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January 4, 2013
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Is there any historical evidence for Jesus Christ?

:iconn-team:
N-Team Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I'm curious. What I've read is that scholars say he existed, but nothing about the miracles. Hopefully you all can inform me. I'd say there is no absolute certainty on this...
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I'm a little teapot, short and stout.
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:iconn-team:
N-Team Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconyeahplz:
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:iconkausawolf:
kausawolf Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Whale of corals outside of the bible there isn't any writing oar anything of a Jesus in Nazareth, but theres a pretty good chance there was a Jesus living in Nazareth at roughly that time.
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:iconinuranma44:
Inuranma44 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Student General Artist
I'm surprised that no one's brought up the 5,000+ manuscripts of the New Testament and how, according to a bibliographical test (not BIBLE graphical test... xP) it's a very well preserved work of antiquity. Not to mention that the Dead Seas Scrolls also have a say in the authenticity of the Tanakh.

(Not trying to be dismissive but just hoping to contribute. Even if there's still some debate surrounding it, you gotta admit, it still has to count for something.)
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
The number of manuscripts is neither here nor there. It would be surprising if there WEREN'T thousands, considering Christianity's spread starting in the 4th century. But there are very, very few mss from the 1st and 2nd, fewer than 20, and only one of them from the 1st.

But others here have argued that the NT itself is a argument for the existence of the person Jesus, if nothing else, myself included.
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:iconinuranma44:
Inuranma44 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Student General Artist
Ah I see. :)

I've read most of them and I know you all mean well but it seems like this debate has become more of an "in your face" debate rather than a discussion.

As one who's looked in to this topic before, let's see if I can give it a shot. ^^

From my understanding, the number of manuscripts matters because its used to check if whether or not the documents we have today is the same that's written during the time it was written. That's how scholars authenticate the writings of other ancient works like Plato, Homer, Aristotle and so on. Not just the bible.

Now why is this important? Well to know if whether or not what we have now is the same thing that was written thousands of years ago, you gotta test it by checking the manuscripts through something called a bibliographical test, which is done in the field of Historiography.

Because there's 5,000+ manuscripts of the New Testament, it's pretty fair to say that what we have to day is the original, if not, VERY close to the original. Same goes with the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Tanakh. xD

Also, you did say the following: "The number of manuscripts is neither here nor there. It would be surprising if there WEREN'T thousands, considering Christianity's spread starting in the 4th century. But there are very, very few mss from the 1st and 2nd, fewer than 20, and only one of them from the 1st."

Before I'm to say ANYTHING, by Manuscripts, do you mean the Autographas or the copies?

As for extra-biblical sources, I heard in a debate between Apologist/Mathematician John Lennox and Richard Dawkins in which he says that secular historians have acknowledged the existence of Christ such as Pagan, Greek, Roman, Jewish and so on. After that, Dawkins admitted that there was a Jesus of Nazareth at some point (of course whether or now he still stands by it today, I'm not sure.)

Now, what these writings are SPECIFICALLY, I haven't looked in to it in detail. I know you guys have mentioned a couple like Josephus and Pliny the Younger but it seems such sources isn't enough to satisfy an answer (Of course, there's nothing wrong with that mind you. That just means that you're seeking for truth. Just make sure its for the SAKE of Truth and NOT because you wanna prove the "Christians" wrong or cuz you wanna shove the evidence in the face of the Atheist).

Of course if you REALLY wanna know, you would have to ask a historian, a theologian or someone with authority. Just keep an open mind when you do. ;D
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Same goes with the Dead Sea Scrolls for the Tanakh.

Actually, if the DSS has showed us anything, it's that there were at one time various textual traditions for the Tanakh, and the current Hebrew recension only descends from one of them. There was already evidence of this, given the variations in the Samaritan Torah and the Septuagint, but those could have been "errors". The DSS showed they were all once current acceptable variants, and also that variants existed with no modern descendants.

Of course mss does not mean autographs. We don't have autographs, and it's not reasonable to expect that we would.

