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.
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?

  1. Possibly.

  2. It’s a fraud.

Column being referred to.

Previous threads on subject.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

There is so much wrong with this post that I just bolded the factually incorrect bits.

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.

Since there was no such prophecy, no. The prophesied moshiach was never meant to be the literal son of the deity.

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.

Since sbunny8 mentioned the census: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2001/what-did-the-census-at-the-time-of-the-birth-of-christ-accomplish

Actually more like a thousand year after the Gospels were written.

Reference: http://www.shroud.com/nature.htm


An interesting CNN article on the enduring attraction of, and controversy over, the Shroud of Turin: Shroud of Turin, wrapped in mystery, continues to enrapture tourists | CNN