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10/06/2007                                                                                       View Comments

Skeptic Bible Study: Jesus Never Existed

By John Armstrong



Is Jesus the ultimate urban legend? http://www.godvsthebible.com/.

19 comments:

Chucky Jesus said...

Nice summary of the Jesus existence problem, however I would say that reason is nature's gift, not from a god.

Anonymous said...

Trust, that I am a new atheist. However, how do you explain the thousands of priests who studied theology for 8 to 12 years and still deeply believe in the whole jesus story? Are all these men fools?

SpaceMonk said...

Anonymous,
Thomas Paine once wrote about gospel contradictions, "I lay it down as a position which cannot be controverted, first, that the agreement of all the parts of a story does not prove that story to be true, because the parts may agree and the whole may be false; secondly, that the disagreement of the parts of a story proves the whole cannot be true."

Those taking extended theology courses are always shown the ways the internal parts of their complex story agree, they are never really exposed to those parts that disagree.
- except in the form of Apologetics, which you will find is usually just continuing excuses not to reject the thing they've invested their life in, not proof that it is actually truth.

.:webmaster:. said...

"Are all these men fools?"

Are those men who have devoted their lives to studying and teaching the Koran fools?

Having an advanced education in mythology -- err, theology -- doesn't necessarily enhance a person's ability to think logically or critically.

Jim Arvo said...

Nice video. Succinct points. I was a bit surprised that the author did not mention Paul's silence on historical aspects of Jesus. To me, that is one of the most inexplicable facts about Christianity. But then, there are other inexplicable facts to choose from (as shown in the video).

Anonymous asked "...how do you explain the thousands of priests who studied theology for 8 to 12 years and still deeply believe in the whole jesus story? Are all these men fools?"

This question is founded on a false dichotomy. Holding a "foolish" (or irrational) belief does not make one a fool. We humans have an astonishing capacity to compartmentalize beliefs--turning off critical thinking in some domains while deploying it in full force in others. So, I would not call the studied theologians fools. Some have clearly been brilliant and articulate. I've yet to see how those attributes offer complete insurance against being wrong, however. Even spectacularly wrong. On that I think we can all agree. We need only point to the scholars of those "other" religions.

Anonymous said...

Jesus never existed? I am not going to say he resurrected and was devine. Or that he was part of the "Holy Trinity" in heaven [yes, some Christian groups reject the "trinity doctrine]. Now, how do you explain the coming of Christianiy in an empire known for its decadence brutallity, Rome, and totally depraved and abusive, and became a mass movement that eventually brought down that empire? The teachings of this mysterious man must have had an impact that attracted a large following of mostly poor people who suffered in that cold and uncaring empire. Again, not that he was "devine" and came from heaven. Maybe those stories may have been added by the early writers of the gospels to make him attractive. But obviously he existed. And Pliny and Josephus mentioned him as a certain reality. And Edward H. Gibbon's classic "The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire", libraries both public and academic got the book, seems to admit it. May I suggest some here to read the history of the Roman civilization, and ancient Greeks, before saying "Jesus never existed". If this guy's name have lasted almost twenty centuries, maybe there is some truth of his existence.
P.D.: Notice I did not say Christianity is "good">

.:webmaster:. said...

Anonymous,

Please read the site disclaimer. Then, if you are going to continue posting here, please click the "other" radio button and type in a pseudonym.

Thanks.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Anonymous said:
"Maybe those stories may have been added by the early writers of the gospels to make him attractive. But obviously he existed. And Pliny and Josephus mentioned him as a certain reality."
---
Anon,

You seriously need to read this ENTIRE link, in a HUGE HUGE way!!!

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/

Here's a sample to wet your whistle

From this page......http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/surfeit.htm

Was there a Jesus? Of course there was a Jesus – many!

The archetypal Jewish hero was Joshua (the successor of Moses) otherwise known as Yeshua ben Nun (‘Jesus of the fish’). Since the name Jesus (Yeshua or Yeshu in Hebrew, Ioshu in Greek, source of the English spelling) originally was a title (meaning ‘saviour’, derived from ‘Yahweh Saves’) probably every band in the Jewish resistance had its own hero figure sporting this moniker, among others.

