Peanut Gallery: Jesus history/contemporary proofs contest

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This thread is for comments and for split off posts from this thread.

The contest to prove people existed without contemporary evidence was ended when Richard Carrier showed us it was possible. Richard joined us to record 7 shows, and we talked about it in the Jesus mythicism show. Richard agrees that Jesus likely never existed, however lacking contemporary evidence alone isn't enough to make the case. There's much more to it.

As you'll see below the beggining of the split off comments start with a line of discussion looking for oother historical figures that we accept as real but that don't have contemporrary evidence for them, like in the case of Jesus. Richard showed me how there are quite a few people who we accept as true that didn't have contemporary evidence for them. He admits it's extremely hard to find someone that lacks evidence for 40 years after their death like in the case of Jesus, but nevertheless I agreed to put my foot in my mouth if I was shown other historical figures have similar lacking evidence.

The myth of Jesus is not best found through the argument for silence, I never proposed it was, you'll hear the arguments that show how Jesus never existed on our October 6th show. Enjoy!

The contest to find contemporary evidence for Jesus is still on, as the contest has it's own merits, even though there are much better arguments against his existence.

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adamryan wrote:
This is a very early source which is probably based on eyewitness testimony

Naked assertion. Typical oral debate technique.

Quote:
and which the commentator Rudolf Pesch dates to within seven years of the crucifixion.

A fellow apologist, and appeal to a single (friendly) authority. Another typical oral debate technique.

Quote:
Moreover, Paul also cites an extremely early source for Jesus' burial by Joseph is also found in the sources behind Matthew and Luke and the Gospel of John, not to mention the extra-biblical Gospel of Peter. Thus we have the remarkable number of at least five independent sources for Jesus' burial,

Then whence synopsis? Why the copying from each other? I'm shocked Ehrman never nailed him on this.

Quote:
some of which are extraordinarily early."

According to one German scholar, for reasons we don't know, Mark may have copied from an earlier source (oral? Written? Who knows?) who was writing seven years after the supposed events and from some undisclosed, unknown location? And we don't have even fragments this source?

Phrased this way, the "argument" (note that no argument was really given) is not nearly as convincing. And phrasing is something Craig does very well.


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adamryan wrote:

Quote:
I also find it interesting nobody has submitted contemporary evidence of Jesus.

Interesting; i would have thought that Jesus counted as a biblical figure.

=]


Interesting. The part you're focusing on mentions nothing about "a biblical figure." It's almost like a non sequitur. Non sequiturs are very interesting, though. Interesting. Eye-wink


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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Gene's got me on an IP wide ban for having the audacity to question believers in his forums :twisted:

there are other intellectual atheists that i've encountered on there, you should just use another name or something


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i asked this question at the unchained radio forum

is there any extra-biblical sources that help prove Jesus's existence?

and here is the best answer that i got, and here is the link to that thread if yall are interested

http://www.unchainedradio.com/nuke/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=736

this post is from "Vytautas"

From: http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/jesusexisthub.html

We now turn to mimi-essays on the non-Christian sources for the life and existence of Jesus. For each of these references, we will ask these questions, as applicable:

Is this a genuine reference, or are there doubts about its veracity? Does it really refer to Jesus?

Is this historian/writer a reliable source? Is there good reason to trust what they say?

What objections have been registered against this citataion?

What do we learn about Jesus and or Christianity from this historian/writer?

We conclude that we find three levels of source material:

Highly reliable sources: There are two of these: Tacitus and Josephus.

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/tacitus.html

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/josephus.html

Moderately reliable sources: We find three: Thallus, Pliny, and Lucian. For the matter of Thallus, please see also our link in our essay to Glenn Miller's essay on that subject, linked in our essay. (We will look at some objections to the Thallus cite.)

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/thallus.html

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/pliny.html

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/lucian.html

Marginally reliable or unreliable sources: Three are in this class: Suetonius, the letter of Mara Bar-Serapion, and the Talmud.

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/suey.html

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/serapion.html

http://www.tektonics.org/jesusexist/talmud.html


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Yeah, heard you the first time, devinasheville. None of the sources cited are contemporary to the lifetime of Jesus. Most of us are well aware of the sources the guy you posted the response from cited, and we dimiss them for various reasons. That's really beside the point though, since what we're asking for are contemporary accounts.

And no, I won't be disguising myself just to post on Gene's forum - that wouldn't get around an IP wide ban anyway. I'd just as soon not give that charlatan web traffic.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Yeah, heard you the first time, devinasheville. None of the sources cited are contemporary to the lifetime of Jesus. Most of us are well aware of the sources the guy you posted the response from cited, and we dimiss them for various reasons. That's really beside the point though, since what we're asking for are contemporary accounts.

And no, I won't be disguising myself just to post on Gene's forum - that wouldn't get around an IP wide ban anyway. I'd just as soon not give that charlatan web traffic.

mmmkay


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You're using JP Holding as a source when even Richard Carrier admits that Holding is full of shit. Try getting a real source where scholarly opinion is in agreement with it.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:
You're using JP Holding as a source when even Richard Carrier admits that Holding is full of shit. Try getting a real source where scholarly opinion is in agreement with it.

no, first off, I didn't pick that source, i put who said the source, i posted it here to see if you guys have encountered the site yet, and i havent seen yall debunk it or anything, so far it just sounds like you are just writing it off because it is from a christian, now i am open to believe what you guys are saying when i get some good facts that Holding is whack, i'm not gonna believe hes whack because an atheist says so, but if the atheists gives me good reason to ditch the sources, i will gladly

-devin


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devinasheville wrote:
no, first off, I didn't pick that source, i put who said the source, i posted it here to see if you guys have encountered the site yet, and i havent seen yall debunk it or anything, so far it just sounds like you are just writing it off because it is from a christian, now i am open to believe what you guys are saying when i get some good facts that Holding is whack, i'm not gonna believe hes whack because an atheist says so, but if the atheists gives me good reason to ditch the sources, i will gladly

-devin


I believe that JP Holding has offered to have a formal debate with someone from the Rational Response Team. Perhaps the topic, "There is sufficient evidence to conclude that there probably was a historical Jesus" would be an appropriate one?

If you guys are happy to do that, I can contact him on the TheologyWeb forum.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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existence of jesus

[MOD NOTE: ORIGINALLY POSTED AS CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE FOR JESUS, NOW MOVED TO THE MORE APPROPRIATE THREAD.]

