - mistakes related to geography, Judaism, Jewish customs and way of life, etc.Just picture the scene:Mark: O.K. Peter, it's finished, would you mind just checking it through for me? Just to make sure I've got it right!(three days later)Peter: Well Mark, as you know, I can't read Greek, but I've had it translated, and it's full of mistakes. But never mind, eh?, it'll do! Get some copies made!
Paul, your argument is comically circular. The bible validates itself? Okay, I'm the bastard king of England. I just said so, and I never lie.Your vietnam analogy fails miserably. I was there and personally saw and experienced it. That is a long shot from a 2000 year old book about miracles and demons and people walking out of their graves.And about all those manuscripts? That speaks against the bible, not for it. paul, cheap shit sells. That superstitious crap was copied and spread around as fast as lightening.Look how fast the mormons came into being--some wild story about stone tablets, and the gullible swallowed it like mother's milk. Jim Jones; David Koresh; Muhammed, for christsake, any kook can get a following.About the authors of the nt dying for it. Those are legends. We do not know how they died. You know that story about peter being crucified upside down? That makes no more sense than hanging a man by putting a noose around his ankles.And I am still laughing about your bible verses. Again, circularity. We reject the bible because we are sinners, and we are sinners because the bible says so. You are badly in need of formal training.
ryan and Pull the other one,Yeah, but Paul is right because he believes, and he believes because he is right. For them, that "logic" is game.set.match to any opposing arguments.Besides...we're evul. So there!(I remember those days. Damn what a fool I was.)Oh, and Paul, if you'd arrest that religious ADD of yours for a moment, you'd have discovered that quite a few members here are not atheists. But I guess that would be hoping against hope.
Just one more little tidbit, paul: go on the net and google up to something called "The Three Witnesses". Shortly after joseph smith announced his tablets, there were three men who signed a joint statement saying they had actually seen them. This statement is printed in every copy of the book of mormon. There is also a monument to them in salt lake city.Some time after, they were joined by eight addtional witnesses. All these guys solemnly attested to seeing those tablets. If you call them liars or charletans, that's fine, because we apply such standards to your bible.we simply claim the right to think for ourselves and make independent judgements. If you have chosen to abjure those rights......enjoy ignorance
People waste too much time stressing about who wrote what, and when, but the bible can be debunked on it's theology alone, even if it is historically accurate. Historical truth is good and all, but, when it comes to christianity, what matters is whether we need saving from eternal hellfire.Which we don't.
So, Andrew Hawkins, let me get this right: to say that there are no unicorns takes the same faith as believing that unicorns exist?Me smell SPECIAL PLEADING, dear.
"The bible can be debunked on its theology alone" Okay paul, still around? Where was Lazarus' soul during the 4 days in the grave? Was it in the afterlife and then returned? Was it kinda hovering around in or near the grave? No matter what answer you come up with, you still have god making some sort of exception.Talk about special pleading!! (thanx Monk and Aleee.....this is going to be good)
Interesting Video, Brett. Thanks for doing research and sharing it. Unfortunately, your research is limited and selective ... and I get that simply b/c it was only a short video. I hesitate to share this information but I will at the risk of being chastised, but I am a xian pastor ... a proporter of the very things you (and many others on this website) find pretty bad. With that out there, I guess, as I look back at my years of study of xian and non-xian writers, the issue you're raising is a bit of a moot point.I say that because to many, you questioning Christ's existance here on earth is similar to those who question truly whether man walked on the moon, the holocaust ever happened, or that Abraham ever existed. In other words, it's a fun "conspiracy theory" but in a serious realm of debate, this is not an argument or even a question. Of course ... maybe I'm wrong ... it's been known to happen (a lot:)).Of course, in our era, everything is questionable,isn't it? Everything. And that's fair-game. I get it.On top of that, I find that, no matter the topic, no matter the discussion, no matter the issue, there are always those who will try to prove "empirically" one way and others who will do the same for the other side of the argument.Kind of sad isn't it? But also food for fodder (whatever the hell that means:)). Sometimes I think that we are in an era that the only conquest left (since all land is called for) is simply "being right." Many are simply trying to prove they are correct ... interesting.Either way ... I appreciate your work. I only discovered this site about 3 hours ago and my eyes are bleary from reading so much. I hear the passion and the frustration of those who have written. Thank God (no pun intended) that we are in an era where we can all have opinions and they are challenged with little more than harsh language.Keep up the studies. Keep up the drive. Ultimately, truth has to emerge either way ... and if I'm wrong, then I will be happy to know it.Thanks
I did not mean "Abraham" from the Bible but Abraham Lincoln ... sorry for the stupid mistake.
Thanks for the courteous post, Robbie. That's not something we frequently see from Christians around here. Anyway, about your reference to people needing to "be right," it so happens I agree with you and posted a little rant last month. Here it is, if you're interested: I was wrong. I admit it.
Webmaster ... a very good article, thanks for sharing it. Clearly you were picking up on the insatiable desire for "rightness" at the expense of "truth". Now that IS sad.As writer Anne LaMott once said, "Everybody thinks their opinion is the right one. If they didn't, they'd get a new one." Have a great day.
