Around the time of Jesus and after

Conigman
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Around the time of Jesus and after

This is something i often think about. I am not making a claim that this is 100% fact or this is how it should have been etc etc. Rather, i am merely throwing some thoughts out and trying to go through this logically.

 

Skeptics such as yourselves have been around since humanity began.

 

Meaning, skeptics were also around the time of Jesus and obviously after.

 

Here is the question. Why arent their any counter claims / writings at the time of Jesus or just after when the Gospels were written?

 

Think of this. At the time of Jesus and just after when the gospels were written, we saw a transformation of society based on these gospels. That is, the construction and establishment of Churches, persecution of Gospel followers, people devoting their lives to the gospel, ie, Priests , bishops etc etc....

 

So, if you are a skeptic at that time, society is changing, the world around you is changing. As a skeptic, wouldnt you go and INVESTIGATE the claims being made in the gospels epsecially considering you still had first hand access to many of the people where the claims are actually made to or their first generation after at the very least?

 

The first gospels were written approx 22 years after the crucifixion, therefore, many if not all of the people mentioned in the gospels, WERE STILL around, or most definitly there children....

 

THis is made much more easier as it was a small country town where the majority of people knew each other, as opposed to today where the population is much much larger, not like for example NYC today where people know only a small percentage of each other...

 

Here is an example. We know about the story of Elizabeth and her husband Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead. If you are a skeptic, you read this, and people started to change their lives based on this....wouldnt you as a skeptic go to Elizabeth or at least her children and ask if it really happened? I mean, if you are a skeptic at that time, read that, (i am sure Elizabeth would be well known) go upto her and her family and say, did Jesus really raise your husband from death? Or what about the claim that Jesus fed 5000 people with fish and bread? I am very very sure, that many of the people were still around.

 

These are just 2 of the claims that around the time of the gospels were written would be well known facts TO EVERYONE.......yet if not true, WHY WASNT THEIR ANYONE, ESPECIALLY skeptics investigating these many claims and documented these. I am aware that literacy rates back then were around 5-7%, so not many could have written or read, and the main form of comms was via oral transmission. Surely, surely, skeptics would have passed this on, and EVENTUALLY shortly after, someone would have written this down so future generations would know the truth. Yet we have nothing. If what was claimed never happened, yet society changed rapidly from this and people were believing a lie, then i just find it astonishing that nothing was every done about it....especially from skeptics who would thrive on something like this and be all over it like a rash...


cj
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a couple of answers

1. Very few people could read and write then.  There wasn't a newspaper.  So people would not have been reading anything themselves, they would have been listening to someone tell stories perhaps from a written document.  People who could read and write - Rabbis of the time - were valued scholars because most people didn't have the time or inclination to learn for themselves.  Anthropologists would likely postulate that a lot of stories (gossip) would go around the villages, as that is what people do.

2. The bible was written about 600 bce.  That means that most of the stories written in the bible were made up - myths - legends - wishful thinking - gossip. 

3. There were likely plenty of skeptics around.  But think of this - what if the story of Lazarus was a made up story and no one heard about it until the bible writings were rediscovered many years after they had been written?  There are no contemporary skeptical writings because the story was not about a real person who had ever lived - or died - or was resurrected.  It was just a story the biblical author wrote about a legendary person.  Nothing to be skeptical about.

Think about it.  Take the Norse stories about Odin and company.  Why would any modern person write a skeptical commentary about the non-existence of the Norse pantheon?  Sure, there may be a few people today who still believe, but would you bother going on a big writing campaign to debunk Odin?  Why bother?  The contemporary skeptics of the bible probably had a similar attitude.

 

-- I feel so much better since I stopped trying to believe.

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Without putting a lot of

Without putting a lot of thought into it, I can think of several points immediately. 