I doubt anything will really convince you unless you feel God's power and presence for yourself. I probably won't win this thing anyway, because you're hearts are hardened. But if i did win, i don't even want the money. I'm not doing this for the money.

1) The supernatural changing of the human heart. A corrupt sinner that when brought into the light and truth of Jesus Christ, feels condemned and sorry for his sin. A supernatural change is made within him that cannot be done by man alone. Only God can draw you to him. Man will not do this on his own. Ask any true convert, not a false one.
2) Jesus promised that after he left, he would send the spirit of God as a comforter. And certainly many people have recieved the baptism of the spirit and spoken in tongues of other languages that they would not have known otherwise. I have witnessed this myself.
3) Check your history channel and enclopedias- MOST secular historians have concluded that Jesus did exist. Do you think you're the first to think of this concept? There has always been a small group of people to doubt since the beginning of christianity.
4) 4 Romans wrote about Jesus- I know you dismiss this but this is documented in secular history. It is agreed upon by most (secular too) that they are referring to Jesus. Pontius Pilate lived during Jesus' time, of course because he allowed the cruxifiction. Whether you want to believe it or not, Jesus WAS documented in Roman history.
5) The book of Matthew: MOST agree that Matthew , the tax collector that was one of the twelve and saw Jesus' life firsthand, wrote the book of matthew. Matthew saw these things himself.
6) Healings- Many people have been healed in the name of Jesus Christ. Doctors (using their usual rational, scientific mind) throw their hands up and confess they cannot explain it. (Not every evangelist is after money)
7) Most non-christians do not doubt jesus' existence. You don't have to believe if you don't want to....that's what free will is. But don't try to excuse that he was ever even a man. You just look silly (even to the world)
That's all i can think of now but if i think of more i may repost. What's your next attack? Are you going to challenge the existence of Muhammad too?


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HaHaHaHaHaHa!!! Yeah, that counts as evidence! Laughing out loud :roll:


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my comment

Did you delete my comment?

This is not a real contest. Why don't you argue my points?


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Re: my comment

positivechange wrote:
Did you delete my comment?

This is not a real contest. Why don't you argue my points?

No I moved it to this thread.

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denial

You are in denial of secular and christian history. Ever watch the history channel?

Why can't the gospels be a historical account? They were written shortly after christ and some of them were even written by those that were there....such as matthew....as i mentioned. May i warn you, they laughed and mocked Noah until the day he went into the ark and the floods came. (and yes , in case you ask, stories of the flood and Sodom & Gomorrah and others are also proven through history and archeological discoveries. Watch the history channel people! And also, i was one of those corrupt people that was supernaturally changed. If it were not for God's calling, i would perhaps be in a life of crime and destruction.

This is the last i will post because Jesus himself said this:

"If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, shake the dust off your feet when you leave that home or town. I tell you the truth, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgement than for that town. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves."
Matthew 10:14


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Just because it's on the History channel doesn't make it true. They also put stuff about aliens, ghosts, bigfoot, etc. They put pseudoscience on because it boosts the ratings. :roll:

Take your toys and go home if that's what you want to do. :roll:

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Benjamin the news article you posted in this thread is being discussed elsewhere, your post was moved: http://www.rationalresponders.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=755

Feel free to actually discuss the news story now. Eye-wink

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I don't understand the intentions behind this at all. If somebody had historically accurate and reputable evidence for Jesus, why would they sell it for $666? They could make a much larger income off of what could be considered by very many Christian's, the greatest discovery of all time (which doesn't mean much when you realize they also believe the Earth was made in six days by a God that they claim could make it in the blink of an eye).


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Philosophos wrote:
adamryan wrote:
Well, in Craig's most recent debate with Dr. Bart Ehrman (a fellow of the Jesus Seminar),

No he's not.

My mistake. I momentarily confused Ehrman with John Shelby Spong. Both have debated Craig.

-adamryan

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Re: existence of jesus

positivechange wrote:
[MOD NOTE: ORIGINALLY POSTED AS CONTEMPORARY EVIDENCE FOR JESUS, NOW MOVED TO THE MORE APPROPRIATE THREAD.]

I doubt anything will really convince you unless you feel God's power and presence for yourself. I probably won't win this thing anyway, because you're hearts are hardened. But if i did win, i don't even want the money. I'm not doing this for the money.

1) The supernatural changing of the human heart. A corrupt sinner that when brought into the light and truth of Jesus Christ, feels condemned and sorry for his sin. A supernatural change is made within him that cannot be done by man alone. Only God can draw you to him. Man will not do this on his own. Ask any true convert, not a false one.
2) Jesus promised that after he left, he would send the spirit of God as a comforter. And certainly many people have recieved the baptism of the spirit and spoken in tongues of other languages that they would not have known otherwise. I have witnessed this myself.
3) Check your history channel and enclopedias- MOST secular historians have concluded that Jesus did exist. Do you think you're the first to think of this concept? There has always been a small group of people to doubt since the beginning of christianity.
4) 4 Romans wrote about Jesus- I know you dismiss this but this is documented in secular history. It is agreed upon by most (secular too) that they are referring to Jesus. Pontius Pilate lived during Jesus' time, of course because he allowed the cruxifiction. Whether you want to believe it or not, Jesus WAS documented in Roman history.
5) The book of Matthew: MOST agree that Matthew , the tax collector that was one of the twelve and saw Jesus' life firsthand, wrote the book of matthew. Matthew saw these things himself.
6) Healings- Many people have been healed in the name of Jesus Christ. Doctors (using their usual rational, scientific mind) throw their hands up and confess they cannot explain it. (Not every evangelist is after money)
7) Most non-christians do not doubt jesus' existence. You don't have to believe if you don't want to....that's what free will is. But don't try to excuse that he was ever even a man. You just look silly (even to the world)
That's all i can think of now but if i think of more i may repost. What's your next attack? Are you going to challenge the existence of Muhammad too?

PositiveChange, why even post a response if you can't follow the rules?

The rubric of the offer is to provide secular evidence written within 25 years of Jesus' death that verified His existence. Since "modern scholarship" dates all of the gospels to past that 25 year benchmark, and since the only evidence that will be accepted must be verified by "modern scholarship", the whole concept is rigged from the beginning. As I commented before, it's more ridiculous than Hovind's "evidence for evolution" scheme.

The message of the Bible is impertinent to this scheme.

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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It's not a "rigged" contest, adamryan. We're simply using the cash prize to make a point.

