Historical evidence of Jesus

Oct 2014
77
Osaka
#1
The life of Jesus is interesting, and has a few unanswered questions which have been debated for centuries.
A poll has revealed that 40% of people in Britain do not believe that Jesus of Nazareth existed.

People who think Jesus didn’t exist are seriously confused | Catholic Herald

What do people here think about this? Was Jesus a real person? Is Christianity based on true events that really happened? Or is the story of Jesus a later invention?
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#2
Mention by Tacitus makes it obvious for me. It's not easy to create a huge movement in the name of a mythical someone within a century of his supposed existence. You have elders in your society who can testify whether he lived or not, it's nearly impossible.
 
Likes: Ashoka maurya
Jan 2019
130
USA
#3
There are quite a few Non-Christian sources that speak on Christ, particularly his execution. That is enough for me to be convinced he existed. In terms of the story, the new testament was catalogued after his execution.

Whether Christianity is based on events that really happened, you'd have to be more specific. Which events?
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#4
That said, I do not buy his resurrection as stated in the bible, nor do I think his preaching were out of the world revelations. It was mostly in line with the apocalyptic trend which was going around in Judea at that time.
 
Oct 2014
77
Osaka
#5
Whether Christianity is based on events that really happened, you'd have to be more specific. Which events?
Was there a man called Jesus who lived in 1st century Palestine? Who taught a religious message, and was crucified by the Romans for it? And what happened after the crucifixion? Did he die? Did he survive/ what happened next?
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#6
Was there a man called Jesus who lived in 1st century Palestine? Who taught a religious message, and was crucified by the Romans for it? And what happened after the crucifixion? Did he die? Did he survive/ what happened next?
Of course and to be more specific, the resurrection of Jesus is of paramount importance for the christian cult. Resurrection was seen by the apostles as the actual proof that Jesus was everything he claimed he was.
 

Kevinmeath

Ad Honoris
May 2011
13,972
Navan, Ireland
#7
That said, I do not buy his resurrection as stated in the bible, .
But you are not a Christian so of course you don't 'buy' the resurrection neither done secularists etc.

But if (I emphasize the if) you belief him to be 'son of God' then why not? if God can create the world 'cheating' death shouldn't be that hard.

Now if you want to try a suggest a 'real' historical event that may have looked like resurrection that is more difficult to propose.


nor do I think his preaching were out of the world revelations. It was mostly in line with the apocalyptic trend which was going around in Judea at that time.
Well again if you have faith in him then they were 'out of this world' but in any case his phrasing would have been in the context of the time.
 
May 2013
1,721
The abode of the lord of the north
#8
But you are not a Christian so of course you don't 'buy' the resurrection neither done secularists etc.

But if (I emphasize the if) you belief him to be 'son of God' then why not? if God can create the world 'cheating' death shouldn't be that hard.

Now if you want to try a suggest a 'real' historical event that may have looked like resurrection that is more difficult to propose.
Yes, I was talking about the historical event of death.


Well again if you have faith in him then they were 'out of this world' but in any case his phrasing would have been in the context of the time.
Some of his ideas were actually alien to his subjects, which is why his popularity grew, putting him in trouble. But they were presented in a frame very much corresponding to the beliefs and myths of Judea. There wasn't anything totally-alienish in his preaching, making him a historically viable and very much human figure.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,362
Albuquerque, NM
#9
To the OP's question: Yes, Jesus almost certainly was a historical personage. Josephus was a well placed Jewish/Roman insider who was contemporary with the Jewish Wars who left us some of the best information on the events leading to, during and after Rome had crushed the rebellion. There are several mentions of Jesus, but scholars believe most were Christian additions to the text long afterwards. However, there remain passages that are almost certainly original that mention Jesus. There are other references to Jesus, or to a popular charismatic Jewish leader, who was active prior to the Jewish Rebellion.

While the historicity of Jesus is generally accepted, the biblical accounts of Jesus' life, teachings, intentions, etc. were written long afterward. Eisenman argues persuasively in James: Brother of Jesus that after the Crucifiction, the Jesus Movement was headed by his brother, and Peter. Both seem to have regarded Jesus as the likely Messiah whose message was a call for a revival of, and a return to ancient beliefs and practices. Rome had placed Herod the Great on the Jewish throne as a "puppet", but a large percentage of the population regarded the Herod as illegitimate, and saw the Temple priesthood as Quislings. Apparently, the Jesus Movement grew out of resistance to the Herods and Rome. What that more likely historical Jesus taught is pretty much lost to history, though it seems reasonable that he was a popular revivalist calling for a return of fundamentalist Judaism.

The Jesus of the Gospels, is probably mostly fictional. Paul, whose life had been collaboration with Rome and the Herods, was regarded with suspicion by the Jerusalem leadership. Paul, who almost certainly never met or heard Jesus, claimed to have had a post-crucifixion vision making Paul responsible for taking the Teaching (as Paul saw it) to the gentiles. James and Peter apparently weren't convinced that Jesus came to turn Judaism into some new religion with Jesus as Son of God. That was what the Romans did, turn leaders into Gods ... offending Jewish monotheism. James seems to have been a moderating influence, but was murdered (thrown from atop a high wall of the Temple complex). Rome crushed the Jewish Rebellion, and the Jerusalem Branch withered leaving Paul/Peter to dominate the development of the new religion. During this early period, Christianity found a toehold in a number of Roman Communities around the eastern Mediterranean, and each had their own cherished notion of how Jesus and his message should be regarded by converts. Greek mysticism v. Pauline mysticism may have been fairly well matched in importance at the time, but that soon changed. Constantine the Great also had a useful vision (or so we are told) that resulted in Christianity being made the official State Religion of Rome. Constantine made Byzantium shifting the power to the East where it remained dominate until around the 7th century. Constantine preferred a State Religion that bolstered his own power, and that called for uniformity of faith in the "new" religion.

St. Irenaeus who lived in the 2nd century had already laid the ground work for what Roman Catholicism became by condemning anyone who disagreed with Paul as heretics. By the time of Constantine most of the competing sects had left Greek-style Gnosticism and orthodox Judaism behind so, all other varieties of Christianity were declared heresy and all variant texts were destroyed. Almost, modern scholars have been enriched by the discovery of ancient texts found in modern times.
 

Asherman

Forum Staff
May 2013
3,362
Albuquerque, NM
#10
As said above, Jesus probably was crucified though so far as I know the only detailed stories are from the Gospels written to support the Pauline assertions. There are no references in the literature that I know of that claim that Jesus returned from death to preach a radical new religion to supersede Judaism. It is interesting that much of what is believed in modern Judaism was codified during the Diaspora, and the writing of those Rabbis that today are primarily are regarded as Orthodox Judaism. BTW ... for those who don't know already ... I'm an American raised Christian (Catholic, Mormon, Baptist, etc.), who as studied and been a Zen Buddhist for over fifty years.
 

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