1. You answered one right away. The literacy rate was very low. Also, while there were probably skeptics back then, it was probably an even lower percentage of the entire population than is the case today. You'd have to find skeptics that could read and write, and then have their writings retained. Taking into consideration that later on Christianity would become the official religion of the Roman empire, they would likely make every effort to destroy anything of that sort. It's not unusual that no such documents exist. Of course, if a skeptic did write anything of the sort, they would likely have to keep it to themselves for fear of retaliation from the deluded masses.

2. Do you hold Islam to the same standard? Would you ever consider giving it ANY legitimacy because you don't know of any skeptics contemporary to Mohammed's time?

3. A perfect storm can triumph over all kinds of skeptics and allow a religion to thrive. Modern examples include:

- Mormonism which was founded by a known fraudster, who wrote in his scripture that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri

- Scientology which was founded by a guy who said publicly that to become rich, one should start a religion

- The hilariously named Christian Science movement whose founder, Mary Baker Eddy, believed that Jesus' healings were all scientifically replicable, and that she had uncovered the means by which he performed them. That particular church is big on denying many forms of modern medicine, despite the fact that said founder's cause of death was likely pneumonia (albeit at age 89, but for someone who claims to have the healing powers of Jesus....)

These three are so wacky, you don't even need skeptics. They are obviously fraudulent, but all enjoy at least a moderate following. Anybody who doesn't follow any of those three, would dismiss them as blatantly absurd if they were given a quick crash course on what they believe. 

4. Risk. No penalty for skepticism today. Once Christianity was the official religion of the Roman Empire...well, it wasn't a good idea to be openly skeptic at all. 

Theists - If your god is omnipotent, remember the following: He (or she) has the cure for cancer, but won't tell us what it is.


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cj wrote:1. Very few people

cj wrote:

1. Very few people could read and write then.  There wasn't a newspaper.  So people would not have been reading anything themselves, they would have been listening to someone tell stories perhaps from a written document.  People who could read and write - Rabbis of the time - were valued scholars because most people didn't have the time or inclination to learn for themselves.  Anthropologists would likely postulate that a lot of stories (gossip) would go around the villages, as that is what people do.

Yes, as i stated, literacy rates were between 5-7% which obviously means their were no newspapapers. However, skeptics would have seen the world around them change, as i stated, establishment of churches, persecution of Christ followers, people devoting their lives to Christ, ie, priests, bishops etc etc. So, even if you couldnt read, write or didnt have access to the first gospel, logically, you would think skeptics were realising what was going on around them.

2. The bible was written about 600 bce.  That means that most of the stories written in the bible were made up - myths - legends - wishful thinking - gossip. 

Some scholars believe it was written 10-12 years after Christs death, but most scholars believe 30 years after Christs death at the very most. Thats not the issue,. The issue is that it was available to skeptics (or the information orally about Christ) would have been known to skeptics. Skeptics would then have had FIRST HAND access to many of the people who the gospel was written about.

3. There were likely plenty of skeptics around.  But think of this - what if the story of Lazarus was a made up story and no one heard about it until the bible writings were rediscovered many years after they had been written?  There are no contemporary skeptical writings because the story was not about a real person who had ever lived - or died - or was resurrected.  It was just a story the biblical author wrote about a legendary person.  Nothing to be skeptical about.

This is the problem i have. At the time of Jesus or after, society was being transformed, ie, Churches were built, persecution of Christians, people devoting their lives to Jesus. Dont you find it extremely odd that there were NO WRITINGS by skeptics even 100 years after Christ (chances increase) that, hey, "people are following a guy, gining up their life based on someone that never existed, or if he did, never did anything that is claimed, we investigated this, and no such thing ever happened. people have gone mad."

Think about it.  Take the Norse stories about Odin and company.  Why would any modern person write a skeptical commentary about the non-existence of the Norse pantheon?  Sure, there may be a few people today who still believe, but would you bother going on a big writing campaign to debunk Odin?  Why bother?  The contemporary skeptics of the bible probably had a similar attitude.

Agreed, but have they radically changed and transformed our society? If not, then i agree, but if they did, like Christianity did, then you could almost guarantee their would be investigations...