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Sinphani wrote:

The invented character of Jesus was a Sun god, symbolic of God's 'Sun'...The Light of the World.

Homophones in English don't influence theology in Aramaic.

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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Re: existence of jesus

adamryan wrote:

PositiveChange, why even post a response if you can't follow the rules?

I love theist on theist action, it's great.

Quote:
The rubric of the offer is to provide secular evidence written within 25 years of Jesus' death that verified His existence. Since "modern scholarship" dates all of the gospels to past that 25 year benchmark, and since the only evidence that will be accepted must be verified by "modern scholarship", the whole concept is rigged from the beginning.

Although we'd expect the evidence to be verified by modern scholarship we didn't list that as a prerequisite.

Quote:
As I commented before, it's more ridiculous than Hovind's "evidence for evolution" scheme.

And I hope you'd agree you're being dramatic here. Hovinds challenge asks for proof that no evolutionist would claim can be provided. We ask for proof that many historians would agree can be provided for people much less important than Jesus.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
It's not a "rigged" contest, adamryan. We're simply using the cash prize to make a point.

And which point is this?

That since there exists (at the moment) no written document penned within 25 years of Christ's death, which discusses His existence and ministry, He therefore never existed?

using that same logic, let me exemplify using my grandma:

-My grandma was born in 1933.
-My grandma wasn't "written about" (didn't have her birth certificate) until 1940.

Therefore, since there is no written evidence that my grandmother ever existed during her first seven years of life, it is irrational to conclude that my grandmother existed between the years of 1933-1940.

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
It's not a "rigged" contest, adamryan. We're simply using the cash prize to make a point.

And which point is this?

That since there exists (at the moment) no written document penned within 25 years of Christ's death, which discusses His existence and ministry, He therefore never existed?

No. I might've mistakenly used that wording, and I shouldn't have. The point isn't that because of the 25 year gap, he never existed, that point is but a small piece in the puzzle that lends credence to the theory that he might've never existed. There is much more to the puzzle, than just a lack of contemporary proof.

Quote:
using that same logic, let me exemplify using my grandma:

-My grandma was born in 1933.
-My grandma wasn't "written about" (didn't have her birth certificate) until 1940.

Therefore, since there is no written evidence that my grandmother ever existed during her first seven years of life, it is irrational to conclude that my grandmother existed between the years of 1933-1940.

Quite a stretch there Adam. Especially considering her birth certificate has her date of birth, and stemmed from the time she existed. Furthermore, had she been walking on water at age 4, I have a feeling we'd know a little more about those missing 7 years.

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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
It's not a "rigged" contest, adamryan. We're simply using the cash prize to make a point.

And which point is this?

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

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Re: existence of jesus

Sapient wrote:

I love theist on theist action, it's great.

His entire post was extraneous. This forum isn't for preaching; it's for polemic in regards to the historicity of the New Testament.

Sapient wrote:

Although we'd expect the evidence to be verified by modern scholarship we didn't list that as a prerequisite.

I was being facetious. Sort of.

Sapient wrote:

And I hope you'd agree you're being dramatic here. Hovinds challenge asks for proof that no evolutionist would claim can be provided. We ask for proof that many historians would agree can be provided for people much less important than Jesus.

I know that Hovind's challenge is a ridiculous gimmick. When I found out that in order to be awarded the $250,000.00, you needed to be able to successfully create a universe in the labratory, I went hysterical.

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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Sapient wrote:
No. I might've mistakenly used that wording, and I shouldn't have. The point isn't that because of the 25 year gap, he never existed, that point is but a small piece in the puzzle that lends credence to the theory that he might've never existed. There is much more to the puzzle, than just a lack of contemporary proof.

Modern scholarship dates the Markan account to within 30 years of Christ's death, correct?

Now is it the account that they are basing the date off of, and if so, by what are they measuring it in comparison to that would give them that date?

Or is it that the earliest manuscript of the Markan account extant comes from within that time?

Sapient wrote:

Quite a stretch there Adam. Especially considering her birth certificate has her date of birth, and stemmed from the time she existed. Furthermore, had she been walking on water at age 4, I have a feeling we'd know a little more about those missing 7 years.

My point wasn't about the specifics; I wasn't saying that my grandma was in any way messianic (I never thought I'd ever have to say that in my life).

What I used the comparison for was to show that, though written documentation does lend more favorable credence to an event or an existence of that event, person, place [**insert any noun here**], to use it as a basic precept for determing the existence of someone is not necessarily a completely rational method to conclude verity with.

But since you said that it's just one small puzzle piece, in this big jigsaw puzzle of nubilous history, I'm intrigued and would like to hear more.

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:

But since you said that it's just one small puzzle piece, in this big jigsaw puzzle of nubilous history, I'm intrigued and would like to hear more.

You could listen to the poor audio (first time) show with Richard Carrier (left hand side):
http://www.freethoughtmedia.com/Sapient.ftm

I think we'll cover the issue again when Carrier comes in to town.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
It's not a "rigged" contest, adamryan. We're simply using the cash prize to make a point.

And which point is this?

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

I find it interesting that the mere idea of Jesus being a fabricated, pseudo-historical figure doesn't seem ridiculous at all to anybody in here.

If Jesus never existed, the apostles were full of it, and all of what Christianity is, is just one big fairy tale, why are there no historical documents from anytime during the first fifty or so years, that call into question Christ's existence?

If that scenario is true, and it happened today, we would have, at least, some blurb about it in a newspaper or magazine or blog, etc etc.

I think it's interesting that, despite all of the chances available to cut Christianity's feet right from beneath itself, there exists no such record of any historical allegation from that time.

Interesting...

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:

If Jesus never existed, the apostles were full of it, and all of what Christianity is, is just one big fairy tale

Now you're gettin it.

Quote:
why are there no historical documents from anytime during the first fifty or so years, that call into question Christ's existence?

Ever think the Church might've burned it all?

Quote:
If that scenario is true, and it happened today, we would have, at least, some blurb about it in a newspaper or magazine or blog, etc etc.

And if some man committed all the miracles Jesus supposedly did, we'd see contemporary evidence of it today. The point is basically moot.

Quote:
I think it's interesting that, despite all of the chances available to cut Christianity's feet right from beneath itself, there exists no such record of any historical allegation from that time.