I get a little upset when people uphold their own beliefs and ridicule those of others.To me, the creator of the video needs to be sure that Jesus did not exist, and has found an explanation that satisfies him.Others of us don't give a damn and yet others go for the scientific explanation.Why not respect the way others look at situations instead of judging? How different is that from liking turkey over chicken? We are all different and process information on our own way. Let's let others think whatever they want, lest we became crusaders like the Christian nuts we used to be.
Robbie and Webmaster:It is a good point discussed between you, this "needing to be right at the expense of truth." That is why I am not a fundamentalist regarding Atheism, because I would just be perpetuating that whole mentality and be as unwilling as a Christian to be presented with the "truth" all because of pride. If there is a god or group of creators out there, I am open to their introducing Himself/Themselves to me. I am not beyond hearing out "evidence" some one might have in favor of their belief. Most Atheists would be just as willing to be proven wrong. No one WANTS to be punished for eternity in a sea of tortured souls. Most of us will do what ever it takes to avoid such unnecessary unpleasantries.For me, It would take God himself landing here and telling me that my soul was in need of salvation for me to believe it. I have studied both sides of the "Jesus" issue and the validity of his existence and his supposed divinity. The fact that this "god" would even allow such contradicting and convincing information to exist that would lead his "children" to stray is ridiculous. If I had a child who's eternal soul was dependent on what he/she believed, I certainly would do him/her the favor of clearing up any misunderstandings. WTF!The whole Judeo/Christian doctrine is just ridiculous! I don't care whether or not Jesus existed since it can't be proven that he was the Son of God, anyway, and the gospels contradcit themselves and Jesus' very own prophesies failed. I'd say that if anyone wants me to believe in their God they need to come up with a little more convincing evidence other than "Cause the book says so".
My video is still not refuted.
"Is there proof that Saddam or Hitler existed? If there is no proof that Christ, existed then there is not any proof that these men existed. Unless you count msny eye wittnesses. Thousands saw all these men alive, and some did dead, and many eye wittnesses seen Christ, after His ressurrection and accention into the empyrean, Paul say His after His glorification in the Empyrean by His God and Father, and made Him head of the Universe, and He will visit planet earth agasin soon. Time will tell...I don't have too.No Need too.It,would serve no purpose!
Again, Anonymous, who sounds suspiciously like Celestials/Koch/S.M.K, wrote “Unless you count msny [sic]eye wittnesses [sic]. Thousands saw all these men alive, and some did dead, and many eye wittnesses [sic]seen Christ, after His ressurrection [sic] and accention [sic…ad nauseum].So Jesus is real because it is written in the bible that many eyewitnesses saw him after his resurrection, and since it is recorded in the bible, it is unswervingly true. Then there is no reason to think Jack & the Beanstalk isn’t true as well. Both are stories about highly improbable occurrences, both rely on magic, both have a hero whose name starts with “J”, both have a bad guy that means to do the hero harm, and both have a “moral” at the end. Naturally, we can believe it because it is written in a book! Why don’t we start a Beanstalk cult? We’ll wear little “beans” on a necklace around our necks to show our faith in Jack and his magic “Beanstalk to heaven”, we’ll read the book incessantly to absorb the wise words of Jack, before and after he climbs the beanstalk, and we’ll have a special ending where Jack re-grows and climbs a beanstalk to the point where he is no longer seen by his followers below, never returns, and he now sits at the right hand of the great Gardener in the Sky. When we die, we’ll spiritually go to a place where we'll all sit around a huge kettle of bean porridge that we’ll enjoy with Jack, sing praises to the great Gardner who cooked it, and produce “clouds of holy gas…er, ghosts”. Anyone who doesn’t believe in the story ends up in the porridge. It is just as plausible as the bible stories.
"You atheists do not like New Testament..."Grunt, Snort, Grunt, goes Paul as he trudges off to his cave...Hey Paul - Fuck off, OK? No one here gives a rat's ass about your faith, your beliefs, nor ridiculous baseless quotes from your stupid shit book - the one that I personally use as toilet paper.. ..no one, get it? Your rants only serve to further reduce our opinions of you. Sincerely, -Wes.
I, too, see the question of jesus's existance as a moot point.Even if the entire new testament were completely accurrate from a historical standpoint (i.e. every event it describes happened exactly the way the nt says it happened) it still doesn't prove anything.Yeah, sure, all of the miraculous events are difficult to explain (Aliens? Time travelers? Mass hysteria? Elvin magic? A really good con man/illusionist?) but all the bible really says is that a bunch a guys got it into their heads that some guy named jesus was the jewish messiah. There may (or may not) have been good reasons for them to think this, but that doesn't make them right.Let me be clear, I am not saying that I believe any part of the bible to be true. Just that, even if you give christians the benefit of the doubt as to whether the bible is historically accurate, you are still left with nothing but the assumptions of ordinary men who (appearently) witnessed extrordinary events and explained them in terms that made sense to them at that time.The key to christian theology lies in four basic assumptions:1. There is a heaven.2. There is a hell.3. Because of an original sin perpetrated a long time ago, some/all people are doomed to go to hell.4. A person can avoid going to hell by convincing themself that a guy named jesus died for their sins.There is not anywhere a single shread of evidence that supports any of these assumptions except for the wild assertions of fallible men.The question is not 'Was there a jesus?', the question is 'Was there a christ?"