 


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Lets look at it like

Lets look at it like this...

 

Lets say i am a skeptic and am living 100 years afer Christ died. Lets say, i dont believe God exists.

Around me, i am seeing a pretty big movement...Churches being built, people getting persecuted, people mentioning Jesus as their Lord, people giving up their lives to become priests, bishops etc etc..

 

This is a pretty big deal what is going on around me, society is changing, it is getting transformed, society is getting polarized...

 

As a skeptic, i would investigate, Lets say i cant read or write. I would go upto people and say, "what is going on"? Who is this Jesus? If Jesus never existed, i am sure i would have ran into someone, surely someone (maybe a fellow skeptic who is also investigating) and find proof that Jesus never existed. remember, we are talking at the most 100 years after Christ, therefore, people who were around the time of Christ, their first hand generation would also be around and would know about this "myth".

 

If what was claimed never happened, surely, surely someone, a skeptic, a group of skeptics would have put this to bed, especially considering that many of the people mentioned were accessable first hand or their children. I find it extremely odd that their is nothing, considering how much of a big deal it was back then...


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Conigman wrote: Lets look at

Conigman wrote:

Lets look at it like this...

 

Lets say i am a skeptic and am living 100 years afer Christ died. Lets say, i dont believe God exists.

Around me, i am seeing a pretty big movement...Churches being built, people getting persecuted, people mentioning Jesus as their Lord, people giving up their lives to become priests, bishops etc etc..

 

This is a pretty big deal what is going on around me, society is changing, it is getting transformed, society is getting polarized...

 

As a skeptic, i would investigate, Lets say i cant read or write. I would go upto people and say, "what is going on"? Who is this Jesus? If Jesus never existed, i am sure i would have ran into someone, surely someone (maybe a fellow skeptic who is also investigating) and find proof that Jesus never existed. remember, we are talking at the most 100 years after Christ, therefore, people who were around the time of Christ, their first hand generation would also be around and would know about this "myth".

 

If what was claimed never happened, surely, surely someone, a skeptic, a group of skeptics would have put this to bed, especially considering that many of the people mentioned were accessable first hand or their children. I find it extremely odd that their is nothing, considering how much of a big deal it was back then...

 

Again, it is not surprising.  The scientific method was not even a gleam in Bacon's eye, hell, Bacon wasn't a gleam in his dad's eye.  People had no concept of how to critically examine claims.  Doctors believed that letting blood could cure you as late as the 19th century.  They would also give mercury treatments - kill the patient and they won't be ill anymore!  In order to be a skeptic, you have to have the tools.  Critical thinking does not come naturally to anyone, you have to work at it.  You have to know about replicatable, verifiable evidence and logical fallacies to get a start on being skeptical.

We can not prove Jesus never existed, but we can say there are no contemporary writings about a Jewish messiah named Jesus.  All of the writings not in the bible are over 200 years after his supposed death/resurrection.  Josephus is not contemporary.  There are no Roman records of a Jewish messiah named Jesus that was crucified.  No mention by a known 1st century Jewish historian.  Nothing, nada.  Who is going to be skeptical about a person who doesn't exist?  And by the time many people started believing in this person, it would have been very difficult to gather information. 

You are asking way too much of those early pastoralists and agronomists. 

 

 

 

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Doherty's answer

Conigman wrote:

 

Here is the question. Why arent their any counter claims / writings at the time of Jesus or just after when the Gospels were written?

 

http://vridar.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/10-earl-dohertys-response-to-bart-ehrmans-case-against-mythicism-listening-to-the-sounds-of...

 

 


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Dating

Conigman wrote:

The first gospels were written approx 22 years after the crucifixion, therefore, many if not all of the people mentioned in the gospels, WERE STILL around, or most definitly there children....

 

Mark was the first gospel and was written after 70CE.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark#Composition_and_setting


 


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Jabberwocky wrote:Without

Jabberwocky wrote:

Without putting a lot of thought into it, I can think of several points immediately. 