It's not much of a stretch to "admit" that Jesus of Nazareth was a real person. Occam's Razor calls for it, if nothing else. You need to assume a lot more if you're going to insist the New Testament is fictional. It's the apparently legendary material that one might reasonably call into question.
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:iconinuranma44:
Inuranma44 Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Student General Artist
Really? That's actually really interesting! :D I didn't know that about it in terms of the Hebrew. Man, you gotta love history. xD (Sorry, I'm a nerd when it comes to this kinda thing xP)

Still, if you were to translate it in to English, the modern copy we have would still have an accurate translation except for bits of the book of Isaiah which, even with the errors, doesn't change the core theology.

And ah okay. xD From what I've heard, the time period in between the autographa to the earliest manuscripts, the smallest is 70 years. That's a miracle if you compare it to other works of antiquity! xD

If you use that logic that it can't be good because there's only a couple of manuscripts (though I've heard there's definitely more than only one from the first century), then you can't count the works of the others either since there's not as much copies of those either. I know there's only 10 manuscripts of Ceasar's Commentary on the Gallic Wars, Plato has 7 Manuscripts, Tacitus has 20, etc. etc.*

Now, if whether or not what's written down is true is up to the reader. That's why the Apostle John writes in his gospel saying "But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." :)

If you wanna look it up its in John chapter 20 verse 31 though I recommend reading the whole book! xD

The Occam's Razor? That's the argument in which God can't be found by reason alone right? Or is it the one where you choose the easier argument til' further evidence arrives? (Had to look it up... xP)

CS Lewis and other apologists like Ravi Zacharias and Josh McDowell can probably help you out with that. xD

Well of course! No other book in history boldy claims to be the true book! It makes pplz uneasy. I know it did to me for a couple years before I came to understand what the Gospel truly is. xD

*For some of you who are reading, the numbers may have been updated so you might wanna check for yourselves. For example, I looked in to it again and I was wrong on the New Testament manuscript number. Turns out that there's 24,633 manuscripts! xD
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I have a reasonably comprehensive Christian theological education, and you can safely assume that I've read the Bible.

Last thing first: There very well ought to be many thousands of mss of the NT. It was written exclusively by hand until the introduction of the printing press c. 1450. That's about 1400 years to make copies by hand, and every little church needed at least a Gospel book and Epistle lectionary, and they tended to wear out every few decades. So it's not a surprising number, and a great many of them will be late. Useful, perhaps, for determining the characteristics of their text-type, but they won't provide a great deal of new information.

Still, if you were to translate it in to English, the modern copy we have would still have an accurate translation except for bits of the book of Isaiah which, even with the errors, doesn't change the core theology.

You really ought to look into the variants. The Septuagint (LXX) contains significant deviations from the Masoretic at a great many points. This is a translation made into Greek sometime from the 3rd to the 1st centuries BC. It was the official Old Testament of the early Christian Church, and the NT quotes from it more often than any other OT version. Many modern scholars had presumed that the differences were due to errors in translation, but the DSS showed that in fact it reflects a genuine Hebrew textual tradition that was dropped in favor of what eventually became the modern Masoretic in the middle ages. Not only are there indeed important theological differences -- the famous translation of "almah" as "parthenos" in Isaiah 7:14 only scratches the surface -- but sometimes the Hebrew is so obscure that it can only be understood in light of the LXX. Most modern English translations will rely primarily on the Masoretic, but with corrections from the LXX where the text is evidently corrupt.

It's very hard to find non-partisan information on the subject. Some boosters of the LXX are very vocal about what they feel makes it superior to any modern Hebrew version, and their evident anti-Semitism makes it unlikely they look at the issues without bias.

And then there's the Samaritan Torah [link] which is different from both.

So translation isn't even the issue. WHAT should you translate to get an "accurate" version?

Occam's Razor isn't directly about God at all. It's an expression of the logical principle of parsimony: when deciding between two alternative hypotheses, the one requiring fewest additional assumptions is more likely to be true. [link] In this case, it's easier to assume that Jesus was not fictional, and that the NT describes certain legends and traditions that had grown up around his person within the community of his followers, than to believe the sort of bizarre conspiracy theory you'd need to account for the multiple independent sources we have for him.