Josephus, the first century Jewish historian mentions no fewer than nineteen different Yeshuas/Jesii, about half of them contemporaries of the supposed Christ! In his Antiquities, of the twenty-eight high priests who held office from the reign of Herod the Great to the fall of the Temple, no fewer than four bore the name Jesus: Jesus ben Phiabi, Jesus ben Sec, Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel. Even Saint Paul makes reference to a rival magician, preaching ‘another Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 11,4). The surfeit of early Jesuses includes:
-----

There are also other sites as well that will show you why Josephus and Pliny's words can't add credence to the life of your special Jesus to.

You are being brainwashed by xtian apologist, who are trying to make a case for their god on earth, but the truth is that not only is the existing proof for your jesus, DISMAL at best, but common sense tells most of us that a figurehead soooooo popular in history would have had LOTS written about him by many historians, but did NOT.....Ask yourself WHY that is Anon!!

After you read thru the site I showed you here, come back and we can talk further.


ATF (who see's a clear cut case here of a xtian being led astray by the apologist version of human history)

Anonymous said...

If I had been "brainwahsed" by Christian apologists then I "logically" accepted the story of his resurrection. Your problem is that you "need" to hate Christianity and any opinion against Christianity you are willing to believe. If somebody were you Christ "came in a UFO" with the movie character "E.T." you will "believe it". I came from Catholic background, no shame on that. and abandoned Christianity in my early twenties, I am in my fifties now, and had periods of atheism too. Yet I was also a heavy reader of history, religion and philosophy [what's the differe nce between Russell'atheism and Sartre's atheism? Simple: Beltrand Russell used materialism and logic, Satre said man was alone in the universe and therefore God did not exists] and had many believer's friends who treated me with respect. Not all believers are "inhuman monsters" as some atheists want to believe. Good people and bad people exist in both sides. Me? Let say I am an existentialist deist. And quite open minded with both sides. [Yet I get more hatred from atheists than from believers. Ironic, isn't it?]

Anonymous said...

Logic tells me NO social movement starts without any given founder or starter. Buddishm started with Budda, or Sidharta Gautama, correction accepted. Confucianism started by the legenday Chinese philosopher Confucious. Modern Greek philosophy started with Pythagoras, Socrates and Plato. Islam started with Mohamed. Why Christianity some wants to deny Jesus existed? Narrowminded hatred toward Christianity? Of course Christianity have made thousands of mistakes. Criminal acts shall we say. But good or bad it cannot have started in the air. And did I forget Judaism? Do you believe Abraham and Moses never existed? Or are you afraid of being called "anti-semitic"? [I think there may have been twoi guys named Abraham and Moses, and King David, too]

Anonymous said...

I am much older. Stories that "Jesus never existed" I heard them when before you were born. Way back to 1964! I was a kid. I doubt today's website will convince me. Is an old story. By the way, do you know who else said Jesus "never existed"? Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister. He said it in one of his diaries, "The Goebbel's Diaries" first published in 1949.

AtheistToothFairy said...

Anonymous wrote:
"I am much older. Stories that "Jesus never existed" I heard them when before you were born. Way back to 1964!"
--
Anonymous (one of the many posting here),

Before WHO was born???
To whom do you refer to here?

Hearing "stories" is not quite the same thing as having a plausible case, with backing evidence.
(Not to mention the total lack of expected evidence we SHOULD see from history, if jesus was all the wonderful things the bible claims him to be)

If we had only mere STORIES or rumors that jesus never existed, you would have a case for us not buying into those stories so easily. This is clearly not the case at all however !!


>By the way, do you know who else said Jesus "never existed"? Josef Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister. He said it in one of his diaries, "The Goebbel's Diaries" first published in 1949

Frankly, whether this is a fact or not, does not bolster the Jesus issue, one way or the other.
What does it mean that this propaganda minister didn't believe Jesus existed?
Surely he wouldn't have used his personal viewpoint about Jesus as an item of his propaganda, as Hitler himself was quite the believer in Jesus.