1. You answered one right away. The literacy rate was very low. Also, while there were probably skeptics back then, it was probably an even lower percentage of the entire population than is the case today. You'd have to find skeptics that could read and write, and then have their writings retained. Taking into consideration that later on Christianity would become the official religion of the Roman empire, they would likely make every effort to destroy anything of that sort. It's not unusual that no such documents exist. Of course, if a skeptic did write anything of the sort, they would likely have to keep it to themselves for fear of retaliation from the deluded masses.

Yeah, but, i am merely talking about the chances that at least one or a few skeptics could read and or write. I simply find it odd, that no skeptic out of the 5-7% could read or write....I am talking about probabilities here. Even so, you didnt have to read or write to know what is going on around you considering the impact it was having on society. Oral transmission was the main form of comms back then, if it was all BS, i dare say this would have grown more legs and eventually been documented down the track. Even 100 yrs, 200, 300 years down the track, but we have nothing. I am not claiming anything here, rather, i just find it very very strange.

2. Do you hold Islam to the same standard? Would you ever consider giving it ANY legitimacy because you don't know of any skeptics contemporary to Mohammed's time?

I have looked at Islam, and the amount of witnesses and claims are no where near to what Christianity holds to, rather, the events of Christianity are linked to a much much larger group of people than Islam, hence , the larger exposure to me, would indicate that if it was BS, would more likely come out than Islam, ie, Christianity holding its neck out more than any other religion, hence the probability of Christianity beng caught out being higher.

3. A perfect storm can triumph over all kinds of skeptics and allow a religion to thrive. Modern examples include:

- Mormonism which was founded by a known fraudster, who wrote in his scripture that the Garden of Eden was in Missouri

- Scientology which was founded by a guy who said publicly that to become rich, one should start a religion

- The hilariously named Christian Science movement whose founder, Mary Baker Eddy, believed that Jesus' healings were all scientifically replicable, and that she had uncovered the means by which he performed them. That particular church is big on denying many forms of modern medicine, despite the fact that said founder's cause of death was likely pneumonia (albeit at age 89, but for someone who claims to have the healing powers of Jesus....)

 

Yes, but again, none of these have impacted society as much as Christianity did back in the time. Have any of these people been persecuted for their beliefs at the time etc etc? None of these religions you mention have made claims (miracles) as what Christianity did.

These three are so wacky, you don't even need skeptics. They are obviously fraudulent, but all enjoy at least a moderate following. Anybody who doesn't follow any of those three, would dismiss them as blatantly absurd if they were given a quick crash course on what they believe. 

 

Agreed, but again, they havent had the dramatic impact as Christianity had at the time..

4. Risk. No penalty for skepticism today. Once Christianity was the official religion of the Roman Empire...well, it wasn't a good idea to be openly skeptic at all. 

What about the folk who were persecuted for their beliefs in Christianity? Wouldnt it have been encouraged by the roman empire who crucified Christ to put Christianity to bed?  Wouldnt they have gone out and Remember, we arent talking about just Atheists. If we were were, then i would agree with you, however, we are talking about the claim that Christ did what he did....Again, from that angle, it is silent, which again, is just really strange.


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cj wrote:Conigman wrote:

cj wrote:

Conigman wrote:

Lets look at it like this...

 

Lets say i am a skeptic and am living 100 years afer Christ died. Lets say, i dont believe God exists.

Around me, i am seeing a pretty big movement...Churches being built, people getting persecuted, people mentioning Jesus as their Lord, people giving up their lives to become priests, bishops etc etc..

 

This is a pretty big deal what is going on around me, society is changing, it is getting transformed, society is getting polarized...

 

As a skeptic, i would investigate, Lets say i cant read or write. I would go upto people and say, "what is going on"? Who is this Jesus? If Jesus never existed, i am sure i would have ran into someone, surely someone (maybe a fellow skeptic who is also investigating) and find proof that Jesus never existed. remember, we are talking at the most 100 years after Christ, therefore, people who were around the time of Christ, their first hand generation would also be around and would know about this "myth".