It's true that some ancient works are not well-attested, and that some exist only in copies much later than surviving NT mss -- but then, no one ever preached Caesar's "Gallic Wars" door to door and insisted people shape their lives by its precepts! And certainly it's fair to subject the NT to the same criticism as Caesar's works. We know, for instance, that much of what Caesar wrote was frank propaganda and cannot be taken at face value for reliable information on how Gauls lived.

Actually, there's only one NT ms fragment that MIGHT be from the 1st century. None are definitely that old.

Well of course! No other book in history boldy claims to be the true book!

Not sure what this is in response to, but you must not have talked to any Muslims about the Koran. Only the most strident of literalist Christian fundamentalists say anything for the NT even approaching what the average Muslim claims for the Koran.
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:iconinuranma44:
Inuranma44 Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Student General Artist
Uh oh, someone's whooping out credentials. :giggle:

I’m curious though, if you do have a Christian education, why are you so dogmatically against the scriptures?

Ah I see. I guess I learned something today. :XD:

What's wrong with loving God and Loving your neighbor as yourself? What’s wrong with loving mercy or loving what is good? I mean, yeah, there be pplz who force it on others but that's more of a human fault rather than a biblical one.

Christianity is to be a faith of invitation, not a faith of imposition. It's your choice to accept Jesus as Lord and savior or not. :)

"Not sure what this is in response to, but you must not have talked to any Muslims about the Koran."

I thought we were only talking about the bible. :O_o:
Didn’t anyone?
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:iconlytrigian:
Lytrigian Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
It would help if you'd include quotes. You seem to be replying to specific statements I made, but it's not always easy to tell which.

I'm not "dogmatically" against scriptures. That would suggest I'm not open to new information. The opposite is true. I'm radically open to all real evidence for any proposition. Since losing my faith I've become a lot more relaxed: the cognitive dissonance raised by maintaining belief in the absolute truth of Scripture in the face of contradictory real-world facts is gone.

I have no idea what the "What's wrong with loving God and Loving your neighbor as yourself?" paragraph is in response to, but the problem with it is that as far as I can tell God is a figment and doesn't actually exist. If he does exist, his behavior is far from loving. "Accepting Jesus as Lord and savior" (a Protestant sentiment foreign to my thinking even when I was a believer) doesn't seem to make any difference at all.

"I thought we were only talking about the bible."

We were, but you said, "No other book in history boldy claims to be the true book!" This is untrue. Your average Muslim makes far stronger truth claims for the Koran than any sane Christian makes for the Bible.
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(1 Reply)
:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Jesus was Egyptian.
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:iconcarusmm:
carusmm Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Horus was Jesus.
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:iconposeidonsimons:
poseidonsimons Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
so far any evidence we have is that the biblical character of jesus was made up by combining various characters that lived at the time of the writing of the gospels and before
I could link you on research I have, but they're mostly in greek
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:icondotb18:
DOTB18 Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013
If I may paraphrase AronRa:

