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Old 04-17-2014, 12:14 PM
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Did Jesus really exist? And what's with the Shroud of Turin?


I just read this older article in search for myself why there are no records of the Christ,
you would think there would be hundreds of ancient writings and records for someone who claimed to be the son of God. its so confusing.
and came to this conclusion about the shroud.
how could it be from the Christ? for one thing i think cloth would decompose.
plus,
If I removed my dead son or relative, from a torture stake, id clean him off, [his blood would run out and coagulate wouldn't it?]
prepare him for burial and dress him in robes, and mend his wound and try to hide the fact that he was so abused, id put makeup on him to cover the bruises.
id then bury him in a proper grave.
now, did not he rise after 3 days? and those wrappings would have fallen off.
who collected them?
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:16 PM
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1) Possibly.

2) It's a fraud.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:19 PM
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Column being referred to.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:25 PM
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Previous threads on subject.
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Old 04-17-2014, 12:54 PM
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. . . If I removed my dead son or relative, from a torture stake, id clean him off, . . .
Well, that's what you'd do as a 21st century, internet using person. Back then, you'd have done whatever was considered to be reasonable and respectible. And I'm not claiming that I know exactly what that would be, just that then was then.

More to the point, the first solid documentation of the shroud is from 1453, with possible references back to the mid 1300s. The shroud conforms with what a European of that time would have thought reasonable for a burial of Jesus. Yes, they would have assumed that the body was washed. But if there weren't any Jesus marks, then how would you know it was his?

Having the cloth pick up the marks in sympathy would have seemed reasonable at the time. There was no need to anyone to assume that the body hadn't been washed or that it was still bleeding. The Importance of the wounds would have leaked.

Read some of the legends of the saints to see the kind of things that were considered to happen naturally when holiness was concerned. To the folks who first venerated the shroud, there was no reason to think that the shroud would be clean if someone hadn't been negligent or unhygenic.

Last edited by Yllaria; 04-17-2014 at 12:55 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:21 PM
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I just read this older article in search for myself why there are no records of the Christ,
you would think there would be hundreds of ancient writings and records for someone who claimed to be the son of God. its so confusing.
You'd be surprised how thin on the ground ancient records are. If I remember correctly, there aren't any extant contemporary records of Alexander the Great, either, and he was pretty important. We've got coins with his face on them, and we've got histories written by people born decades or centuries after his death who scraped together older records that have since been lost, but that's all.

In addition, poor Jewish peasants wandering the countryside and preaching fire and brimstone were a dime a dozen, and Jewish revolutionaries trying to overthrow the Roman occupiers were just as common. The Romans couldn't always be bother to sort out the difference, so they strung them all up and figured it was good enough for government work. We do have some records of a Jewish man named Yeshua (which, when translated into English through Greek and Latin, is "Jesus") leading a revolt against the Roman government in Palestine and being brutally crushed by the Roman army. Mostly, though, a poor Jewish man, apparently insane, wandering the countryside and preaching wasn't something worth writing down at the time.

Last edited by appleciders; 04-17-2014 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:24 PM
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In addition, poor Jewish peasants wandering the countryside and preaching fire and brimstone were a dime a dozen, and Jewish revolutionaries trying to overthrow the Roman occupiers were just as common. The Romans couldn't always be bother to sort out the difference, so they strung them all up and figured it was good enough for government work. We do have some records of a Jewish man named Yeshua (which, when translated into English through Greek and Latin, is "Jesus") leading a revolt against the Roman government in Palestine and being brutally crushed by the Roman army. Mostly, though, a poor Jewish man, apparently insane, wandering the countryside and preaching wasn't something worth writing down at the time.
If this is true (and I'm not contesting it), then isn't it inevitable that ONE of the peasant preachers would eventually fit all the criteria for the prophesied Son of God?

Pretty good odds someone would get 'lucky', if you ask me.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:27 PM
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If this is true (and I'm not contesting it), then isn't it inevitable that ONE of the peasant preachers would eventually fit all the criteria for the prophesied Son of God?
Even more so if the writers tweaked the criteria as needed. He has to enter Jerusalem on a donkey? No problem, just write that in. Prophecy fulfilled!
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:29 PM
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If this is true (and I'm not contesting it), then isn't it inevitable that ONE of the peasant preachers would eventually fit all the criteria for the prophesied Son of God?

Pretty good odds someone would get 'lucky', if you ask me.
I tend to agree, especially when you're talking about something as malleable as prophecy. People tend to read present events into past prophecy pretty loosely when something they already believe in is at stake. Look at Nostradamus, for instance.

