Historic proof of Jesus?

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User Info: shaprshot14

9 years ago#1
I've always heard people say that the Romans kept tabs of people....Like Jesus for example. I've always used that to tell Atheists Jesus existed...But is there anything else that can be used to prove He was born, He had a ministry, and He died of crucifixion?(Without the Bible of course =D)

And furthermore, can someone elaborate more on the whole Roman paper thing?

Thanks :)

User Info: spoon737

9 years ago#2
The most often cited extra-biblical reference to Jesus is from Testimonium Flavianum written by Josephus. I'm not sure what other references exist.
You should not eat talking trees. Nope nope nope.
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User Info: woohookittys

9 years ago#4
Most of the Josephus quotes were held by the catholic church for centuries, discrediting any kind of validity they may have held. Any other references only refer to "christus" which literally translates to "oil", or more loosely to "anointed one".
"This is America, a predominantly Christian nation, we don't sacrifice ourselves for some senseless religious ideal." - New_Pants
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User Info: woohookittys

9 years ago#6
You'll need to explain how that would discredit any kind of validity they may have held. And there is still the second quote from him that I posted that has no reason to doubt its authenticity.

Most if not all were held by the catholic church, and for centuries the catholic church modified and adapted new texts and doctrines to maintain control and influence over the people and various governments. Any text being held by them for any significant length of time is highly suspect and cannot be used as evidence without a thorough investigation.

Anyway, your beef is with the majority of Josephan scholars - only a very small minority believe that the Testimonium Flavian is completely forged, though only a few believe it's wholly genuine. But it doesn't need to be completely genuine for us to deduce that Josephus did write part of it, and that he did mention Jesus.

Most of Josephus' writings are true. To say these in specific however are proof or "proof enough" is an out and out lie. I can't think of any secular scholar or any secular report that says does anything but discredit the Josephus letters containing Jesus as a fraud.

Right, and most uses of the word Christus/Christos refer to Messiah - it's the word the Septuagint uses in Daniel 9. And while Tactitus does not mention Jesus by his first name, how many Christs in Judea during the reign of Tiberius were crucified (the ultimate penalty) at the hands of Pilate, who went on to spawn a following of people who took their name from him (I'll give you a hint - Tactitus calls them Christians, and that they were the ones Nero persecuted), and took their message to Rome?

To be honest I haven't researched that quote as much.

You'd be a fool to deny that this passage refers to Jesus. The only way out of it is to assert that it too is a forgery, and that Tactitus didn't actually write it.

No, I'm not exactly well versed in his writings but that quote is far from proof of the biblical Jesus. I seriously doubt you are a scholar in this stuff too, so I'd say you're jumping to conclusions.
"This is America, a predominantly Christian nation, we don't sacrifice ourselves for some senseless religious ideal." - New_Pants
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User Info: woohookittys

9 years ago#8
For somebody making loaded claims, you don't back up much of what you say. Okay, the Church held most copies of the Antiquities, but what reason do you have to suppose the entire thing is completely forged?


And like I said - ALL copies of the Antiquities we have contain the James passage. But you have to play the "THEY MODIFIED IT! WAAAH WAAH!" card again.

"As for the first point, the only somewhat reliable, secular evidence we have for the life of Jesus comes from two very brief passages in the works of Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian. And Josephus was a prolific writer - he frequently wrote several pages on the trial and execution of individual common thieves, but on Jesus, he is silent except for two paragraphs, one of which is a known interpolation, and the other is highly suspect. Other references to Jesus in secular writings are ambiguous at best, or known to be later interpolations, or both." - The Bible and Christianity -- The Historical Origins

From the site I provided you with:

"Notably, the consensus for partial authenticity is held by scholars from diverse perspectives. Liberal commentators such as Robert Funk, J. Dominic Crossan, and A.N. Wilson, accept a substantial part of the TF as originally Josephan. So do Jewish scholars, such as Geza Vermes, Louis H. Feldman, and Paul Winter and secular scholars such as E.P. Sanders and Paula Fredrikson. Even Jeff Lowder, co-founder of the Secular Web, recognizes the merits of the partial authenticity theory. (Lowder, Josh McDowell's Evidence for Jesus: Is it Reliable? 2000). Paula Fredrikson sums up the state of the question among scholars: "Most scholars currently incline to see the passage as basically authentic, with a few later insertions by Christian scribes." (Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews, page 249)."