"...and many eye wittnesses seen Christ, after His ressurrection and accention into the empyrean, Paul say His after His glorification in the Empyrean by His God and Father,..."People talk about the 500 witnesses as being some great proof, but really they all amount to only one account.We don't have their 500 different accounts, we only have the one account saying there were 500 witnesses...
From Leaf Thier is allot of evidence that a man called Jesus DID walk the earth in the 1st century..same as the evidence that a man called Hanibal lead the Carthiginians. By saying Jesus NEVER excisted is one that will set a athesist up for failer...I for one have been down this road...and historically indications point very solid that a man called Jesus did excist.One can go around in circles all day on this topic. The main point should be..if Jesus walked the earth was he just a normal man or a diety?What Mr Keanne says sounds good.But I dont it all. I like also to read both sides of the coin.And I think all good scholars should.When one jumps around saying Jesus never excisted he starts getting pegged into a person like the People who deny the Holocaust never excisted.
Saying that Jesus never existed is the same as saying the holocaust never happened, simply means that your ability for critical thinking is weak or inadequate. There is no written history about Jesus, during his lifetime, and indeed, historians suspect that there were many people running around at the time claiming to be the long awaited "Messiah." Hitler's death camps are still around, along with written records, that the Germans meticulously kept, of every one who was killed, along with photos and film records.Dan (naturalselectionist)
OK then lets not use the Holocaust..Lets use say a few players before 1000 AD..Like Muhaddad..Did he really excist? Or how about Leaf Erickson? Thier is much less written about those 2 then their is about Jesus. I am a Xtian myself..and a historian..i love hsitory..I'm sorry but the BS floating around saying Jesus never lived on earth is croak of crap.Its pretty clear to me the man walked on earth in the 1st century..Of course I wasnt there...And I can use the same augument to disprove evolution or disprove Ceasar crossed the Rubercon...I wasnt there...BUT historical records and many eyewitnesses proved Ceaser and Jesus. Also coins of Ceaser and pictures and imigages of Jesus..Same as one can point the egyptian Kings lived. I for one dont buy into the bull shit that Jesus never walked the earth...I feel he did...The question I have is was Jesus a just a man or the SOn of God...I for one say he was just a man..but a speacial type man..Kind of like a modern day spiritual leader.
David Koresh, and Jim Jones, were both modern day spiritual leaders. Both tried to convince their followers that they were God. "BOTH WERE PERVERTS"Dano (who speaks for millions of Neanderthals?
I still don't see anyone proving otherwise. Just how they think everyone else should see it.
Like Lorena, I don’t have problems with Brett’s Video. If this gives him resolution or helps enforce his belief that Christianity is a fraud, then so be it. However, it seems that Brett puts himself in the untenable position of trying to prove a “negative”. I agree with SpaceMonk and Nvrgoingbk, that if one wants to debunk Bible-Based, fundy, Christianity, the Bible itself is all that is needed.But, it also seems that Brett is begging someone to “disapprove” or rebut his video, so at the risk of being the “devils advocate”, here I go.The analytical approach of this video posits: “If it can be shown that another “historical” person was similar to Jesus then this will lead to the conclusion that Jesus never existed. Further, if a historical, early Christian (Justin Martyr) can be shown to admit similarities between ancient pagan gods and Jesus and/or a creator God, then this proves Jesus never existed too. I see no logic in either of these approaches. The properties of a similitude are usually translational, that is, they pass on the virtues of “A” to “B”. If, however, “A” can be shown to be the antecedent of “B” then “B” may be considered a copy of “A” or at least non-original. However, the link provided indicates that Apollonius and Jesus were CONTEMPORARIES’, that is, born about the same time. So, at best, Apollonius provides circumstantial evidence that Jesus may NOT BE UNIQUE, but certainly does not prove that he didn’t exist. Incidentally, there were many would-be messiahs running around in Jesus’ neck of the woods at this time and Jesus Himself warned against these false prophets and Christs (Mat24:5,24, Mark 13:22, Act 13:6 John 7:41-43) if you accept these writings. There were also those who doubted that Jesus was the Messiah. (Mat 28:17). So, the religious and political climates were not stable and “messiahs” were not unique.From the Justin Martyr reference, the same thing can be deduced. But there is a twist. In the context of his first Apology, Martyr points out, in Chapters 21 and 22, the similarities between Christ and the many pagans gods. But he appears to do this for the express purpose of WINNING ROMAN ACCEPTANCE and, hopefully, an end to the horrific blood shed perpetrated on Roman Christians. Martyr writes “we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter.” The argument being, “if what you are doing is ok and what we are doing is similar, why