 

If what was claimed never happened, surely, surely someone, a skeptic, a group of skeptics would have put this to bed, especially considering that many of the people mentioned were accessable first hand or their children. I find it extremely odd that their is nothing, considering how much of a big deal it was back then...

 

Again, it is not surprising.  The scientific method was not even a gleam in Bacon's eye, hell, Bacon wasn't a gleam in his dad's eye.  People had no concept of how to critically examine claims.  Doctors believed that letting blood could cure you as late as the 19th century.  They would also give mercury treatments - kill the patient and they won't be ill anymore!  In order to be a skeptic, you have to have the tools.  Critical thinking does not come naturally to anyone, you have to work at it.  You have to know about replicatable, verifiable evidence and logical fallacies to get a start on being skeptical.

We can not prove Jesus never existed, but we can say there are no contemporary writings about a Jewish messiah named Jesus.  All of the writings not in the bible are over 200 years after his supposed death/resurrection.  Josephus is not contemporary.  There are no Roman records of a Jewish messiah named Jesus that was crucified.  No mention by a known 1st century Jewish historian.  Nothing, nada.  Who is going to be skeptical about a person who doesn't exist?  And by the time many people started believing in this person, it would have been very difficult to gather information. 

You are asking way too much of those early pastoralists and agronomists. 

Obviously the scientific method is now different to back then. But rather, simply going and asking, ie, If Jesus did raise Lazarus from the dead, i would be pretty damn sure that her kids, gran kids, relatives and friends would know about it. Again, as it was small country town (everyone would pretty much know everyone), why wouldnt a skeptic go up to to any one of Elizabths family, even Elizabeth herself and say, did Jesus really raise your husband from the dead? Even ask Lazarus himself...If it never happened, would they lie and say, yes it did? Why would they? If it never happened, i would expect them to say no, skeptic takes it on board, and spreads it around, passes it down verbally, till it gets recorded. The same for the feeding of 5000 people. That could easily be investigated and put to bed....Why would people lie back then for things that gave them no benefits to. If i was starving back then, and the gospel claimed that i was fed by Jesus and it never happened, why would i ignore it and say it was true?

 

I am just stating, given how many people were mentioned, the amount of people affected, the claims, if all BS, it would make it a very easy target and would be a skeptics delight, especially if they never bought into it and wanted to prove it wrong.

If people can make claims like the one we see in the gospels, then we could and should expect people to make counter claims. Dumbing down skeptics back then isnt really plausable in my opinion

 

There are many claims by people in our history, but none of them are on the scale of Christianity in terms of the people exposing themselves...

 

Again, i am not claiming this is all 100% fact and proves everything etc etc...not at all, rather, i am just finding it really bizarre that their isnt anything...

 

Cheers 

 

 

 


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x wrote:Conigman wrote:The

x wrote:

Conigman wrote:

The first gospels were written approx 22 years after the crucifixion, therefore, many if not all of the people mentioned in the gospels, WERE STILL around, or most definitly there children....

 

Mark was the first gospel and was written after 70CE.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark#Composition_and_setting


 

 

 

Yep, thats not even the issue...Even if it was 200 CE.....it still doesnt solve my problem of silence..

 


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x wrote:Conigman

x wrote:

Conigman wrote:

 

Here is the question. Why arent their any counter claims / writings at the time of Jesus or just after when the Gospels were written?

 

http://vridar.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/10-earl-dohertys-response-to-bart-ehrmans-case-against-mythicism-listening-to-the-sounds-of...

 

 

Thanks for the link...This deals with more of the time a few hundred years after the event. I am looking specifically at the time of Jesus or just after when the gospels were written, ie, access to first hand people, ie, the actual source of people whom the Gospels mention....

 


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They were dead

Conigman wrote:

Thanks for the link...This deals with more of the time a few hundred years after the event. I am looking specifically at the time of Jesus or just after when the gospels were written, ie, access to first hand people, ie, the actual source of people whom the Gospels mention....