Last edited by appleciders; 04-17-2014 at 03:31 PM.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:32 PM
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Even more so if the writers tweaked the criteria as needed. He has to enter Jerusalem on a donkey? No problem, just write that in. Prophecy fulfilled!
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I tend to agree, especially when you're talking about something as malleable as prophecy. People tend to read present events into past prophecy pretty loosely when something they already believe in is at stake.
On top of that, if Jesus was aware of the prophecy.......If I'm Jesus, you bet your ass I'm gonna rustle up a donkey.
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Old 04-17-2014, 03:48 PM
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On top of that, if Jesus was aware of the prophecy.......If I'm Jesus, you bet your ass I'm gonna rustle up a donkey.
True, true, but it's easier yet to say you did than actually do it. It's easier for the magician to say the hat is empty than to really, truly prove it as long as the audience is sufficiently credulous. And religiously-oriented biblical readers are the most credulous of all.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:37 AM
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Even more so if the writers tweaked the criteria as needed. He has to enter Jerusalem on a donkey? No problem, just write that in. Prophecy fulfilled!
Christianity had a long birth. The First Council of Nicaea was held in 325 C.E, and it was there that the actual divinity of Jesus was established. Before, there was a debate whether this fellow was a mere prophet or God in the flesh. You'd think such a keystone of the faith might have been settled a wee bit earlier.

The First Council of Nicaea was also where the Christian canon was edited and set. I am not saying they made the whole thing up then and there, but this is where earlier tales and works were woven into the Christian Bible. You can see during editing process where the signs were added as proof. Suddenly, Jesus, out of the blue did something and thus fulfilled the prophecy!

The editors scoured the Jewish texts looking for possible signs. Many of the signs taken were never originally intended to point to a Jewish Messiah, but merely bits of verses that the Christians decided could be useful in building their case. For example, in the story of Samson, the angels told Samson's parents that their child would save the Hebrews and be a nasir. The direct meaning, of course, is that this would Samson, and Samson had to be a nasir from birth. A nasir is a person who abstains from cutting their hair and drinking or touching wine. Not something Jesus could easily be while performing such tricks as turn water into wine.

The Christians read this verse and thought it could apply to Jesus (his mission was after all to save the Hebrews). To solve that nasir bit, they had Jesus live in Nazareth for a few months. See! Jesus saved the Jews and was a Nazarethite! Prophecy fulfilled. Next! It didn't matter that nasir and Nazareth were two completely different Hebrew words.
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Old 04-18-2014, 10:42 AM
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True, true, but it's easier yet to say you did than actually do it. It's easier for the magician to say the hat is empty than to really, truly prove it as long as the audience is sufficiently credulous. And religiously-oriented biblical readers are the most credulous of all.
Reminds me of this Rowan Atkinson bit. Starts at the 32 second mark.
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Old 04-18-2014, 11:35 AM
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Reminds me of this Rowan Atkinson bit. Starts at the 32 second mark.
Wow! I love it! It's all in the delivery, which is superb.
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Old 04-18-2014, 01:14 PM
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There is so much wrong with this post that I just bolded the factually incorrect bits.

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Christianity had a long birth. The First Council of Nicaea was held in 325 C.E, and it was there that the actual divinity of Jesus was established. Before, there was a debate whether this fellow was a mere prophet or God in the flesh. You'd think such a keystone of the faith might have been settled a wee bit earlier.

The First Council of Nicaea was also where the Christian canon was edited and set. I am not saying they made the whole thing up then and there, but this is where earlier tales and works were woven into the Christian Bible. You can see during editing process where the signs were added as proof. Suddenly, Jesus, out of the blue did something and thus fulfilled the prophecy!

The editors scoured the Jewish texts looking for possible signs. Many of the signs taken were never originally intended to point to a Jewish Messiah, but merely bits of verses that the Christians decided could be useful in building their case. For example, in the story of Samson, the angels told Samson's parents that their child would save the Hebrews and be a nasir. The direct meaning, of course, is that this would Samson, and Samson had to be a nasir from birth. A nasir is a person who abstains from cutting their hair and drinking or touching wine. Not something Jesus could easily be while performing such tricks as turn water into wine.
To be fair to the poster, the gospel authors did sometimes take OT prophecies out of context to apply to Jesus - whether or not that is a legitimate interpretation of scripture depends on your perspective. And they got some words wrong - Nazerene is one of them; they also seem to have confused "young woman" with "virgin." But the gospel texts were not the result of a conspiracy at Nicea; they were written down and established 250+ years earlier.

Last edited by Skammer; 04-18-2014 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 04-18-2014, 08:13 PM
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If this is true (and I'm not contesting it), then isn't it inevitable that ONE of the peasant preachers would eventually fit all the criteria for the prophesied Son of God?
Since there was no such prophecy, no. The prophesied moshiach was never meant to be the literal son of the deity.
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Old 04-21-2014, 10:33 AM
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... you would think there would be hundreds of ancient writings and records for someone who claimed to be the son of God.
Claiming to be the son of God won't necessarily get you into the history books. I'm sure our mental institutions contain many such people. But where Jesus is concerned, we can at least say Yes there are one or two contemporary accounts about the claim itself. More than one historian makes note of the fact that there actually existed around 100 CE groups of people who went around saying they believed Jesus was the Messiah. But if the sun actually went dark for an hour and hundreds of people rose from the grave and walked around the city, you'd think THAT would have made it into a few history books. There are no historical records of a census requiring people to travel to their home town and no records of King Herod ordering the death of thousands of babies let alone any records of an unexpected solar eclipse and zombies walking the streets.