can’t we all be friends?” No matter what you think about Martyr, he continued to press the Roman Senate and was eventually killed for what he believed, hence the label synonymous with self-sacrifice, “Martyr”. Later in Chapter 66, Martyr objects that “wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras”. So he blames these imitators on the devil. Now, here is a good case for an antecedent of Jesus, since Mithras, the sun-god, was reigning long before Jesus. But again, this is not a “Non-Existence-Jesus-Proof” only a circumstantial “copy-cat” one.In fact, the similarity of Apollonius to the Apostle Paul is far more compelling than to that of Jesus. All three were contemporaries. Apollonius was educated in Paul’s Home town, Tarsus, and they both were traveling about the country side at approximately the same time with many cities in common, including Paul’s home base of Ephesus. It is, therefore, possible that Apollonius knew of Paul’s teachings and vice versa! And then there is that “interesting” mention of “Apollos” in Acts and Corinthians. Could Apollos be the translated name of Apollonius? I actually doubt it, but it makes one wonder!Finally, the historicity of Apollonius is also questionable as per the Link. It seems that Apollonius never wrote anything himself, just like Jesus, but had a single devoted disciple named “Damis” who wrote about the Journeys of Apollonius. However, the link comments that “The narrative of Apollonius' travels, as they are reported by Philostratus on the basis of Damis, is so full of the miraculous that, in the words of Edward Gibbon, "we are at a loss to discover whether he was a sage, an impostor, or a fanatic." Also, the life span of Apollonius is given in the Link as approximately 100 years! Wow! So the statement that he was murdered makes me wonder, why bother? Hmm… seems like good ole Apollonius needs a new press agent, methinks!BTW: Contrary to the claim in the video, I can’t find where Josephus wrote that he actually believed in Zeus or Jesus, for that matter. He simply recorded that others did. Guess I missed that one –sorry!Once again, I have no problems with Brett’s Video, because it “stirs-the-pot” and could prompt others into a little bit of scholarship and discovery –all good ! And I kinda admire his guts to “put it out there.” I even don’t mind the glasses, although some have said that they make him look smug and evil. (grin) Keep chargin, Brett!In summary, proving a negative is next too impossible especially when you are trying to sort through 2000 years of history. I actually like Brett’s “She-Bears Eat Kids” video better, but that’s just me. Like many here, I think that the most powerful arguments against Fundamentalist Christianity can be generated by using the Bible against itself. Happy New Year to Everyone!
The Bible is entirely based upon an overly huge presumption, or assumed faith!It's based upon the presumption that;1. There exists a creator God.2. There exists an anti-god, Satan.2. There is a Heaven and a Hell.3. A soul exists. 4. That people sin.5. That people need forgiveness for their sins.6. That prayer has an effect to sway this god's decissions.7. That a virgin birth savior existed, disguised as this god.8. Baptism seals the deal of salvation.9. That ghosts exists, some holier than others, angels exist, miracles can happen, spirits exist, virgin births, people can be raised from the dead, water can be turned into wine, diseases are casused by demon possession, people get blessings, people speak in tongues, a talking snake, donkey and bush existed, dreams may be interpreted, prophets exist.10. Preachers are called by a God.11. This God and Jesus, talks to some people.12. That the Bible is absolutely the inspired word from this God. 13. This God constantly requests money, never gets enough.14. Once you've been brainwashed to believe that you have been "saved" this gives you the righteous authority to try to save the rest of the sinners and infidels that are destined for hell, leaving you looking so righteous and holy.15. You must be forthright and announce your new found claim to salvation and tell everyone that you meet, that you are infact a "Christian" and you must witness to them as a testament of your psychotic belief.16. You must never judge no one, except everyone who you think is going to hell.17. You must never question anyone who claims to be a Christian, regardless of the crime they may have committed, because God will hold all people accountable of their sins, in the next life.Where I live, the Bible is called pure unadulteraded Fact, without question, or apology, the Bible is considered here, that there is no greator universal truth and that is all there is to life's answers, the Bible.
"To say that there are no unicorns takes the same faith as believing that unicorns exist"Mmm. You really should look up the meaning of the word: faith, in your dictionary. Just because science can't prove the existence of unicorns doesn't mean that it can't provide a probability of their existence.
Yeah this was very intresting! It seems like all my christian friends mention Josephus as the "go-to-guy when it comes to the historical evidence for Jesus! I think my blinders are starting to open if you can believe that. I never realized that Josephus talked about hercules and Zeus in the same light as Jesus! WOW this website is a real eye opener!
