On the concept of a 'historical prophet'

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On the concept of a 'historical prophet'

The comments about if Jesus even existed got me wondering about something, while a book does sort of require an entity in it to have existed (assuming it isn't meant as a myth or metaphor) to avoid being disproven out of hand, the existence of such an individual doesn't necessarily mean that the book is true out of hand. Let's try a different example, L. Ron Hubbard existed, we have tax records, birth certificates, etc. that show that he was in fact a real and true person, but that wouldn't make scientology correct , would it? We have fairly good records of the existence of Joseph Smith as well, but that doesn't mean that everyone is suddenly converting to Mormonism. Similarly, let's say that there was an actual Jesus born in Nazareth at the time and place that the bible argues that said JEsus was born. Does that mean that this particular Jesus was in fact the Messiah, does it mean that this particular person performed miracles? Consider various tall tales in American folklore, David Crockett existed, he served in the US government and died at the Alamo, but I highly doubt that he grinned the bark off a tree, rode a rainbow, or any other such thing. We know that certain CEOs, power brokers, etc. exist in the world, some of them we can even walk over and have a nice conversation with but that wouldn't prove that a conspiracy theory involving them is correct.

While I can see the argument to prove that a person claimed to be a prophet did exist being important to avoid disproving a book I do wonder why so many of them think that it would also PROVE that faith and everything in it, even if all the proof that exists is that such an entity existed.

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Good point. If I ever looked

Good point. If I ever looked at it from that angle, it was long enough ago that I forgot.
The lack of evidence for a jesus was so powerful I didn't need to think about the other side of the logic coin.

Enlightened Atheist, Gaming God.

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Because of us. We have

Because of us. We have beaten up christianity so bad that they think if they can refute the Atheist claim that he didn't exist then they would be golden. They would raise their bible in the air and say "AH-HAHH"

To me, just showing the fallacy of their whole theme is what's important. They will wave their book in the air no matter what proof we have.  I don't care if he existed or not.  I don't care if there were 20 cats that went by the name Jesus in one town or 20 towns.

No one will ever prove it with hard evidence either way, so why bother?  From the points made by others here, I've almost thought the research was worth the effort. But as of now I haven't even convinced myself it being worth even the effort to wiki Jesus Christ.

We are up against christianity- not Jesus.  Fuck Jesus.

"...but truth is a point of view, and so it is changeable. And to rule by fettering the mind through fear of punishment in another world is just as base as to use force." -Hypatia

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Joker wrote:


While I can see the argument to prove that a person claimed to be a prophet did exist being important to avoid disproving a book I do wonder why so many of them think that it would also PROVE that faith and everything in it, even if all the proof that exists is that such an entity existed.

There is a huge difference between Jesus existed and son of god as part of a trinity. There is a huge difference between, "I believe in one god" and "I believe there is only one god." Proving the old Fords had hood ornaments does not mean you can put one on a Rolls Royce and claim it is a Ford.

In practice one should never talk of Jesus rather only the biblical Jesus using the adjective biblical in any discussion with believers. Any deviation from the bible is no longer the biblical Jesus by defintion. Once one shears away the magic and miracles one is left with a person spewing popular, unoriginal aphorisms and gibberish parables even though born-agains are so ignorant they call this philosophy.

Never underestimate the compulsion to believe. Even atheists feel it. Never underestimate the number of people willing to take advantage of the compulsion. They are legion. It is no different from taking advantage of the compulsion for sex. Pimps are pimps no matter what they are selling.

Long ago I learned when demolishing the idea of ancient Israel to describe it as biblical Israel. If not as described in the bible then biblical Israel did not exist. Believers seem to think that is cheating. Believers do in fact jump on the most unbiblical and even antibiblical rationalizations (no evidence, just ad hoc invention) to hold to the idea that there is a grain of non-BS in their faith in Israel.

This is not to say something different is automatically precluded however there are several reasonable and generally applicable requirements.

It first must be similar to differences between inscriptions and reality as it really was in the ancient world not as believers say it was. One cannot rationally go from the Egyptian inscription which appears to exaggerate the outcome of a war to exaggerating a hilltop savage even if called a warlord into the ruler of a kingdom from the Nile to the Euphrates with a straight face. There are no examples of that kind of exaggeration even in ancient religious materials.

Second, whatever is proposed must apply to everything else and be equally valid. One cannot have hilltop savages and a sophisticated culture at the same time. If we have a hilltop warlord then we have a hilltop culture period. If it was not like all other backwoods tribes then it is a special pleading for the Septuagint which is not permitted. Special pleadings require special circumstances to be in evidence by archaeology or real history before being discussed. Plausibility is not a substitute for evidence. Imaginings as to how it could have been true brings us back to being applicable in all cases.

Third, it cannot be like the currently popular crap that King Arthur was really a roman legionaire. An entirely different person who did entirely different things in an entirely different time and circumstance does not pass the same person test without a new definition of the word SAME. Differences a fraction as great means ANYONE could have been the real Arthur or Solomon. With such differences it is not possible to have specificity to a particular person save by faith alone.

Those same rules apply to Jesus. Not the son of a god by virgin birth? The game is over before it starts. It is not the biblical Jesus.


Jews stole the land. The owners want it back. That is all anyone needs to know about Israel. That is all there is to know about Israel.