I find it interesting that you didn't think for a moment that the Church could have burned it all. Murdering and massacring the philosophical opposition is part of the reason we see the Church so large. Here is a short list of some actions of past popes, take note of the underlying theme of silencing opposition and capability of horrible crimes to humanity:

- Pope Gregorio XI

Whole cities were the theater of massacres because they had accommodated the heretics. On the places of Florence, Venice, Rome and Ferrara stakes ignited constantly.
Belramo Agosti, humble shoemaker, tortured and burned alive to have said a blasphemy while playing with cards: in June 5, 1382.
Menelao Santori because he lived with two women: in October 10, 1387.
Lorenzo de Bologna obliged under the torture to confess to have stolen a ciborium. Death under the tortures, he was accompanied to the stake with boosts. November 1, 1388.

- Pope Gregorio XII

Jean Hus and Gerolamo da Praga shot down and burned to have said that the morality of the gospels forbids the monks to possess tangible assets. On 1414.

- Pope Eugenio IV

Joan of Arc, burned alive accused of witchcraft ( 1431 ).

- Pope Sixt IV
In Spain shone for his cruelty the Dominican Thomas Torquemada who, by seizing the possessions of the accused persons of heresy and witchcraft, had managed to accumulate so wealth that he was frightening the Pope who obliged him to pay half of the booty. When this one arrived in a country as inquisitor, the population ran away, leaving everything to his hands.
In the impossibility to quote all the victims of Torquemada I shall limit to say that in 18 years of the inquisition there was:
800.000 Jews exiliated from Spain, with seizure of the possessions, under the risk of death if they had stayed.
10.200 burned alive.
6.860 corpses dug up to be burned on the stake following lawsuit (all ended with the seizure of the possessions) celebrated " post-mortem " (after the death).
97.000 condemned persons to the prison with eternity with seizure of the properties.
And while Torquemada acted in Spain, in Rome the inquisition lit stakes on all the places to burn the heretics whose patrimonies were automatically requisitioned for the Pope by the brotherhood of San Giovanni Decollato.

- Pope Alessandro VI

Burned alive Gerolamo Savonarola on the place of Signoria in Florence. In May 23, 1498 with two of his followers, Domenico da Pescia and Silvestro da Firenze.
Three Jews burned alive to Campo dei Fiori in Rome - January 13, 1498.
Gentile Cimeli, accused of witchcraft, burned alive in Campo dei Fiori - July 14, 1498.
Burned alive Marcello da Fiorentino on the place Saint Pierre - July 29, 1498.

- Pope Giulio II

4 women judged and executed for witchcraft to Cavalese ( Trento) - on 1505.
Diego Portoghese hung for heresy - October 14, 1606.
30 burned alive persons in Logro?o (Spain) for witchcraft.
Fra Agostino Grimaldi judged and executed for heresy - August 6, 1606.
15 Roman citizens massacred by the Swiss guards for heresy - on 1513.
Orazio and Giacomo di Riffredo, judged and executed for heresy - April 30, 1513.

- Pope Leone X (The Pope who declared the nonexistence of Christ).

30 women accused of witchcraft burned alive in Bormio - on 1514.
Martino Jacopo judged and executed for heresy in Vercelli - February 18, 1517.
80 burned alive women in Valcamonica for witchcraft - on 1518.
5 burned alive heretics in Brescia - April 30, 1519.
Baglione Paolo da Perugia beheaded for heresy in Traspontina - June 4, 1520.
Fra Camillo, Fra Giulio Carino, Leonardo Cesalpini choked in prison for heresy - July 8, 1520.

- Pope Clemente VII

Anna Furabach, judged and executed for heresy - May 9, 1524.
Thousands of anapabtist Protestants bathed, beheaded, burned alive and tortured to death 1525.
A woman accused of witchcraft, burned alive in Campidoglio - September 30, 1525.
Claudio Artoidi and Lerenza di Pietro judged and executed for heresy - May 16, 1526.
Rinaldo di Colonia judged and executed for heresy - August 26, 1528.
Lorenzo di Gabriele da Parma e Tiberio di Giannantonio, tortured, judged and executed for heresy - September 9, 1528.
Burned alive Bernardino da Palestrina for heresy - November 20, 1529.
Burned alive Giovanni Milanese for heresy - November 23, 1530.

- Pope Paulus III (One of the atheistic popes who asserted the nonexistence of the Christ. Others knew as him but did not say it).

All the inhabitants of the city of M?rindol (France) killed to have embraced the faith of the evangelic Protestants. Their possessions were seized and the city remained deserted and uninhabitable - on 1540.
All the Anabaptists of the city of Munster (Germany) were massacred. Giovanni di Leida, their leader, was killed having been subjected " to a horrible torture " - April 4, 1535.
Martino Giovinin judged and executed in the prisons of Grenoble - April 26, 1536.
Francesco di Giovanni de Capocena killed for heresy - on 1538.
Ene di Ambrogio judged and executed for heresy - on 1539.
Galateo di Girolamo judged and executed in the prisons of the Inquisition for heresy - January 17, 1541.
Giandomenico dell' Aquila, heretic, burned alive - February 4, 1542.
Federico d' Abbruzzo killed for heresy. His body was carried to the torture dragged by a horse. What stayed of its body was hung on the fork - July 12, 1542.
2.740 Vaudois was massacred by the Catholics in Provence (France) - April, 1545.
Hung Girolamo Francese because Lutherian - September 27, 1546.
Baldassarre Altieri, of the English Embassy, whom the Inquisition killed in prison - on 1548.
Federico Consalvo, heretic, judged and executed - May 25, 1549.
Annibale di Lattanzio judged and executed for heresy - May 25, 1549.

Source.

- Brian Sapient


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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
It's not a "rigged" contest, adamryan. We're simply using the cash prize to make a point.

And which point is this?

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

I find it interesting that the mere idea of Jesus being a fabricated, pseudo-historical figure doesn't seem ridiculous at all to anybody in here.

If Jesus never existed, the apostles were full of it, and all of what Christianity is, is just one big fairy tale, why are there no historical documents from anytime during the first fifty or so years, that call into question Christ's existence?

Yes, that, amoung other things, is apt cause to question the existence of Christ. It is the lack of records that causes us to question.

You're essentially asking for evidence that people doubted Bigfoot existed before the legend became a common cultural theme, aren't you?

Quote:
If that scenario is true, and it happened today, we would have, at least, some blurb about it in a newspaper or magazine or blog, etc etc.

I think it's interesting that, despite all of the chances available to cut Christianity's feet right from beneath itself, there exists no such record of any historical allegation from that time.