To jfraysse (and Brett):I awoke this morning around 4:00AM as one of my children was up with a fever. Not the best way to start a day. After the commotion settled, I found myself thinking back to this little video diddy by Brett. Although I'm a xian pastor and although I spend quite a bit of time in study, I don't find myself regularily researching Josephus and doing the parallel research from which you are positioning your arguments. It thus leaves me a bit without words. Nor, with 4 small children and a few other distractions in my life, does it afford me the time I wish I could devote to truly digesting your positions, Brett. Therefore, I want to thank you, jfraysee for your insightful and direct response. As far as I could tell, it was excellent wording and research. I so appreciate that you responded to Brett with the very sources he was using. On top of that, I go back to my emerging thoughts from my early morning ...Brett, I respect that you made this video and I assume (maybe incorrectly) that you put it up on youtube ... I don't know if you are the one that features it here on "Exchristian.net" but for the sake of my thoughts, I will presume you had some intention to make this video for this website and these viewers/readers. If I'm wrong, then take my next statements a little less seriously. If I'm right, then see them as a thoughtful challenge.I'm just thinking that you are bringing these provocative thoughts into a crowd that, for the most part, already agrees with your disbelief in Christianity, let alone the assertion that Jesus never existed. And then you sit back and expect these people to debunk your work. It's almost comical.If you want some true debate, take some of your abilities in research and find a website or forum of people who the majority don't agree with your hypothesis or see the faith system the way you do. Try to defend your argument against those who are experts in the writings of Josephus. I've known several over the years ... yeah, they're out there! I say that, because it just seems like you drop this little bomb in among those who, although they may agree, aren't really in the research realm you're in and, yet, you expect them to debunk you. It's too easy.Find your opposite, challenge them, and then if you're truly ready for it, be prepared to be proven wrong. yup, that's the ultimate challenge. From some of the people I studied under, I think they would find your assessments extremely weak and limited. The true challenge would be if you have the ability to enter into the ring with the very people who are knowledgable in the very subject you're proposing. Then ... bring back your results. Tell us what happened. And tell us where you were right and where you honestly maybe had the story wrong.If you want to find truth, go to the lions den ...Thanks for reading.Robby
Robby,Brett has begun posting some of his videos on this site, but he's been making hundreds of videos and regularly posts them on YouTube and other places. They weren't made strictly with this site in mind.Regardless, the people who come to this site are frequently questioning their beliefs and look here to read another side of things, a side of things that would NEVER be touched on at Christian sites. Further, fundamentalist believers post on this site every day. My impression was just that Brett was challenging any who disagreed with him to debunk him as a way to generate discussion. It's his discussion. He's entirely withing his rights to start up a discussion with whomever he chooses. I mean, do you ever have discussions with other Christians on topics on which Christians disagree? I'll assume the answer is yes. An observation: Christians are full of rules and regulations and judgmental attitudes about what OTHER people should be doing and how THEY should be doing it. That's annoying.
Whenever people talk about Josephus and Jesus the word that automatically springs to mind, almost synonymously, is 'interpolation'. I can't help it.http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html
Webmaster,Thank you for the clarification on how things make it to your website. Also, I respect your comments about "why" Brett and others post here. Totally fair and I would never want to imply that he shouldn't be able to. He, as you stated, is totally within his rights. You are correct in saying that xians are also debating issues within themselves.I also resonate with your comments about the way some xians positions themselves as an authority on the way people should live. Sadly, in my not-so-distant past (probably about 5 years ago) I was very similar to that kind of person you describe. I didn't see it that way at the time ... felt I had the right as a x-follower.Then I studied just x for awhile. I studied just his teachings and stopped looking at Paul (who was a pharisee in his ealier life for a reason) for a bit. Wow ... x was radical in his approach to life and how we treat others. Crazy stuff. Either way, though, I am nervous about being on your site. Not because I feel you're doing wrong or that you shouldn't be here or that you're doing damage. I'm also not someone who uses the word "Satan" or "Demonic" when I disagree with something ... that's not the way I live my faith. None of these things are what scare me. What is getting my attention is that some of the very doubts that surface in my mind are being addressed here. I have been on quite a reprogramming journey for the past 5 years ... rethinking my faith, rethinking the direction of the evangelical church ... really, stepping away from the mainstream of evangelicalism on so many fronts. But completely disavowing x? God? Hmmmm, that makes me shake a bit. I'm not there, yet. Maybe never.BTW, What's your impression of guys like Brian McLaren? Rob Bell? Miroslav Volf? The Emergent Movement? Have you looked into this? Sojourners? Etc. I'd be interested if you have opinions or if anyone has addressed these church-shakers on this site. Some of what they are proposing is currently creating cracks and fissures of all kinds throughout the evangelical church.Enough said ... my rant is through.Robby
My opinion of the emerging or emergent church movement is that it is a controversial, new, 21st century Christian movement. That's about all the opinion I have on it. One thing that disturbed me while I was still a believer, was the periodic "new" movements that would crop up, gain huge followings, and eventually wane and die down as the "newness" wore off. I always wondered, "If the new thing God was doing was the best version of truth, why didn't He reveal that just a little earlier in history?" The way I view those new movements now is a response by religious leaders to the human tendency to become bored with routine and mundane things. I don't see new religious movements as a sudden, modern revelation of truth, but just an appeal to the modern insatiable appetite for something new. New is good. Old is passé.