 

It doesn't just deal with hundreds of years later.

Doherty wrote:

"The first direct reference by a Christian to an historical man who was crucified by Pilate is found in the letters of Ignatius, which if authentic can be dated no earlier than 107 CE, or if forgeries, some time after that. Is anyone going to be around in Antioch in 107 or later who had been alive in Galilee or Jerusalem three-quarters of a century earlier—with the upheaval and destruction of the Jewish War occurring in the interim—someone who knew everything that happened there in the 10-year period of Pilate’s governorship and was thus in a position to verify that such a figure never existed? A preposterous idea. Christians themselves show no sign of being familiar with the Gospel story, let alone that it had any circulation outside their circles, before the time of Ignatius."

So, just after being written, the gospels did not have wide circulation and it would not be likely that there would be much criticism of them.

 

There was some though:

 

Doherty wrote:

Ignatius
While Ignatius’ language may be marginally ambiguous (though there are scholars such as W. R. Schoedel who doubt that he is simply countering docetism), this looks to be one of that handful I spoke of above: a sign that there were people denying new Christian claims that Jesus had lived on earth and suffered in a human incarnation.

The basis of that denial would not have been a personal knowledge of the period of Jesus’ alleged life, but the simple fact that such deniers would have been unfamiliar with any such tradition in their own beliefs as Christians up to that time and could not—or, unlike Ignatius, were not willing to—adopt the new fiction as history.

1 John 4:1-4
Another of that handful is 1 John 4:1-4, where the writer is condemning those in his faith circle who deny that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, while he himself represents those who believe that he has.

These opposing views, by the way, come to their respective adherents via revelation (“spirits” from God or not from God), with no appeal on either side to history or apostolic tradition, let alone the Gospel story. (Not even Ignatius appeals to apostolic tradition.)

At the supposed time of Jesus (c30 CE) there is no evidence for the existence of Jesus; so if he did not exist, there would be nobody in 30 CE disputing his existence.

Even if he did exist, there were no writings in 30CE to dispute.

Around 100 CE or so, when the gospels were written, the people of 30 CE were long dead, so they could not be consulted.

 

Also, the level of scepticism at the time wasn't remotely comparable to today. If we go back to 1970, very few people had ready access to information we take for granted with the internet and religious claims were taken much more seriously.

For an overview of the times:

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/kooks.html

 


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x wrote:Conigman wrote:The

x wrote:

Conigman wrote:

The first gospels were written approx 22 years after the crucifixion, therefore, many if not all of the people mentioned in the gospels, WERE STILL around, or most definitly there children....

 

Mark was the first gospel and was written after 70CE.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gospel_of_Mark#Composition_and_setting


 

 

Right but not only that many people (especially Christians) don't realize that the general public was not even allowed to have a bible in those days!  Since the printing press was a long way from being invented mass production of books really wasn't done!

The skeptic nowadays would tell you the reason why they didn't want the bible in public hands is because they were too busy making up the stories just like making up stories of any other god!  And there is no record of Jesus anywhere since he was a myth created by either the Romans or the church or both!

I don't believe actually owning a bible was commonplace until over a 1000 years later!

 

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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Good point

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Right but not only that many people (especially Christians) don't realize that the general public was not even allowed to have a bible in those days!  Since the printing press was a long way from being invented mass production of books really wasn't done!

I'm not sure about the availability to your average punter, but in the early 2nd century, there was no bible as it is known today, just various books and letters. The church fathers considered the OT to be scripture and the epistles etc. were 'wise counsel'. Oral tradition was considered more important.

I'd think your average sceptic of the time, if they knew of any of the Christian writings at all, would probably consider them as worthy of detailed examination as people today would consider L Ron Hubbard's novels. Crazy stories were a dime a dozen. The Christians were not a great threat until Constantine.