I find it interesting that despite all of the chances available for Christianity to cement itself with a simple contemporary account, that there exists no such record of a historical Jesus from that time.

Quote:
Interesting...

Indeed.

-adamryan

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adamryan wrote:

why are there no historical documents from anytime during the first fifty or so years, that call into question Christ's existence?
Sapient wrote:

Ever think the Church might've burned it all?

Interesting.

You're saying that the catholics (during the dark ages) destroyed every document that [you contend] existed that said that Jesus was a mythological figure...

Seems a bit zealously optimistic, don't you think?

The catholics made attempts to destroy the Bibles [the ones not in Latin; they didn't want the lay person to be able to read the Bible. If that happened, they might find out that their good buddies at the local cathedral were lying to them. Smiling ] during the dark ages as well, but their attempts were, in the end, futile, since there usually always remained an uncaptured copy, or the a copy of one soon came back into the hands of the lay people. To think that this couldn't (much less, didn't) happen seems a bit dubious.

Sapient wrote:

And if some man committed all the miracles Jesus supposedly did, we'd see contemporary evidence of it today. The point is basically moot.

Illegitimate argument. We'd see a plethora of "contemporary evidence" because our technology (ability to document by photography, video-journalism, etc etc) is more advanced than what was available during the time of Christ; they used what they had: a paper and a pen.

The validity of the gospels can't be discredited on the basis that their ways of communicating events were, and are, ancillary to ours.

Sapeint wrote:

I find it interesting that you didn't think for a moment that the Church could have burned it all.

It's not that I don't think they could have; of course they could have. They were the Hulk Hogan of the goverment at the time. My point is it just seems a bit implausible that, after all of the persecution and destroying, there wasn't a single document extant that confirms your assertion.

The idea that there wasn't a single person who:

-had survived through the persecutions and thought to recopy the documents

-hid the parchments in a place where the catholics couldn't find them

-was from "nearby" (meaning, not under the control of catholic church) and had heard of these documents, and had copies of them

seems a bit on the "take it on faith" side. It's a foundation-less assertion, and I'm sure you'll admit to it, but since you had the confidence to even mention it, I'm sure you'll be able to back it up somewhat. Eye-wink

Quote:

Murdering and massacring the philosophical opposition is part of the reason we see the Church so large.

I don't think you'd argue that as being the reason for the present Church being so large, but I agree with you that yes, the catholics do have a history of getting a bit Schwarzenneger on their opposition.

-adamryan

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yes, that, among other things, is apt cause to question the existence of Christ. It is the lack of records that causes us to question.

The historical records are there. You just don't like their timelines.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

You're essentially asking for evidence that people doubted Bigfoot existed before the legend became a common cultural theme, aren't you?

Not at all. Good cynical analogy, though.

I just think that it seems odd that people would be willing to die for a person (including the alleged person's message) that never existed.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I find it interesting that despite all of the chances available for Christianity to cement itself with a simple contemporary account, that there exists no such record of a historical Jesus from that time.

At the moment, and the type that makes you happy.

Laughing out loud

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Yes, that, among other things, is apt cause to question the existence of Christ. It is the lack of records that causes us to question.

The historical records are there. You just don't like their timelines.

It isn't just the timelines I have issues with. It's also the lack of content in all the non-Biblical sources. Where there should be a voluminous record we see a few scant mentions and references - none of which support the divinity of Jesus, let alone make a convincing case that there was such a man and that the Bible is his story.

I mean, it wasn't just Jesus who rose from the dead - others did as well, and it was supposedly accompanied by the sky turning black and an earthquake. For some reason nobody thought enough to write of the dead walking the streets and what not. Instead, decades pass before even the followers of Chirst write about him.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
Quote:

You're essentially asking for evidence that people doubted Bigfoot existed before the legend became a common cultural theme, aren't you?

Not at all. Good cynical analogy, though.

Cynical, yes, but still apt.

Quote:
I just think that it seems odd that people would be willing to die for a person (including the alleged person's message) that never existed.

Dying for something has no bearing on the truth of the cause. People die for lies everyday. You need look only as far as the Branch Davidians or Hale Bopp cults to name a few.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I find it interesting that despite all of the chances available for Christianity to cement itself with a simple contemporary account, that there exists no such record of a historical Jesus from that time.

At the moment, and the type that makes you happy.

:D

No, not just that, like I said.

In a lot of ways a simple historical Jesus is equally damning to Christianity as no Jesus at all. Without the resurrection and miracles, you aren't left with much. I think that may be one reason the Jesus myth is sort of a cause c?l?bre in the atheist community - arguing against the divinity and supernatural Jesus is no challenge at all.

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adamryan wrote:
adamryan wrote:

why are there no historical documents from anytime during the first fifty or so years, that call into question Christ's existence?
Sapient wrote:

Ever think the Church might've burned it all?

Interesting.

You're saying that the catholics (during the dark ages) destroyed every document that [you contend] existed that said that Jesus was a mythological figure...

No, I'm saying if such documents ever existed, it's possible they were burned.

Sapient wrote:
Quote:

And if some man committed all the miracles Jesus supposedly did, we'd see contemporary evidence of it today. The point is basically moot.

Illegitimate argument. We'd see a plethora of "contemporary evidence" because our technology (ability to document by photography, video-journalism, etc etc) is more advanced than what was available during the time of Christ; they used what they had: a paper and a pen.

The validity of the gospels can't be discredited on the basis that their ways of communicating events were, and are, ancillary to ours.

I didn't mean if it happened today. I meant we'd see the evidence from back then... we'd see it "today."

At least I think that's what I meant, don't feel like reading back for the context.

Sapeint wrote:

It's not that I don't think they could have; of course they could have. They were the Hulk Hogan of the goverment at the time. My point is it just seems a bit implausible that, after all of the persecution and destroying, there wasn't a single document extant that confirms your assertion.

Why would there be a single document if even you agree they could've burned it all?

Quote:
The idea that there wasn't a single person who:

-had survived through the persecutions and thought to recopy the documents

-hid the parchments in a place where the catholics couldn't find them

-was from "nearby" (meaning, not under the control of catholic church) and had heard of these documents, and had copies of them

seems a bit on the "take it on faith" side. It's a foundation-less assertion, and I'm sure you'll admit to it, but since you had the confidence to even mention it, I'm sure you'll be able to back it up somewhat. Eye-wink

I mentioned it as a theory, just as you mentioned as a theory that there would have been dissenting views written. I already backed up my assertion that the church took out dissenters. You saw it the first time.