As for the shroud: during the middle ages, there were literally thousands of shrouds which were reputed to be the actual burial shroud of Jesus. That's how you could tell a serious important church from a backwater podunk church. Do they have a shroud? No? Well then I'm not wasting my time there. Eventually all those other shrouds gave up on their claims of authenticity until there was just one left standing. Carbon dating shows the cloth was woven several centuries after the gospels were written.

I used to think Jesus was a real person who gave a couple speeches and then after he died some wild stories were made up about him. But Richard Carrier has just about convinced me Jesus was a fictional character right from the beginning.

Last edited by C K Dexter Haven; 04-21-2014 at 03:39 PM. Reason: Fixed quote tags -- CKDH
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:40 PM
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Since sbunny8 mentioned the census: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/...ist-accomplish
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Old 04-21-2014, 03:50 PM
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Eventually all those other shrouds gave up on their claims of authenticity until there was just one left standing. Carbon dating shows the cloth was woven several centuries after the gospels were written.
Actually more like a thousand year after the Gospels were written.

Reference: http://www.shroud.com/nature.htm
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:12 AM
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Bumped.

An interesting CNN article on the enduring attraction of, and controversy over, the Shroud of Turin: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/s...aly/index.html
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:23 AM
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:47 AM
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This thread leaves much to ponder about the Turin threads.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:12 AM
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This thread leaves much to ponder about the Turin threads.
Not really, although it does leave much to ponder about faith in the face of contrary evidence.
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Old 12-12-2019, 12:51 PM
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Not really, although it does leave much to ponder about faith in the face of contrary evidence.
yep, the word is delusional
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Old 12-12-2019, 01:02 PM
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It is an odd thing that so many Christians claim to have faith yet so desperately look for physical evidence that the object of their faith ever existed.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:23 PM
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It is an odd thing that so many Christians claim to have faith yet so desperately look for physical evidence that the object of their faith ever existed.
On the other hand, it’s worth noting that the first recorded person to call “bullshit” on the Shroud was the Bishop of Troyes, back in 1390.

And at least two of the Catholics quoted in the story say that the authenticity of the Shroud is not fundamental to their faiths.
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Old 12-12-2019, 02:56 PM
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It is an odd thing that so many Christians claim to have faith yet so desperately look for physical evidence that the object of their faith ever existed.
I think it is funny to see devout Christians fight hard for their lives when they have a terminal illness--"no, please, please don't send me to an eternity of endless bliss!"
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Old 12-12-2019, 03:27 PM
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If I'm Jesus, you bet your ass I'm gonna rustle up a donkey.
I saw what you did there. Five years later.
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Old 12-12-2019, 08:05 PM
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Personally, I take the rather absurd biblical description of the Census of Quirinius (Luke 2: 1-5) as indicative. No such census ever required people to travel to their ancestral homes because, frankly, the idea is ridiculous. To me, it looks like a transparent attempt to take some known person who lived his whole life in and around Nazareth and contrive a reason for him to have been born in Bethlehem in order to fulfill prophesy. It's like trying to come up with some tortured circumstances for the birth of Barack Obama to try to place it in Kenya for political reasons rather than any genuine interest in historical accuracy. Some future historian who reads about the ridiculous claims about Obama could plausibly take them as supporting evidence for the existence of Obama (if this was ever in doubt), because why else would anyone bother to try to advance such stories except to libel an existing person?

If Jesus was wholly fictional, the author of Luke would simply say he was born in Bethlehem and not bother trying to cram in an implausible story element.
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Old 12-12-2019, 09:05 PM
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Does it strike anyone else as odd that a burial shroud was nine feet long and folded once at the head just so as to capture the front and back of a corpse? Seems very contrived, and unlikely to comport with Jewish burial custom of the time.
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Old 12-12-2019, 10:35 PM
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On the other hand, it’s worth noting that the first recorded person to call “bullshit” on the Shroud was the Bishop of Troyes, back in 1390.
Not just the first recorded person to call bullishit. First recorded person to say anything about it.
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Old 12-13-2019, 07:59 AM
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I've long awaited an explanation for why, in First Century Palestine, Jesus looked so doggone Early Gothic instead of Classical or even realistic. A man of the future, 12 centuries out of his time?
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:44 PM
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I killed this thread, but three days later I brought it back to life. Worship.me!
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Old 12-15-2019, 11:43 PM
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...Worship.me!
Are you starting some kind of new Internet church?
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Old 12-16-2019, 02:18 PM
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I've been tempted. I know how tempted I've been, but my oldest keeps finding reasons why the Romans or Pharisees would put me in jail. I have no desire to be sacrificed to myself for one lousy grift.
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Old 12-19-2019, 07:59 PM
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Bumped.