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 Why would someone living

 Why would someone living in a large city (virtually everyone who could read and write lived in a large city and was wealthy or associated with wealth) give two shits what crazy beliefs people in some town in the middle of nowhere had?  Why would said person leave the comforts of the city to travel at a time when travel took months and even years and with a good chance of death simply to investigate the newest rumor among the peasants? You know, they didn't have airplanes.

Nowadays we have people who are essentially professional skeptics, they have the time, knowledge and resources to devote a good portion of their life debunking bullshit. 2000 years ago life was different. Simply surviving was a much more time consuming task, getting an education was extremely difficult and rare. Information flowed much more slowly and as such news about what the poor people were talking about simply wasn't important to anyone educated. You seem to be under the assumption there were a bunch of skeptics like today. There were certainly skeptics in the sense of people who didn't believe bullshit, but there are no writings from back then debunking soothsaying, fortune telling, rumors of monsters, ghosts etc. We have that kind of stuff today because we have the luxury of a modern society where life is easy, time is plentiful, education is common, travel is fast and the transfer of information is extremely quick. There were not any skeptics in the sense we use the word today. The emergence of skepticism is a rather new thing within the last 100 or so years. 

For the most part the educated elite in Rome cared about christians only insofar as the group affected their ability to govern. When christians were viewed as problematic they were killed. Killing is much easier that trying to determine if their beliefs were based on true events. Christians were also an easy scapegoat to blame when bad things were happening since they were a small portion of the population. For example, after the Great Fire of Rome it was convenient to blame and kill a few christians because it could be done without risking a general uprising while deflecting blame from the powers that be. 

 

I just usually go with my own taste. If I like something, and it happens to be against the law, well, then I might have a problem.- Hunter S. Thompson


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x wrote:JesusNEVERexisted

x wrote:

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Right but not only that many people (especially Christians) don't realize that the general public was not even allowed to have a bible in those days!  Since the printing press was a long way from being invented mass production of books really wasn't done!

I'm not sure about the availability to your average punter, but in the early 2nd century, there was no bible as it is known today, just various books and letters. The church fathers considered the OT to be scripture and the epistles etc. were 'wise counsel'. Oral tradition was considered more important.

I'd think your average sceptic of the time, if they knew of any of the Christian writings at all, would probably consider them as worthy of detailed examination as people today would consider L Ron Hubbard's novels. Crazy stories were a dime a dozen. The Christians were not a great threat until Constantine.

Very true!

Hey buddy, check out the new posts in the Jesus Mythicist section.  Very interesting stuff there!

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com


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More evidence re availability of gospels

The first epistle of Clement of Rome (to the Corinthians) was written around 95 CE.

He is considered to be one of the first popes, yet he shows no knowledge of the gospels, only some epistles.

So, if the pope wasn't familiar with the gospels, it is unlikely that a sceptic would be and therefore one could not expect sceptics to go round asking the gospel characters whether they really did get raised from the dead.

 

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04012c.htm

 

He begins by explaining that his delay in writing has been caused by the sudden calamities which, one after another, had just been falling upon the Roman Church. The reference is clearly to the persecution of Domitian.

The style of the Epistle is earnest and simple, restrained and dignified, and sometimes eloquent. The Greek is correct, though not classical. The quotations from the Old Testament are long and numerous. The version of the Septuagint used by Clement inclines in places towards that which appears in the New Testament, yet presents sufficient evidence of independence; his readings are often with A, but are less often opposed to B than are those in the New Testament; occasionally he is found against the Septuagint with Theodotion or even Aquila (see H. B. Swete, Introd. to the 0. T. in Greek, Cambridge 1900).

The New Testament he never quotes verbally. Sayings of Christ are now and then given, but not in the words of the Gospels.

It cannot be proved, therefore, that he used any one of the Synoptic Gospels. He mentions St. Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians, and appears to imply a second. He knows Romans and Titus, and apparently cites several other of St. Paul's Epistles. But Hebrews is most often employed of all New Testament books. James, probably, and I Peter, perhaps, are referred to. (See the lists of citations in Funk and Lightfoot, Westcott, Introductions to Holy Scripture, such as those of Cornely, Zahn, etc., and "The New Test. in the Apost. Fathers", by a Committee of the Oxford Society of Hist. Theology, Oxford, 1906.)

