Historical evidence of Jesus

May 2013
1,694
The abode of the lord of the north
About 14 decades actually - almost a century and a half between the alleged events and the gospels becoming known to outsiders to criticise.

Even the earliest Christian writer to show knowledge of the gospels was Justin Martyr, around 150 AD or so.

But the first pagan outsider to read and criticise the gospels wasn't until Celsus, around 170 AD or so (he called them fiction based on myths.)

Before then its just unclear comments like Paul's heavenly Christ.
I was talking about Tacitus' mention.
 
Nov 2018
6
Australia
I was talking about Tacitus' mention.
Well, Tacitus wrote about eleven decades after Jesus' alleged birth, and about eight decades after Jesus' alleged death.

Tacitus mentions only the bare details - he doesn't even give the name 'Jesus', but 'Christus' - which can not possibly have come from any Roman records, he is simply repeating Christian beliefs.

But so what ?
We already know Christians existed, and believed, in the early second century.

What exactly is your point ?
What do you think cannot happen in only 80 years or so ?

The Gospel of Mark could have been written in a week or so, myths can easily develop quickly.

Consider the WW2 belief in John Frum - that developed in only a few years into a full blown cult (some even believe he had a brother in Prince Philip.)

Or Sherlock Holmes - people belived he existed within a few years of being written, and some still do.

The claim the Julius Caesar's soul rose to heaven started the DAY he was buried.

Consider how much development happened between Paul (who wrote nothing that clearly places Jesus on earth - no connected names, places, or dates at all) and the Gospels - a huge rate of development that only took about 20 years according to the standard model.

Consider the growth of the stories in the Gospels - from bare Mark to miraculous John in only two decades or so.

So please -
explain exactly what you think cannot happen in eight decades (several generations), and how that argues for a historical Jesus.

Kapyong
 
Jan 2019
119
USA
Well, Tacitus wrote about eleven decades after Jesus' alleged birth, and about eight decades after Jesus' alleged death.

Tacitus mentions only the bare details - he doesn't even give the name 'Jesus', but 'Christus' - which can not possibly have come from any Roman records, he is simply repeating Christian beliefs.
"Adolf von Harnack argued that Chrestians was the original wording, and that Tacitus deliberately used Christus immediately after it to show his own superior knowledge compared to the population at large.[20] Robert Renehan has stated that it was natural for a Roman to mix the two words that sounded the same, that Chrestianos was the original word in the Annals and not an error by a scribe.[23][24] Van Voorst has stated that it was unlikely for Tacitus himself to refer to Christians as Chrestianos i.e. "useful ones" given that he also referred to them as "hated for their shameful acts".[19] Eddy and Boyd see no major impact on the authenticity of the passage or its meaning regardless of the use of either term by Tacitus.[25]"

Only an argument on the other end. What is your opinion on the information above?
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
12,779
"Adolf von Harnack argued that Chrestians was the original wording, and that Tacitus deliberately used Christus immediately after it to show his own superior knowledge compared to the population at large.[20] Robert Renehan has stated that it was natural for a Roman to mix the two words that sounded the same, that Chrestianos was the original word in the Annals and not an error by a scribe.[23][24] Van Voorst has stated that it was unlikely for Tacitus himself to refer to Christians as Chrestianos i.e. "useful ones" given that he also referred to them as "hated for their shameful acts".[19] Eddy and Boyd see no major impact on the authenticity of the passage or its meaning regardless of the use of either term by Tacitus.[25]"

Only an argument on the other end. What is your opinion on the information above?
As far as I understand "Christus" means "the anointed one" which seems to be at least as positive as "useful ones".....

The question is why would Tacitus use either of these terms ? The character's name was Jesus ("Yeshua").... Assuming the romans recorded his execution -or anything else about him, they would have I assume put his name down as Jesus (perhaps adding son of Joseph and Mary) not as Chr(e)(i)stus... The most probable explanation is that he was simply repeating the christian narrative which by his time was probably widespread in Rome...
The implication is - since Tacitus appears to be parroting the christian narrative- that this mention has no value in terms of evidence
 

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