(Don't even try and tell us that Hitler wasn't a Catholic believer either. We've heard that xtian apologetic way TOO many times already)


I'm not sure if you're the same Anon who speaks about Moses, as you anon's can't figure out how to pick a name for yourselves for some strange reason.

Anyway, the 'STORY' of Moses escaping Egypt with his Jews has ZERO supporting historical evidence outside the bible stories, and I even dare to question his very existence as well.... at least for the existence of the god's chosen prophet that the bible portrays him to be.

See this site for more info on Moses and the Exodus....
http://www.geocities.com/paulntobin/moses.html


Now you may continue to believe that the only evidence historians have against Jesus and Moses are mere rumors and 'stories', or you can actually weigh what the MANY who have studied ancient history have to say on these matters.

However, you might trying leaving the god-filter OFF while reading this material.
Such a filter has a strange way of making xtians miss the obvious facts.


ATF (who also wants to know the miracle secret of how the 'people' of Moses multiplied so quickly in those ancient days)

Anonymous said...

Honestly, you haven't prove me a damn thing. Case close. And I am no Christian fundamentalist. But I won't lower myself in a religious hater as you. I will not convince you, and I don't give a damn, and you will never convince me. Anyway, believers and atheists can have one thing in common: both can be quite narrowminded. [And I am a deist: God maybe exists, but he doesn't influence the absurdities of us humans]

boomSLANG said...

Incensed Anony' retorts: But I won't lower myself [to] a religious hater as you. I will not convince you, and I don't give a damn, and you will never convince me.

Hmmm, it seems like you're awfully angry for someone who doesn't give a damn. 'Seems you're doing a lot of generalizing, too. First off, this site is for EX-christians. And in case you haven't noticed, not every "ex-christian" is an Atheist. In regards to a generic/Universal "God", there are Agnostics, as well as several Deists here, so you're not the only "Deist".

Secondly, not ALL Atheists hate ALL religions, as you seem to want to believe. Some religions are actually peaceful, at least in comparison to the three major monotheistic religions..i.e..Judaism, Islam, and Christianity. True, many non-Theists see those three religions as abhorant, and rightfully so, as their respective "Holy books" condone and promote abhorant and barbaric behavior(s). The killing of all those who oppose their respect doctrines, comes immediately to mind.

Also true, there are good and bad people of all religious and non-religious affiliation. This "proves" nothing, except that people are people, and that religious belief doesn't automatically make one any better-off than anyone else; no one is being guided by any magical beings. Case closed.

Anything else?

.:webmaster:. said...

ANONYMOUS!!!!!!!!!!

Either click the "OTHER" radio button and type in a pseudondym when you post or EVERYTHING you post will be deleted.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!


If this doofus ignores me this time, everyone can be assured that this is another (or one of the usual) fundie fanatics. If he refuses to honor this one request, all of his posts will be deleted. So, keep that in mind if you intend to engage this person.

.:webmaster:. said...

But I won't lower myself in a religious hater as you.

Excuse me, but what segment of our culture uses the word "hater" in conversation? Hmm?

Please: Christians who are disingenuous are particularly infuriating.

Haters?

How uneducated and ignorant is that?

Astreja said...

Anonymous: "Logic tells me NO social movement starts without any given founder or starter."

*cough* Paul of Tarsis and Emperor Constantine *cough*

Judging from the historical record of the religion's propagation over the first few centuries of the common era, Christianity never needed an actual Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I think you need some cough drops. And why waste time arguing this silliness of "whether Jesus existed or not". Ridiculous. Even if the real Jesus is not the one described by the bible, Christianity did not start in the air. And Paul must have been quite an amazing guy to have invented it all. Very amazing! And people will keep believing in him, whether you "claim" he existed or not. They have been doing that for twenty centuries. Old habits are very hard to die, kid.

Jim Arvo said...

Anonymous, you apparently posted a similar comment in this thread, and I answered you there. In short, the "thin air" argument is a straw men. Nobody is suggesting that.