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Tuesday, January 31, 2006 

Jesus Is A Myth and Curiosity

One of the best parts of the net is getting a chance to interact with all sorts. I love seeing different perspectives and trying to understand them.

So, I thought it was great when marcguvyer was asking me questions about my beliefs. For example, he asked a great question about Jewish writer Josephus, and I spent over two hours researching and writing a response.

Well, in the comments on that post, he never mentioned my research, but gave me a pile of similar type questions. Wow, I thought, this is going to keep me busy for a month! He also mentioned that he started a discussion of the topic of Jesus/myth on his blog. Of course, I went to check it out.

At first I was really surprised. Marc tends to write posts designed to hit your emotions, and here was scholarly-type writing. After I spent a while reading it, I realized it didn't address the question. The main argument seems to be that since many people copied the bible by hand, its contents should be considered historic. Then I started wondering. Why such a strange approach to prove Jesus existed? Why not link to the sources of the 'facts' he provides? What is it they say, 92.5% of all statistics are made up? Well, I google'd a bit and found that Marc's post isn't original research, it's duplicated far and wide across theological type sites. No bias there, certainly not, right??

I feel so disappointed and slightly sickened about this. On my post, I linked to four neutral sites because I want people to read what I write, and read where I form these opinions, and make up their own minds. I have nothing to hide. I guess I assumed this is what people do.

Duplicating prose from a biased point of view and calling them facts is an interesting way to argue. He could have dug up some interesting research, there are tons out there. And I find it frustrating that no one read my links on Marc's site and said, "that point of view leaves out ..." or "did you consider ...?". That would be an interesting, fun conversation! Instead, I found the attitude "There Must Be A Jesus no reason still There Must Be A Jesus."

What if we found a diary written by Pontius Pilate that said in part:
I've met and condemned many criminals in my life. Most I can't remember, but there was one, who as I recall had not committed any crimes, but yet the gathering insisted that he be put to death. Funny thing, that one. Anyway, after a hard day of work, I would call for some wine...
That's the kind of independent evidence anyone would love to see.

In that thread's comments, Dan Trabue speaks about how his faith isn't threatened by the lack of evidence of a Jesus. Why aren't more people curious? Is it considered too cynical to even imagine for a minute that someone who claims to have a Magic Book might just be after your money?

I see this as a non-issue. There is not a shred of evidence for jesus' existence. For someone who supposedly was so influential, and had such a large following, there is simply no record anywhere that corroborates the NT claims. This is just another rationalist vs non-rational fundamentalist disagreement. Add it to the list.

One thing I am finding is that these xians rarely read a full comment. They may read a line or two but have trouble with paragraph length or longer comments because the BORG programming kicks in and overrides rational thinking and they go off on quoting bible verses, which we had already said we didn't accept as sufficient evidence or they go off on other tangents. Or they say the bible is the only evidence they need...OR they say evidence doesn't matter...they will believe with or without evidence.

Interesting how people are diagnosed as schizophrenic for seeing things, hearing voices, and believing in things that are irrational, yet xians and other religious people are not considered mentally ill. And people wonder why the world is all F--_ed up!

Hi there,

My bad but I forgot to link back to you when I wrote a post on the Jesus Myth (I disagree) from a historical point of view. I left out Josephus though (I think there's some interpolation in one of his references to Jesus).

regards,

Steven Harris

the link is here:
http://worldofsven.co.uk/theology/postentry_166.php?w=theology_and_biblical_studies#body

Stardust, just so you know, I've always actually read everything you have written in your comments, and have tried to respond to each 'point' individually as well.

I for one am convinced that the evidence out there presents enough fact for me to believe that Jesus was indeed a man of history.
I personally don't know what other proofs to offer on this point.

I would agree with you that if Pilate's personal writings would have documented the trial and crucifixion of Christ, that would lend 'weight' to the argument, however I also don't think that the lack of this somehow takes away the significance and 'weight' of the other evidences.

I know that many do in fact not actually read others' comments, and many 'religious' people do in fact 'shoot from the hip' in their comments and quite possibly could have a blind faith that is not based in sound reasoning. Please don't place me in this same "BORG" category as you call it; that is actually insulting. (I'm not going to 'cry' over it, nor do I find it such an afront that I won't be open to future dialogue with you, so don't worry about that... :>)

Look, I'd love for you to believe in God and find a relationship with Him again, but you are an adult, and it seems that you have taken a long hard look at the 'facts' and just don't find enough their for you to make the connection that Jesus was indeed a man of history and/or also the Son of God. Of course, I'm going to say this is unfortunate, and I'm also going to try and persuade you to think differently, but heck...it's always your life, and your choice, not mine. And if roles were reversed, I wouldn't want you to tyr and 'shove' something down my throat or just spout of at the mouth with a personal bias.

As I said before, I'll end with this again:
"I appreciate the conversation thus far. I'm not sure that anything else I 'bring to the table' will influence you to believe that Christ actually walked the earth.

I for one feel that there is an overwhelming amount of reliable evidence proving that He did in fact exist, and that many thousands in 1st Century Palestine were significantly influenced by His life to change the course of history forever.

Anyway, blessings to you on your journey for truth and feel free to continue this discussion or others at your leisure..."

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quick quick... who am i?

those dang Christians...BORG...pardon me! goodness! as i was saying, everytime i turn around those ChrisBOOORRG!!! oh my goodness!...so sorry must have been the beans. anyway, my main argument is that most Christians dont really think through their arguBOOOOOORRRRRG...org...oorrg...RRRG. Well no more chili for me.

borgyborgy borgy pud die chicken in die pot borgy borgy borgy.

Joey,
a happy agnostic smartass observer

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About me

  • I'm the freethoughtmom from New England. Welcome!
  • The word rational means having the ability to reason. Reasoning takes time. Giving yourself the space to think is practically a luxury in our society.

    My father is a logical engineer, my mother a caring nurturer. My handwriting with my dominate hand resembles that of my father, the other, my mother. I feel lucky to have both sides to draw from.
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