Quote:
Quote:

Murdering and massacring the philosophical opposition is part of the reason we see the Church so large.

I don't think you'd argue that as being the reason for the present Church being so large, but I agree with you that yes, the catholics do have a history of getting a bit Schwarzenneger on their opposition.

I would argue that. They murdered enough people to help tip the balance of the majority belief. The people left "believed." This helped them grow so large, and that should be obvious.

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adamryan wrote:
Sapient wrote:
No. I might've mistakenly used that wording, and I shouldn't have. The point isn't that because of the 25 year gap, he never existed, that point is but a small piece in the puzzle that lends credence to the theory that he might've never existed. There is much more to the puzzle, than just a lack of contemporary proof.

Modern scholarship dates the Markan account to within 30 years of Christ's death, correct?

Actually no. Modern scholarship, especially ancient scholarship (Eusebius) all agree that Mark was neitehr a first hand nor second hand account of Jesus. Due to the mention of the destruction of the temple that takes place at 70 CE, scholars (even christian scholars) place Mark at after that date. That would place the account anywhere from 37 - 40 years after the death of Christ and that is the most conservative dating.

Quote:
Now is it the account that they are basing the date off of, and if so, by what are they measuring it in comparison to that would give them that date?

There are plenty of internal evidences within Mark that go against Mark being written prior to the fall of the temple. The whole resaon Mark was writing was to bring about hope to a population destroyed by the war. In fact according to Richard Carrier, and some of the studying I have also done, Mark is not a historical account but rather an allegorical story about the son of Sohpia and the demiruge of the early Gnostics who was the Gnostic Revealer (Jesus) whom Paul talks about in his authentic epistles.

This sort of allegorical writing was so very common in the days of the late first century BCE through the early days of the second century CE. Paul, a Gnostic himself, preached about Jesus and his revelations, all through a spiritual vision that he himself had, and proclaimed that others could likewise recieve the vision.

Paul did not believe (Or even know of!) in a historical Christ. All one has to do is read his epistles to see just how true such a statement is.

Quote:
Or is it that the earliest manuscript of the Markan account extant comes from within that time?

There is no extant Markan account in any sort of preservation dating before the Codex Vaticanus. Period. Nobody before the second century ever talks of or mentions a Gospel. Not a single one. And we have plenty of authors from the time period of the late first century who SHOULD have known about them. Clement. Paul. Peter. Philo. Josephus. Pliny. None seem to know of them.

How can you account for this argument from silence?

Quote:
Sapient wrote:

Quite a stretch there Adam. Especially considering her birth certificate has her date of birth, and stemmed from the time she existed. Furthermore, had she been walking on water at age 4, I have a feeling we'd know a little more about those missing 7 years.

My point wasn't about the specifics; I wasn't saying that my grandma was in any way messianic (I never thought I'd ever have to say that in my life).

The fact is there is still something. Not only that but there was probably drawings, scribblings of her youth. Toys she played with and family members still in extant (you included) that we can trace her bloodline to. We have documents from the rest of her life and evidence she influenced people personally, who saw her, and maybe they even wrote about her in journals and diaries.

Quote:
What I used the comparison for was to show that, though written documentation does lend more favorable credence to an event or an existence of that event, person, place [**insert any noun here**], to use it as a basic precept for determing the existence of someone is not necessarily a completely rational method to conclude verity with.

There is no such evidence for Jesus. Not a single scintilla of evidence to even try to compare your grandmother to a Jesus.

Quote:
But since you said that it's just one small puzzle piece, in this big jigsaw puzzle of nubilous history, I'm intrigued and would like to hear more.

-adamryan

Listen to show 22, the shows with carrier that are coming up, and be patient for the essay I'm writing on a subject that covers this issue, and you will have some more answers.

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I don't understand your incredulity that the machine of belief could have created the jesus myth in toto, Adam.

I mean, xianity and Islam are exclusive - they can't BOTH be correct. Yet they each have over a billion believers. Some muslims believe so deeply that now, 1400 yrs after Mohammed, they kill themselves to do what they believe is right to him and his god.

Given this, why is it hard to believe that the early xians believed as they did? Unless you think muslims actually have better proof...

The human "belief engine" is often not powered by evidence or rationality.


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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

Why are the writings of Flavius Josephus, Thallus, Philopon, Tacitus, Emperor Hadrian, Lucian of Samasota, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Babylonian Talmud, and Maimonides not enough to generate a "compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one" ?

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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

Why are the writings of Flavius Josephus, Thallus, Philopon, Tacitus, Emperor Hadrian, Lucian of Samasota, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Babylonian Talmud, and Maimonides not enough to generate a "compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one" ?

I believe I already covered this. I'll elaborate if it wasn't to your satisfaction.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

It isn't just the timelines I have issues with. It's also the lack of content in all the non-Biblical sources. Where there should be a voluminous record we see a few scant mentions and references - none of which support the divinity of Jesus, let alone make a convincing case that there was such a man and that the Bible is his story.


"On the Eve of the Passover, they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out in front of him, for forty days saying: 'he is going to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the Eve of the Passover."

-Sanhedrin 43a, Babylonian Talmud

This non-Christian source seems to be quite in accordance with the New Testament claims.

It states that Jesus (Yeshu) was "hung" ("hung" and "crucified" are synonymous in this reference; Luke records Peter using the same terminology in Acts 5:30) on the Eve of the Passover (just as the New Testament claims) because He was leading Israel "astray"(with what the Phraisees dismissed as "sorcery"Eye-wink.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Instead, decades pass before even the followers of Chirst write about him.

And that makes their testimony invalid? How? They were living out what Jesus had told them to do (Mark 16:15), and having the whole testimony in written form probably wasn't one of their biggest concerns.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Dying for something has no bearing on the truth of the cause. People die for lies everyday. You need look only as far as the Branch Davidians or Hale Bopp cults to name a few.

Bad comparison. We know that the Branch Davidians and the Hale Bopp cults are founded on lies; but they didn't.They thought they were dying for truth.

What my argument was, is that it seems highly unlikely that people from the early Christian church would lay down their lives for something that they knew to be a lie. If they made it all up, then your comparison holds no validity, because they would have known it was all just a great delusion.

"The early Christian church, within less than a decade of it's inception, suffered some of the most horrible persecution ever recorded by history. Within a generation of the empty tomb, tens of thousands of Christians were burned at the stake, crucified, stoned, eaten by wild beasts, beheaded, boiled in oil and even cooked alive in large metal pans. All this for the belief that that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead."