To jfraysse:I completely agree with your point that what similarity to other myths proves is non-uniqueness; it does not necessarily indicate falsity. I also agree that Brett is perhaps guilty of over-stating his case, leaving the impression that one must reject the Jesus story as false if one grants the existence of similar myths. However, I hear such comments a little differently. To me it is patently obvious that "similarity" does not prove "falsity", so I hear it as a statement of likelihood, not proof. And, I suspect that with a little prodding, Brett would affirm this. (By the way, I do not know Brett, so this is pure conjecture on my part.)Let me illustrate with an analogy. Suppose the police get a report of a UFO. Someone claims to have spotted a strange object floating around, high in the sky, with strange flashing lights, totally unlike any airplane. The dispatcher taking the call has received many similar calls, and they have all turned out to be blimps (of the Goodyear variety). The dispatcher also realizes that the report came from near a stadium at a time that a night-time football game was being played. Therefore, the dispatcher (rightly) gives the call very low priority. Clearly the dispatcher has not disproved that the sighting was of an alien spacecraft, and if pressed she would likely admit as much. However, the circumstantial evidence is such that the sighting is not very credible. In my opinion, this is precisely the impetus behind pointing to similar myths that pre-date Christianity. (Actually, there is even greater force in the latter, since it is well-documented that religious myths readily influence each other, and have often borrowed older motifs.)To Robby:First, I appreciate the tone of your post. You are clearly attempting to express your points in as friendly a manner as possible, and granting others their right to hold differing opinions. Good for you. That's not usually the attitude taken by visiting Christians here. But I would like to respond so several of your remarks. For example, you said:"I'm just thinking that you are bringing these provocative thoughts into a crowd that, for the most part, already agrees with your disbelief in Christianity, let alone the assertion that Jesus never existed. And then you sit back and expect these people to debunk your work. It's almost comical."Had the video been intended for a narrow audience of non-believers, I would agree with you. But I think you realize by now that it had a much wider intended audience. Clearly, posting it here alone would not elicit the most useful criticism (although jfraysse did a nice job above). However, I'm wondering if you see that your criticism applies with stunning force to what the church does perpetually. Not only does every sermon reaffirm church doctrines without any intention of eliciting rebuttal from non-believers, but very frequently the position of non-believers is lampooned in the most irresponsible way (both in sermons and in print). Do you see that such behavior is also "almost comical" (to use your phrase)?You also said "Find your opposite, challenge them, and then if you're truly ready for it, be prepared to be proven wrong."I could not agree with you more! You are perhaps the first Christian visitor to this site who has made such a remark (at least in my memory). It is for that reason that I seek out and read what I consider to be the best Christian apologetics available, and I attempt to have discussions/debates with the most knowledgeable Christians I can find. All else is largely a waste of time (although I do it anyway).But... I will leave you with this question. Do you do the same? For example, do you realize that there are scholars who have reached the conclusion that Jesus was quite possibly a myth (e.g. Robert Price)? Have you ever looked at what they have to say? If not, are you open to doing so at some point?
Robby,I realize that I should have read through the subsequent comments before posting my reply above. You have already answered my questions to some degree, and it seems to me that you are indeed open to asking tough questions yourself. I applaud that. Again, seeing this from a Christian visitor is rare, so it's refreshing. If there is anything further that you wish to elaborate on in response to my (somewhat redundant) questions, please do.
Webmaster and Jim Arvo:Webmaster ... good point. The desire for something "new" is as true in the church as it is in our surrounding culture. It was a good heads-up for me as I can get caught-up in the "newest" and "latest." I take that observation and store it away.Jim Arvo ... you, too, make some good points. Do I place myself in an environment to have my ideas challenged? I try to. I'm probably not putting forth the provocative statements being made here on this site (not yet, at least :)). However, just being at exchristian.net is like swimming in different waters. I also find myself listening a lot more to my friends who don't attend church and my neighbors who find out I'm a pastor. I find that my "I'm right and you're not" attitude did nothing but isolate me and my family. If that's what being a Christian is, I don't want to be a part of it.But so many Christians are threatened by anything that challenges their theology. That's the predictable beauty of anyone, xian or athiest, who feels they are right ... they get threatened and can respond accordingly if those ideas are challenged.Here is the conclusion I've come to recently ... I've decided I don't have to prove God or his existance anymore. I don't have to. I don't have to prove to you or anyone else that you have to believe a certain way or behave a certain way. I will not participate in that toxic way of thinking anymore. Rather, I think my job on this earth, as someone who believes in God and X's teachings, is to serve those around me. I don't have to win arguments or convince ... rather, serve and love. Sounds a bit "60ish" (I wasn't alive then, btw) I know, but in the end, isn't that really what matters? Me treating those around me with respect. And I've also found that those who try to hurt others ... those who try to enforce rules or ideas or theology on others ... those who respond out of anger or with a sarcastic tone, I usually/eventually discover that they ultimately are wrestling with larger issues in their private life that aren't resolved ... otherwise they wouldn't be so threatened.Geees ... I've got to shut up. Thanks for reading and for your previous response. I feel like I've been treated with respect here. Just so you know ... my kindness is sincere.Thanks.Robby
As far as the historians of the day were concerned, he was just a "blip" on the screen. Jesus was not considered to be historically significant by historians of his time. He did not address the Roman Senate, or write extensive Greek philosophical treatises; He never travelled outside of the regions of Palestine, and was not a member of any known political party. It is only because Christians later made Jesus a "celebrity" that He became known. Jesus did not change the social, political and economic circumstances in Palestine (Note: It was left for His followers to do that!) ..the superiority of evidence for Jesus is seen when we ask what he thought. Roman writers could hardly be expected to have foreseen the subsequent influence of Christianity on the Roman Empire and therefore to have carefully documented Christian origins. How were they to know that this minor Nazarene prophet would cause such a fuss? Jesus was executed as a criminal, providing him with the ultimate marginality. This was one reason why historians would have ignored Jesus. He suffered the ultimate humiliation, both in the eyes of Jews (Deut. 21:23 - Anyone hung on a tree is cursed!) and the Romans (He died the death of slaves and rebels.). On the other hand, Jesus was a minimal threat compared to other proclaimed "Messiahs" of the time. Rome had to call out troops to quell the disturbances caused by the unnamed Egyptian referenced in the Book of Acts. In contrast, no troops were required to suppress Jesus' followers. To the Romans, the primary gatekeepers of written history at the time, Jesus during His own life would have been no different than thousands of other everyday criminals that were crucified. Jesus marginalized himself by being occupied as an itinerant preacher. Of course, there was no Palestine News Network, and even if there had been one, there were no televisions to broadcast it. Jesus never used the established "news organs" of the day to spread His message. He travelled about the countryside, avoiding for the most part (and with the exception of Jerusalem) the major urban centers of the day. How would we regard someone who preached only in sites like, say, Hahira, Georgia? Jesus' teachings did not always jibe with, and were sometimes offensive to, the established religious order of the day. It has been said that if Jesus appeared on the news today, it would be as a troublemaker. He certainly did not make many friends as a preacher. Jesus lived an offensive lifestyle and alienated many people. He associated with the despised and rejected: Tax collectors, prostitutes, and the band of fishermen He had as disciples. Jesus was a poor, rural person in a land run by wealthy urbanites. Yes, class discrimination was alive and well in the first century also!