"Is it possible that Jesus once existed? Well, to be philosophically correct, I would have to say 'yes', it is technically 'possible' this rebel Hebrew actually could have existed, and I concede that it is even conceivable that we could find archeological evidence of him someday. But let's forget what is possible, and concentrate on what is probable. Is there any reason to believe this particular Middle Eastern man actually did exist? No, nothing at all. I mean, there were a few old folklorish texts about him, and there are a heckuva lot of Christians who would love it if this guy were really real once. But apart from some fanatic devotees and their beloved fiction, what evidence is there for Jesus Christ? Not one thing which could be verified by anyone. Consequently, there is every indication that the son of God is just a made-up character."
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:iconeclipsemind:
EclipseMind Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013  Student General Artist
This means that God may have put the idea of a Christ into our minds.
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:icondotb18:
DOTB18 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
If anything, Jesus is just a plagiarised composite of various figures from other older religions from the area.
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:icondotb18:
DOTB18 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2013
Baseless speculation.
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:iconn-team:
N-Team Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
AronRa is awesome.
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:iconblackpoppies:
blackpoppies Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I think he probably existed. There is a case that he didn't and there's very little extra-Biblical evidence, but I'd say that the Biblical evidence is enough to suggest that a real leader of the 'Jesus movement' did exist.
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:iconpanthera--shadow:
Panthera--Shadow Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
The Bible. Here's a few other notes:
[link]
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
yeah the bible mate, its right infront of you.
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:iconpippintookoftheshire:
PippinTookoftheShire Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Alright then. Prove to me, with absolute certainty, that the Bible is objectively true.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
its self authenticating.
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:iconpippintookoftheshire:
PippinTookoftheShire Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
So in order to prove the Bible right, you mut look in the Bible for proof, but we have to prove the Bible right so that we can take its proof of itself seriously. It's circular reasoning, that's a fallacy.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
nothing wrong with circular reasoning, its the perfect argument
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:iconpippintookoftheshire:
PippinTookoftheShire Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
i just saw wikipedia and thought "this is going to be good" and i opened it and it was wrong.
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:iconpippintookoftheshire:
PippinTookoftheShire Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Here are three more websites. I'm sure you can find more.
[link]
[link]
[link]
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:iconsaeter:
Saeter Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013
Of course there is because if it's a lie and all you use to prove that it's true is itself then it's still a lie and you would be the fool for believing it at face value. For qll you know Christianity is a lie and as long as you use only the bible to prove it is not then you sumply will never come to the truth.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
nah.
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist
It's true because it says it is?
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
yup.
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:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist
Given your posts in the past, I can't tell if you're being serious or not.
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:iconchakatblackstar:
ChakatBlackstar Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
that's a logical fallacy.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
nope.
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:iconchakatblackstar:
ChakatBlackstar Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Yep. Something cannot prove it's own truthfulness, and if you believe otherwise...well then have I got the car for you sir.
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:iconder-freishutz:
der-freishutz Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
it can, and it does.
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:iconchakatblackstar:
ChakatBlackstar Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013
oh? prove it.
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(1 Reply)
:iconsmkiller:
Smkiller Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2013  Hobbyist
You must be trolling.
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(1 Reply)
:icondotb18:
DOTB18 Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2013
Yes it is, it's called circular reasoning.
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:icondeathknight-kdd:
deathknight-kdd Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Artist
Honestly, even if he did do miracles, the Jews and the Romans likely covered most of it up. The Jews and Romans had his crucified for blasphemy, so I'm guessing they would do a lot to dis-credit him.
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:iconnucleuzz:
nucleuzz Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
The Spirit of Life is everywhere. Those who live in its truth are one with Jesus as they are with Buddha and so on. The nature of worshiping a human is only in the ego of humans, but rather worship Life and it will be abundant and flourish in paradise.
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:iconx666nightmare666x:
x666NiGhTmArE666x Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013
Jesus was a real person, but not one people make him out to be. :/
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:icondelusionalhamster:
delusionalHamster Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No
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:iconn-team:
N-Team Featured By Owner Jan 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconyeahplz:
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:iconda1withdalongestname:
There's a couple people by that time which their name can be derived to English as "Jesus" who wanders around, preaching. but they haven't agreed on which 1 is the guy in the bible though, some even said it's all the guys bundled into 1.

If you belive the Kashmirs (which I've seen most people on this site don't) The body of Jesus is there, Jesus ran away during the crucifixion, this theory also confirmed by the Muslims though.
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:iconvisionoftheworld:
VISIONOFTHEWORLD Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2013
Far as I can tell there is no evidence. Not only that, but several people here have made statements that there is evidence, that miracles are happening, that "Scholars" agree that jeezus existed.... but nobody has any solid proof or any details. Inquire further with christianist fanatics and you'll only get bible phrases repeated back to you- so in a way- they are basically machines giving you the answer the machines want you to have.

When you consider what kind of replies you get when you ask this question, I think the actual truth becomes crystal clear. A whole lot of hot air and bull shit, and no evidence whatsoever.
And there never will be.
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:iconnarutokunobessed:
narutokunobessed Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2013  Student General Artist
Shroud of Turin?
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:iconvisionoftheworld:
VISIONOFTHEWORLD Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2013
That was a painting some people were saying, done as an elaborate hoax. Great work of art, tho.
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