I can pull websites that support my stance too, as shown above. However, even if certain parts are inserted, there are so few parts that even MENTION Jesus that any addition would be significant.

It shows.

Later in the post:

So what? Doesn't that mean that we're just on a even footing as far as our credentials go?

Nice ad hominem argument.

It doesn't prove that everything the Bible says about Jesus is true - that is a discussion for another day. But it's evidence for the actual life of a Christ from Judea who lived during the reign of Tiberius and was crucified by Pilate, and gave his name to his followers - the Christians.

So like I said, the only way out of it is to deny this as a forgery as well.

"This caution is made necessary by the fact that during this era, it was not considered wrong to write your own material and ascribe it to someone else, someone you consider your philosophical mentor, in whose name and style you are writing. Indeed, not only was this a common practice, but it was actually a skill taught in the schools of the day."

So yes I'm saying it could be forged, but that's beside the point. The main issue is whether or not the quote is proof and I feel even if it was real that it couldn't be used as stand alone proof.

So what? Doesn't that mean that we're just on a even footing as far as our credentials go?

You're making appeals to authority without having any.
"This is America, a predominantly Christian nation, we don't sacrifice ourselves for some senseless religious ideal." - New_Pants
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User Info: woohookittys

9 years ago#10
First off, I see no indication of what Bidstrup's credentials are (and for the record, in the future, post your links when you quote from them - http://www.bidstrup.com/bible.htm). If you don't have the training in the relevant field, your sources should. The two works he cites are Karen Armstrong and Burton Mack - quite a small number for such a large essay. It's worth noting that, as far as I know, neither Armstrong nor Mack buy into the Christ-myth (though Mack does not believe the New Testament is a reliable record for the events of Jesus' life). But even so, the extract you pasted is sourceless. Even though Price, in the article I posted, cited a number of scholars across the board in favour of partial authenticity.

The only true counter to this would be for me to go out and find an archive of sources that believe the entire thing is fabricated. I don't know if such a thing exists and I wouldn't know their credibility, so to save myself the effort I'm just gonna concede on this one.

The freaking passage is about Jesus! Correct me if I'm wrong, but are you telling me that it's possible that the passage is only forged in the most part, but doesn't mention Jesus at all?

I'm saying you keep mentioning it as "partly authentic". The references are rather small and deliberate, I'd like to know what parts they feel are authentic and what parts are forged as even minor details can paint a different picture.

Uh, what? I don't see an ad hominem in there. Would you like to clarify, in case I've misunderstood you and end up shooting myself in the foot?

I admitted ignorance, rather than moving right along you thought it'd be funny to claim my argument is arrogance, then in the same post say we were supposedly on equal footing.

What, and just stuck it into the middle of someone else's manuscript? That part of your website is dealing from letters of the New Testament written in their entirety under another person's name, such as a Pauline Christian writing and signing one of the epistles as Paul - not bits added in to already existing works. That would still be forgery and fraud.

Perhaps I took it out of context, I thought the principle could still apply to that quote.

Yeah, it could be, but you haven't provided any reason so far as to why Tacitus' passage would be forged.

As I said before, I do not know the history of it well enough to argue it. I was just refuting the logic of citing such a quote as hard evidence.

This is sort of how your logic is going:

1. There's no evidence for the existence of Jesus.
2. Tactius mentions him.
3. It's probably a forgery.
Therefore, there's no evidence for the existence of Jesus.


1: There's no hard evidence for the existence of Jesus
2: Tactius briefly references someone that fits Jesus' biblical description.
3: It has the possibility of being a forgery, and isn't direct in it's reference.
Therefore, there's no hard evidence for the existence of Jesus.


What appeals to authority may these be, hmm?

Mostly to yourself. You come off like I must be some kind of moron to dare challenge you on this subject.
"This is America, a predominantly Christian nation, we don't sacrifice ourselves for some senseless religious ideal." - New_Pants
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