Joseph, Here are a few reasons I disagree with your assertion that the historical silence about Jesus would be expected. 1) Jesus supposedly performed numerous miracles in full view of (presumably) hundreds of spectators. He fed thousands with his miraculous multiplying of bread and fish. He spent years traveling, preaching, and performing miracles. The gospels assert that Jesus' reputation had spread far and wide. With all of that, nobody took any notice?2) Historians who would have been contemporaries of Jesus not only fail to mention Jesus at all (e.g. Philo-Judaeus) but do not mention events such as the slaughter of the innocents by Herod. Josephus also fails to mention this, and his famous blurb on Jesus is very likely a late interpolation.3) The site of Jesus' sermons, his death, his resurrection, and his assension seem to have attracted no attention from the Christians themselves until centuries later. Moreover, there is no artwork depicting Jesus until centuries after his supposed death.4) Paul appears to be completely ignorant of any details concerning the life of Jesus. He does not quote Jesus, even when doing so would have added tremendous credibility to his sermons. He never once places Jesus in a historical context when these details were of central importance to later Christians.5) There were sects of Christianity existing in the early first century that denied the existence of an earthly Jesus; they took such an idea to be as blasphemous as the Jews would have.6) The earliest Christian apologists appear to have spent no energy at all defending the single most contentious point of their theology--the point that would have fueled the most outrage among their Jewish brethren: that god had become a man of flesh and blood. (The expected messiah was not divine, but rather a human messenger of god.) Moreover, they did not use this "fact" to their advantage when evangelizing to the gentiles. This is inexplicable, as it would have clearly set their theology apart from the mystery cults of the time, and the gentiles had no a priori reason to reject an earthly deity (as the Jews did).These are the reasons I can list off the top of my head. There is much much more. I refer you to Earl Doherty and Robert Price for in-depth discussion of all of the above, plus dozens more. I'll provide links if you like.
Toward the end of the video, Brett points out the similarities between the pagan god, Mithra and Jesus. As per my previous post, Mithra is also the antecedent of Jesus, which adds to Brett’s case as Jim Avro points out. However, Brett doesn’t give any links to Mithra. So, to stir the pot a little more, here are some links to look up yourself, that is, if you care and I’m not convinced that you should. Nevertheless, here they are.1. Wikipedia link to Mithraism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mithraism2. Justin Martyr’s First and oldest Apology admitting similarities between Christianity and Mithraism. The specific places of these quotes are in my previous post. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-firstapology.html3. Rebuttal of the idea that Mithraism influenced Christianity by J.P Holding http://tektonics.org/copycat/mithra.html4. An Essay on the Historical Jesus by E.C. Wharton http://www.scripturessay.com/cev1.htmlReference 1 also contains a striking comparison of Mithraism and Christianity, if you scroll through the entire link. Reference 2 is Justin Martyr’s First Apology in its entirety. Reference 3 and 4 are from Christian websites, but the reason I chose them was that they are unusually well referenced, albeit, in some cases, to other Christians scholars.
Joseph wrote: "Jesus never used the established "news organs" of the day to spread His message..."He supposedly preached in Synagogues, the major community centres of his day.He also supposedly preached to thousands of people on mountains, lakesides, etc., enough to get the attention of the Pharisees and High Priests (major community figures).(Clearing the Temple that one time would have got some attention too). His followers may not have caused much trouble for the Roman troops but Pontius Pilate had to deal with a major situation when mobs were about to riot if he didn't have Jesus crucified.It was very political scenario that Pilate skillfully navigated, and probably would have recorded. Also Jesus supposedly turned all his disciples into evangelists, to go out and systematically preach to all the world. I don't know how much more of an effort he could have made at spreading the 'news' even if there was a Palestine News Network.
We know that Muhammad existed for a fact and he vouches for Jesus being a fact. Unless you want to also think that Socrates didn't exist either and I know for a fact you can't prove that he did.
Muhammad, who's that?