An interesting CNN article on the enduring attraction of, and controversy over, the Shroud of Turin: https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/s...aly/index.html
It's from the 13th Century. There's nothing to debate.

Was Joshua-Ben-Joseph a real person? Of course he was. But he didn't look like Peter Frampton ( see image in article ), no matter how much stained-glass artists insist he did. He looked like Anwar Sadat. A near middle-eastern man.

Did Jesus, the Christ, exist? That's for each person to discover within their heart, or not. Nobody gets to tell you if a God exists, or existed. But a guy whose family worked with their hands? Yeah. There's plenty of documentation around that this guy existed.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:08 PM
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Missed the Edit window.


When I referred to Jesus with this name during a class at my Episcopal Church on The Nicene Creed, she smiled and nodded. I know what I'm talking about- that was his real name, in the day. In 1st Century Judea, the common folk were not speaking Greek. They were speaking Aramaic and Hebrew.

The Greeks, they got into the naming mix later on.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:36 PM
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If you want to be technical, His Aramaic name (Hebrew was pretty much out of day-to-day use) was יֵשׁוּעַ (“Yeshua”). יְהוֹשֻׁעַ (“Jehosu‘a”, traditionally Englished as “Joshua”) was archaic.

And pretty much everybody spoke Greek then, thanks to Alexander the Great.
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Old 12-19-2019, 08:47 PM
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Yeah but his name- as you point out- wasn't Jesus.

Knowing Greek and using it to name your kid are two fundamentally different things.

Yeshua Ben Yoseph. Better?

ETA: Thank you for the accuracy and the use of original language. Seriously- I respect the depth of knowledge.
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Last edited by Cartooniverse; 12-19-2019 at 08:48 PM.
  #40  
Old 12-20-2019, 11:21 AM
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All that Cecil addresses of Jesus' historicity is just two brief paragraphs, the rest is devoted to the Shroud of Turin, over 20 paragraphs, which he does a great job on. The Shroud, had it been the authentic burial cloth of Christ, would have certainly been an interesting find. I suppose at the time of Cecil's column (1985), after 20/20 and many other TV shows, magazine and newspaper articles later, it was getting plenty of attention, so maybe that's why he devoted that much time to it. I've been hoping after 34 years since that column was written, he'd go back and readdress it, and just leave the Shroud of Turin out of it altogether.

Another reason is many on the SD use "The Master Speaks" and linking to this on other threads when this gets brought up, as if that is the last word that needs to be said about Jesus' place in history, when it really doesn't cover any of the major controversy whatsoever of what scholars have said about those sources he lists.

I understand him giving children a break, by not spilling the beans on Santa Claus to kids, gosh, I loved how he got out of that one, and good for him. But I'm so disappointed in this particular column, and not because I think he finds it more plausible than not that he was a historical person of some sorts, but because he uses Josephus and Tacitus, without mentioning just how spurious many credible scholars still think those quotes are. He doesn't clue in the reader to any of the controversy, and I'm sure he is aware of it.

Scholars have noted how none of the earlier church fathers use this quote from Josephus, many would have wanted and needed it. Some in fact state that Josephus didn't speak of Jesus, at least the one they were looking for. We have to wait a few centuries later till Eusebius before it starts getting quoted from. Some feel like he is the one that forged it into Josephus writings. During the last fifty to seventy years or so (not exactly sure on timeline), some scholars, usually Christian apologists are trying to salvage a few bits of Josephus that they think could possible be authentic after all, while others think the argument is weak considering the evidence.

Tacitus' quote that often gets mentioned, doesn't start to surface until many centuries later, if Remsberg is correct, 1,360 years.

Using them as a source without any elaboration gives readers the impression that important historians were referencing Jesus outside of Christian circles so there must have been some kind of historic Jesus.

The last non-Christian source he brings up is the Talmud. Some Christians (and some Jews) don't claim this one, preferring to think it doesn't refer to their Jesus. Perhaps because it is not very flattering, but that is no reason to reject it. At least it's a non-Christian source and has some similarities to the Gospels, but also goes completely off script, not sure what to make of it.

Something I think worth exploring is him stating: Still, barring an actual conspiracy, 40 years is too short a time for an entirely mythical Christ to have been fabricated out of (heh-heh) whole cloth. I wished he would have elaborated more on this.

Regardless, I hope someday, Cecil will go back and at least devote as much time to it, as he did the Shroud of Turin.
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