Christian. resonse to your video presentation of this topic
What the video showed was two guys engaging in speculation without any proof. For instance you claim that some scholars "think" that the account of Jesus from Josephus is a forgery. So, some people "think" that it's a forgery and some don't. No proof either way. Your claims regarding other non-Biblical references to Jesus also offer no proof that they are not true historical accounts but only an argument as to why you personally would discount their historicity.
Secondly, you say that the gospel accounts were written after 70ad because "they mention the fall of Jerusalem". Yes, Jesus, the eternal Son of God who came down from Heaven said that because the Jewish people had failed to recognize Him as the promised Messiah that God was going to bring judgment on Jerusalem. Denying that Jesus could know the future is not "proof" that the Son of God was a mythical figure. It is only proof that the two gentlemen in the video don't believe in God and so they discount any being knowing the future.
The Biblical facts are that Jesus said that He would rise from the dead 3 days after He gave his life as a ransom for many and if He had not risen from the dead then Christianity would have fizzled out like a wet firecracker just like the mystical religions that were prevalent during the time He was on earth. A strong argument for the Biblical account can be found at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School's web site where they have a copy of Simon Greenleaf's "Testimony of the Evangeliists" - http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/jesus/greenleaf.html Greenleaf, one of the principle founders of the Harvard Law School, originally set out to disprove the biblical testimony concerning the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was certain that a careful examination of the internal witness of the Gospels would dispel all the myths at the heart of Christianity. But this legal scholar came to the conclusion that the witnesses were reliable, and that the resurrection did in fact happen.
The facts are that there is a historical continuity of believers having received first eyewitness testimonies of the life of Jesus, and then written testimonies during a time when people who would have been around to confirm or deny those accounts were still alive.
Luke wrote his gospel and the Acts of the Apostles in a letter to a someone he knew. Luke was a physician and companion of Paul who was writing to verify the accounts of Jesus that were circulating at the time. He was equivalent to a investigative reporter and not in the same category as people like Dan Brown who was trying to make a lot of money by putting out a controversial book like the Da Vinci code.
Luke 1:1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us, 3 it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4 that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.
Acts 1:1 In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach, 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 To them he presented himself alive after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
The Apostle Paul whom you claimed only saw Jesus in a "mystical encounter" wrote this to the church in Corinth around 52ad.
1 Corinthians 15:1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you--unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Paul is saying that many of the witnesses to the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus are still around to verify what Paul has been telling them. And while Paul may or may not have actually seen Jesus when He was teaching in Jerusalem, certainly Paul knew all about what was going on in regards to Jesus when He was alive.
Acts 9:1 But Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem. 3 Now as he went on his way, he approached Damascus, and suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. 4 And falling to the ground he heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" 5 And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And he said, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. 6 But rise and enter the city, and you will be told what you are to do."
It isn't like Paul (Saul) never ever heard of a man named Jesus and one day while sitting in a cave eating magic mushrooms he had a vision of some strange figure. Paul was already the leader of group of Jewish religious leaders who were persecuting the remaining followers of Jesus.
The argument about the proof of the existence of the 1st century Roman emperor because of coins bearing his likeness today could with greater conviction be applied to Jesus. While Jesus did not have any coins minted with His image on them how many more people have been affected by His life on earth? How many more people know details about the life of Jesus than about the 1st century Roman emperor? The following quote that is attributed to Napoleon demonstrates this point. Whether or not Napoleon actually said these words is of little consequence. The comparison given in the following passage is valid no matter who might be making it.
"Napoleon expressed these thoughts while he was exiled on the rock of St. Helena. There, the conqueror of civilized Europe had time to reflect on the measure of his accomplishments. He called Count Montholon to his side and asked him, "Can you tell me who Jesus Christ was?" The count declined to respond. Napoleon countered:
Well then, I will tell you. Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and I myself have founded great empires; but upon what did these creations of our genius depend? Upon force. Jesus alone founded His empire upon love, and to this very day millions will die for Him.... I think I understand something of human nature; and I tell you, all these were men, and I am a man: none else is like Him; Jesus Christ was more than man.... I have inspired multitudes with such an enthusiastic devotion that they would have died for me.... but to do this it was necessary that I should be visibly present with the electric influence of my looks, my words, of my voice. When I saw men and spoke to them, I lighted up the flame of self-devotion in their hearts.... Christ alone has succeeded in so raising the mind of man toward the unseen, that it becomes insensible to the barriers of time and space. Across a chasm of eighteen hundred years, Jesus Christ makes a demand which is beyond all others to satisfy; He asks for that which a philosopher may seek in vain at the hands of his friends, or a father of his children, or a bride of her spouse, or a man of his brother. He asks for the human heart; He will have it entirely to Himself. He demands it unconditionally; and forthwith His demand is granted. Wonderful! In defiance of time and space, the soul of man, with all its powers and faculties, becomes an annexation to the empire of Christ. All who sincerely believe in Him, experience that remarkable, supernatural love toward Him. This phenomenon is accountable; it is altogether beyond the scope of man's creative powers. Time, the great destroyer, is powerless to extinguish this sacred flame; time can neither exhaust its strength nor put a limit to its range. This is it, which strikes me most; I have often thought of it. This is which proves to me quite convincingly the Divinity of Jesus Christ.1
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD... http://web.express56.com/~bromar/