Interesting discussion to be sure. Here are some links that may be of further interest:Josephus Untangled Shows the Testimonium Flavianum is clearly an interpolation.Pliny, Suetonius and Tacitus: No Proof of JesusApollonius, Paul and Jesus Reveals the similarities between the three.As concerns the nonsensical argument that Jesus was "just a blip on the radar screen," the gospels themselves assert dozens of times that Jesus was widely famed. See, e.g., Mt 4:23-25, 5:1, 8:1, 8:18, 9:8, 9:31, 9:33, 9:36, 11:7, 12:15, 13:2, 14:1, 14:13, 14:22, 15:30, 19:2, 21:9, 26:55; Mk 1:28, 10:1; Lk 4:14, 4:37, 5:15, 14:25, etc.Interested parties may wish to read the voluminous Christ Conspiracy articles as well as my books.Acharya S
I should add this link regarding the Mithra debate:Mithra: The Pagan Christ
Acharya S, Your site appears to be debunking Jesus, yet you have about 10 ad links that say Jesus is real, and some even give the option to be saved.What's your point? It appears that you're not so sure about what you, yourself is preaching.I do not personally enjoy the confusion on your site, do the links you have posted, send you money? Are you that desparate for money?
Shame on you. And not for speaking your opinion. But for doing such a horrid and disgraceful thing in your quiz. I took your quiz twice. I noted EVERY answer. Your quiz told me that I was wrong each time. I then took it again, and answered the exact opposite. It told me again each time that I was wrong.Shame on you for being so desperate to defile that which is pure.....
The proof of Jesus and God is everywhere. Whether you believe it or not is your choice. If you truly believe in Jesus(God) then you don't need physical proof of his existence. People like you who feel the need to find proof are lacking in your own personal life and feel the need to justify it by attacking christians who do believe. When you are standing before God on the Judgement Day I'll bet you will believe then, but it will be too late!
Thanks, Christ Follower, for your post. Just today I was thinking about returning back to the christian faith,, but your post brought back memories of all the delusions that I walked away from when I left! Funny how I forgot about them. That is, until you posted. Thanks again. Fundy posts always serve to re-assure me that I made the right choice..."If you truly believe in Jesus(God) then you don't need physical proof of his existence"Therefore..."If you truly believe in variable X then you don't need physical proof of variable X; where X equals potentially any god that mankind has ever invented throughout the thousands of years man has been creating gods!-Wes.
Christbot: "The proof of Jesus and God is everywhere."Wrong. There is no proof for your god, and most alleged "proof" of Jesus is tainted by pious forgeries such as the interpolations to the Testimonium Flavianum of Josephus. It is thought by many Biblical scholars that Eusebius altered the Testimonium to add the name of Jesus... The passage is out of style and character, and does not exist in many early copies of Antiquities."Whether you believe it or not is your choice."No. It is not a choice. I have a choice as to whether or not I want to try to believe. If I didn't already think it was a total waste of precious time, I could easily walk down to the church on the corner and say and do all the things that the believers say and do. No guarantee that such behaviour would imbue me with actual belief."If you truly believe in Jesus (God) then you don't need physical proof of his existence."This is the problem in a nutshell. I don't believe in either of them. I do require physical proof before I'll even consider the possibility of their existence."People like you who feel the need to find proof are lacking in your own personal life..."Ah, I see you slept through the lecture on "Thou shalt not bear false witness." Thanks for the reminder that Christians are no more moral than anyone else on this planet.
Christians like to conflate the Jewish Messianic figure Yeshai beth Halachmee with their Jesus Christ of the gospel fictions who supports Roman values like slavery and not Jewish values.While most Christians are taught that Jesus created the Christian religion, this is not so. The people who created Christianity are the people who wrote the scriptures. It is commonly accepted that the gospels were written sometime after 70 CE. The question is, Why did it take so long? A lot happened during this period in this corner of the world.First we have the Pisonian Conspiracy in which members of the the powerful Roman Piso family conspire to assassinate the Emperor Nero and to create a new Jewish religion to compete with the Jewish religion of the Messianic Jewish Movement. They are discovered and executed.Next we have Apollonius of Tyana making 2 trips to India. On his first trip he receives 9 manuscripts in Taxila which form the basis for the 9 Pauline Epistles. On his second trip to farther India he receives 4 documents about the seasons of life of the Indian Christ of the Tamil people which form the basis for the 4 gospels. It is interesting that the Pauline Epistles are the earliest Chistian writings and make no reference to Jesus of Nazareth. Neither do other early writngs such as 'The Shepherd of Hermes' or 'The Epistle of Barnabas.' The reason for this is that these texts were written prior to the time when the gospels were written. Now, we know that the epistle of Paul supposedly date back to the 50s. Therefore, as of that decade no one had ever heard of Jesus of Nazareth.It is only during the last decade of the first century and the beginning of the second that Jesus Christ is mentioned in quotes from St. Ignatius of Antioch and Clement of Rome. They mention his name, but know little about him. It was also at this time that the famous apologetics quotes from Suetonius and Tacitus were actually written. This is also the time that Josephus wrote the infamous 'Testimonium Flavianum.' All of these quotes were written after the gospels had already been composed.So, there you have it. Prior the gospels being written there is not one single mention of Jesus Christ. Only after the gospels were written do we hear the name Jesus Christ mentioned. To learn more about how the Romans subverted the teachings of Yeshu and the Nazoreans and proclaimed them the revelations of their godman Jesus Christ visit: http://www.nazoreans.com
"Hey, you've got Christianity in my Judaism!""Noooo...you've got Judaism in my Christianity!!!"Eeeewww!
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