"However, there usually was an out available for the people facing martyrdom by the Romans. If the person under inquiry would simply renounce faith in Jesus (and therefore, belief in resurrection), he would be spared the horrible death that awaited. This option was certainly offered to the disciples as well. If just one of them would recant the story of the resurrection, then this fledgling religion would have folded immediately and registered barely a blip on the screen of history."

-The Search for Messiah;
Mark Eastman M.D. and Chuck Smith

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

In a lot of ways a simple historical Jesus is equally damning to Christianity as no Jesus at all. Without the resurrection and miracles, you aren't left with much. I think that may be one reason the Jesus myth is sort of a cause c?l?bre in the atheist community - arguing against the divinity and supernatural Jesus is no challenge at all.

Jesus' historicity doesn't nullify his divinity.

And I think you're being a bit fallaciously ostentatious when you gloat,"arguing against the divinity and supernatural Jesus is no challenge at all.".

-adamryan

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

Why are the writings of Flavius Josephus, Thallus, Philopon, Tacitus, Emperor Hadrian, Lucian of Samasota, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Babylonian Talmud, and Maimonides not enough to generate a "compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one" ?

I believe I already covered this. I'll elaborate if it wasn't to your satisfaction.

please do. or send me a link to where you "covered this".

-adamryan

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adamryan wrote:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Dying for something has no bearing on the truth of the cause. People die for lies everyday. You need look only as far as the Branch Davidians or Hale Bopp cults to name a few.

Bad comparison. We know that the Branch Davidians and the Hale Bopp cults are founded on lies; but they didn't.They thought they were dying for truth.

The Branch Davidians or the 19 hijackers believed in their lies just as much as those surrounding Christianity. You missed the point and dodged it.

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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

It isn't just the timelines I have issues with. It's also the lack of content in all the non-Biblical sources. Where there should be a voluminous record we see a few scant mentions and references - none of which support the divinity of Jesus, let alone make a convincing case that there was such a man and that the Bible is his story.


"On the Eve of the Passover, they hanged Yeshu. And an announcer went out in front of him, for forty days saying: 'he is going to be stoned because he practiced sorcery and enticed and led Israel astray. Anyone who knows anything in his favor, let him come and plead in his behalf.' But not having found anything in his favor, they hanged him on the Eve of the Passover."

-Sanhedrin 43a, Babylonian Talmud

This non-Christian source seems to be quite in accordance with the New Testament claims.

Really? Yeshu was a very common name, like John or Bob today. How do you know that this Yeshu was the Jesus of the Bible? Josephus himself chronicles several preachers and priests by that name.

And stoned and hanged on Passover Eve? Wasn't Jesus crucified? When was Jesus stoned in the Bible? Perhaps you can also show me in the NT where Christ was charged with sorcery as well, I don't recall that charge.

Quote:
It states that Jesus (Yeshu) was "hung" ("hung" and "crucified" are synonymous in this reference; Luke records Peter using the same terminology in Acts 5:30) on the Eve of the Passover (just as the New Testament claims) because He was leading Israel "astray"(with what the Phraisees dismissed as "sorcery"Eye-wink.

Where you see Peter using the same terminology, I see another inconsistency in the Bible.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Instead, decades pass before even the followers of Chirst write about him.

And that makes their testimony invalid? How? They were living out what Jesus had told them to do (Mark 16:15), and having the whole testimony in written form probably wasn't one of their biggest concerns.

It doesn't make it invalid, it makes me raise an eyebrow. How you don't manage the same reaction perplexes me.

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Dying for something has no bearing on the truth of the cause. People die for lies everyday. You need look only as far as the Branch Davidians or Hale Bopp cults to name a few.

Bad comparison. We know that the Branch Davidians and the Hale Bopp cults are founded on lies; but they didn't.They thought they were dying for truth.

I'm sure the martyrs you mention thought they were dying for the truth as well. Nobody dies for a lie knowing it to be a lie - the problem is people are great at deluding and decieving themselves into believing fantasy is reality. You've really missed my point and analogy here. The comparison is quite apt, probably more apt than you are comfortable with.

Quote:
What my argument was, is that it seems highly unlikely that people from the early Christian church would lay down their lives for something that they knew to be a lie. If they made it all up, then your comparison holds no validity, because they would have known it was all just a great delusion.

Like I said, you missed my point. The Hale Bopp nutters did NOT think they were dying for a lie, nor did these early Christians. But what they believed they were dying for has no bearing on the truth of what they were dying for. Did the 9/11 hijackers think they were dying for a lie? Does the fact that they thought 72 virgins would meet them in heaven mean that 72 virgins are going to meet them in heaven?

Think about what you're saying here.

Quote:
"The early Christian church, within less than a decade of it's inception, suffered some of the most horrible persecution ever recorded by history. Within a generation of the empty tomb, tens of thousands of Christians were burned at the stake, crucified, stoned, eaten by wild beasts, beheaded, boiled in oil and even cooked alive in large metal pans. All this for the belief that that Jesus of Nazareth had risen from the dead."

So what? Thousands of Muslims blow themselves up every year for similar reasons.

Quote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

In a lot of ways a simple historical Jesus is equally damning to Christianity as no Jesus at all. Without the resurrection and miracles, you aren't left with much. I think that may be one reason the Jesus myth is sort of a cause c?l?bre in the atheist community - arguing against the divinity and supernatural Jesus is no challenge at all.

Jesus' historicity doesn't nullify his divinity.

I never said it did. I said the concept of his divinity was so ridiculous I found no challenge in refuting it.

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And I think you're being a bit fallaciously ostentatious when you gloat,"arguing against the divinity and supernatural Jesus is no challenge at all.".

Any time you want to start arguing for the dead coming back to life and similar miracle claims, let me know so I can start rolling my eyes in advance Eye-wink

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Yellow_Number_Five
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adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:
adamryan wrote:
Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Quite simply that there is no compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one.

Why are the writings of Flavius Josephus, Thallus, Philopon, Tacitus, Emperor Hadrian, Lucian of Samasota, Mara Bar-Serapion, the Babylonian Talmud, and Maimonides not enough to generate a "compelling reason to believe in a historical Jesus, let alone a miracle working one" ?

I believe I already covered this. I'll elaborate if it wasn't to your satisfaction.

please do. or send me a link to where you "covered this".