 

 

 


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Hre's a prospect for thought.

Conigman wrote:

This is something i often think about. I am not making a claim that this is 100% fact or this is how it should have been etc etc. Rather, i am merely throwing some thoughts out and trying to go through this logically.

 

Skeptics such as yourselves have been around since humanity began.

 

Meaning, skeptics were also around the time of Jesus and obviously after.

 

Here is the question. Why arent their any counter claims / writings at the time of Jesus or just after when the Gospels were written?

 

Think of this. At the time of Jesus and just after when the gospels were written, we saw a transformation of society based on these gospels. That is, the construction and establishment of Churches, persecution of Gospel followers, people devoting their lives to the gospel, ie, Priests , bishops etc etc....

 

So, if you are a skeptic at that time, society is changing, the world around you is changing. As a skeptic, wouldnt you go and INVESTIGATE the claims being made in the gospels epsecially considering you still had first hand access to many of the people where the claims are actually made to or their first generation after at the very least?

 

The first gospels were written approx 22 years after the crucifixion, therefore, many if not all of the people mentioned in the gospels, WERE STILL around, or most definitly there children....

 

THis is made much more easier as it was a small country town where the majority of people knew each other, as opposed to today where the population is much much larger, not like for example NYC today where people know only a small percentage of each other...

 

Here is an example. We know about the story of Elizabeth and her husband Lazarus who Jesus raised from the dead. If you are a skeptic, you read this, and people started to change their lives based on this....wouldnt you as a skeptic go to Elizabeth or at least her children and ask if it really happened? I mean, if you are a skeptic at that time, read that, (i am sure Elizabeth would be well known) go upto her and her family and say, did Jesus really raise your husband from death? Or what about the claim that Jesus fed 5000 people with fish and bread? I am very very sure, that many of the people were still around.

 

These are just 2 of the claims that around the time of the gospels were written would be well known facts TO EVERYONE.......yet if not true, WHY WASNT THEIR ANYONE, ESPECIALLY skeptics investigating these many claims and documented these. I am aware that literacy rates back then were around 5-7%, so not many could have written or read, and the main form of comms was via oral transmission. Surely, surely, skeptics would have passed this on, and EVENTUALLY shortly after, someone would have written this down so future generations would know the truth. Yet we have nothing. If what was claimed never happened, yet society changed rapidly from this and people were believing a lie, then i just find it astonishing that nothing was every done about it....especially from skeptics who would thrive on something like this and be all over it like a rash...

True Christianity became extinct about 100 AD, since then it's been an unknown. The Apostle never were a civil fact, or recorded in civil documents. That doesn't mean JC didn't exist. More-over. Christianity isn't what people think or expect. However, neither is God what people think or expect.

The only possible thing the world needs saving from are those running it.


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x wrote:JesusNEVERexisted

x wrote:

JesusNEVERexisted wrote:

Right but not only that many people (especially Christians) don't realize that the general public was not even allowed to have a bible in those days!  Since the printing press was a long way from being invented mass production of books really wasn't done!

I'm not sure about the availability to your average punter, but in the early 2nd century, there was no bible as it is known today, just various books and letters. The church fathers considered the OT to be scripture and the epistles etc. were 'wise counsel'. Oral tradition was considered more important.

I'd think your average sceptic of the time, if they knew of any of the Christian writings at all, would probably consider them as worthy of detailed examination as people today would consider L Ron Hubbard's novels. Crazy stories were a dime a dozen. The Christians were not a great threat until Constantine.

Right and it was Constantine who said "Convert or DIE!!".  It doesn't help the credibility or truthfulness of your religion when you threaten to MURDER people if they don't convert you know?

Click here to find out why Christianity is the biggest fairy tale ever created!! www.nobeliefs.com/exist.htm www.JesusNEVERexisted.com