-adamryan

I never covered each source specifically, but gave you the general idea on why I don't think they are sufficient to establish the Jesus of the Bible.

You'll get objections similar to the ones I raised for the Talmud.

Rook is certainly the expert here though and better at arguing such points.

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In the Rational Thoughts section of the website, under "Rook Hawkins" I am compiling a large database for all extra-biblical evidences for Jesus and the refutations for them. So far I have two outside sources (Meaning...not from me) on Josephus ready for anybody to read. I will be working on this for a week, and hope to have everything up before friday when the Steve Gregg show airs.

I suggest you start there, Adam, since you refuse to reply to me.

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Rook_Hawkins wrote:

I suggest you start there, Adam, since you refuse to reply to me.

When have I refused to reply to you?

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Sapient wrote:

The Branch Davidians or the 19 hijackers believed in their lies just as much as those surrounding Christianity. You missed the point and dodged it.

No, you changed my point.

The allegation against Christianity is that the founders who, according to you, concocted Christianity, died for lies they created. That's what seems a bit ridiculous to me.

The followers of the Hale Bopp and BD cults didn't create the (what we now know to be) lies they followed; they just followed them.

Also, the comparison isn't cogent because the people in the cults essentially brought on their own demise. They weren't being persecuted like the early Christians were.

There's a big difference between a faith that you're willing to die for, and a cult that deceives you into killing yourself.

That's how the analogy that Yellow_Number_Five gave was insufficient.

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins


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adamryan wrote:
The allegation against Christianity is that the founders who, according to you, concocted Christianity, died for lies they created. That's what seems a bit ridiculous to me.

Why? People convince themselves of lies they helped concoct everyday.

Quote:
The followers of the Hale Bopp and BD cults didn't create the (what we now know to be) lies they followed; they just followed them.

Really? David Koresh and Marshall Applewhite and Bonnie Nettles (the creators of these cults) didn't believe the shit they were shoveling? You again miss the point. Even the people who created what you and I see as lies managed to delude themselves into believing it to be the truth - then they willing gave their lives for it.

Are you telling me Jim Jones drank Kool-Aid with his followers and KNEW he was dying for a lie?

You're still missing the point on how easily people can delude themselves.

Quote:
Also, the comparison isn't cogent because the people in the cults essentially brought on their own demise. They weren't being persecuted like the early Christians were.

Really? The Branch Davidians went knocking on the FBIs door? I could have sworn it was the other way around.

I also fail to see why the mechanism of death matters.

Quote:
There's a big difference between a faith that you're willing to die for, and a cult that deceives you into killing yourself.

Really? I don't see a difference at all - you've certainly failed to point one out anyway.

Quote:
That's how the analogy that Yellow_Number_Five gave was insufficient.

Yeah, I beg to differ.

-adamryan

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Really? Yeshu was a very common name, like John or Bob today. How do you know that this Yeshu was the Jesus of the Bible? Josephus himself chronicles several preachers and priests by that name.

I think that the similarities in what's written is how I can "prove" that the man in question is Jesus of Nazareth. The following also answers your second statement of:

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

And stoned and hanged on Passover Eve? Wasn't Jesus crucified? When was Jesus stoned in the Bible? Perhaps you can also show me in the NT where Christ was charged with sorcery as well, I don't recall that charge.

1) "stoned and hanged on Passover Eve"-

The statement doesn't say that Jesus was stoned, but "he is going to be stoned.... In any case, there is mention of the Jews wanting to (and about to) stone Jesus. The account is found in John 10:31-33.

a) Jesus being "hung" is dramatic and figurative language used by Peter. Luke records Peter using the terms interchangably in Acts 5:30 and 4:10.

b) Jesus was crucified during the time of the Passover (John 13:1, Matthew 26:2, Mark 14:1, John 18:28, etc etc )

2) "practiced sorcery"

This would be, and was, the common response from the Jewish Pharisees during Jesus' day, and even after.

They dismissed Christ's miracles and teachings as being from "Beelzebub" (Luke 11:15, Matthew 12:24, Mark 3: 22-23), hence, "sorcery".

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Where you see Peter using the same terminology, I see another inconsistency in the Bible.

You see an "inconsistency" because you dismiss the explanation.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

It doesn't make it invalid, it makes me raise an eyebrow. How you don't manage the same reaction perplexes me.

If they were preaching the message the entire time, there would be no need to have it written down immediately. That's why my eyebrows aren't moving. Eye-wink

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

I'm sure the martyrs you mention thought they were dying for the truth as well. Nobody dies for a lie knowing it to be a lie - the problem is people are great at deluding and decieving themselves into believing fantasy is reality. You've really missed my point and analogy here. The comparison is quite apt, probably more apt than you are comfortable with.

The comparison isn't apt at all; in fact, it's quite inadequate.

The followers of the Branch Davidian and Hale Bopp cults didn't create their "truth". The early Christian church however, according to your allegations, did create their own "truth" (Jesus).

The Branch Davidian and Hale Bopp cult members just "followed along" in a sense with their beliefs; they weren't being persecuted by any governing authorities. The early Christian church actively preached the gospel and were persecuted by the governing authorities.

Your comparison is erroneous.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Like I said, you missed my point. The Hale Bopp nutters did NOT think they were dying for a lie, nor did these early Christians.

You're arguing my point here. People usually wont die for a lie. People will die for things they believe in, however.

If the early Christians (including the 12 apostles), who "created" Christianity, knew that it was all a lie, doesn't it seem a bit illogical to even postulate that all of them (with the exception of one) would gladly lay their life down for a lie that they all made up?

I think that's a bit extreme.

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

So what? Thousands of Muslims blow themselves up every year for similar reasons.

My whole point is that it doesn't seem rational to suppose that eleven guys who "made up" Christianity, would die for it, knowing that it was all just a lie.

And your comparison isn't comparable because those thousands of Muslims didn't create Islam.

Also, what about the concept of Jesus' divinity seems so ridiculous?

Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Any time you want to start arguing for the dead coming back to life and similar miracle claims, let me know so I can start rolling my eyes in advance.

If you're not open to even discuss it, why are you posting responses?

-adamryan

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Yellow_Number_Five wrote:

Rook is certainly the expert here though and better at arguing such points.

Can you please cite me a link to where Rook posts most often, or where maybe he's already written out debunking explanations to these sources?

-adamryan

"There is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, no good, nothing but pointless indifference. We are machines for propagating DNA. It is every living object's sole reason for being."- Richard Dawkins