Did Jesus really live ?

jesus is the romanized version of the hebrew name yeshua. i bet his mom didn’t call him jesus.

jesus existed.

the gospels are mostly myth.

these two statements are not contradictory.

as cecil said in one of his columns (i think it was cited earlier) it would have been well nigh impossible for the early christians to make up a whole person in the short period of time in between the time they said jesus was executed and the time the gospels showed up. the miracles, however, would be necessary to compete with all the greco-roman cults full of miracles. it’s likely that these were made up by the gospel authors–which would not be considered lying, but creative story telling–advertising.

montfort there are lots of people named christian and christianson, but i guess that’s probably not what you were going for.

Oh, certainly, even to an extreme skeptic, SOME of the miracles are beleiveable. Faith can cure a lot, and faith was much stronger then- heck if soem tent revivalist can cure some stuff now ( n an age of science & skepicism), think what a real holy man in an age of extremee faith could do. JC was really not into showy miracles, in any case. Not counting the resurrection, of course.

but I would not say the Gospeles are “mostly myth”, as most of them are just the story of a backwoods rabbi & prophet. Sure, it looks like matthew perhaps twisted things a bit to meet his OT verses, and John was very old when he dictated the 4th Gospel, but all in all, not too many miracles or “unbeleiveable” stuff.

I’d say the walking on water trick was a bit of a show-off. And the multiplication of bread and wine wasn’t exactly modest miracle-making either.

But why would “faith” as a whole have been stronger back in Jesus’ day? I don’t really see that. If anything, skepticism must have been greater. After all, he was just getting started: he was what Scientology is to us now.

God forbid Scientology will ever catch on that much, though.

This is by John P.Meier, published 1991, subtitled: Rethinking the Historical Jesus.

I didn’t ever actually finish the book, it was somewhat beyond my grasp (looking up at least one word per page in the dictionary).

A couple things I gleaned from it:

“. . . the historical Jesus is not the real Jesus but only a fragmentary hypothetical reconstruction of him by modern means of research.” Chapter One, Page 31

He goes on to mention that there are two references to Jesus in The Jewish Antiquities. Part of one, by Josephus:

“…brought into it the brother of Jesus-who-is-called-Messiah, James by name. . .” Chapter Three, Page 57

Most of the historical Jesus he mentions thereafter is taken from his interpretation of the Synaptic Gospels, and his angle is from that of a Catholic Priest.

I rather lost interest at the point of realizing that most of his evidence was from the Bible, because I can read that source myself. I had been hoping for more non-Biblical references. But it does seem to give a little evidence that someone named Jesus who people called a Messiah did live at the time he was supposed to have lived.

That fragment about James from The Jewish Antiquities is probably the same one you mentioned(?).

SW: could be, but my quote concerned Jame’s stoning, and that one does not seem to.

Coldfire: not the CHRISTIAN faith, of course, it was not around yet, and JC had not yet revealed himself as the Messiah. No, He was just (at the start)a simple backwoods rabbi, a populist, who was considered a phrophet or holy man. There was much faith then, being an atheist was nearly unheard of, altho there was a sorta “unitarian” movement in the upper roman classes. Now we have science as the religion of many, and there is less faith. However, science has been a more reliable source of miracles, in any case.

Get real yourself, and learn to debate while you’re at it.

I am questioning the evidence you claim so strongly for the historicity of the Jesus. If you appeal to Cecil, you are appealing to someone who basically said that there is no evidence for the existence of THE Jesus. As I said, there were several Jesuses, since it was very a common name.

If you appeal to general beliefs, you are appealing to thousands of years of indoctrination and faith. I asked for evidence in the argument, not for demonstrations of your passionate opinion.

Many historians are of the opinion that Jesus existed, and many are not.

If you appeal to the difficulty in creating a myth in merely 40-100 years, consider modern concepts like Lemuria or the Necronomicon, which have become so popular in a few years that only a fraction of people who have heard about them know that they are NOT ancient legends, but constructs of the late 19th and 20th Centuruy. It is frighteningly easy to create a myth, especially if you have an oppressed people as audience and a good idea to work with.

There is no doubt that there were a number of Jesuses around 2000 years ago, but there is also no doubt that there seemed to be a prophetic messianic craze as well, with faith healers and prophets everywhere–especially on the fringes of the desert. Can any sort of evidence prove the existence of THE Jesus? And I am not talking about faith or personal opinion. Why do people get all hot and bothered when someone comes along asking proof for a concept that appears to have no evidence behind it?

Were’nt mary and joseph on their way to a census ?
As I remember mary dropped the kid BEFORE they filled in the paperwork … yet there’s no record ?

I believe that whole story about a census, Bethlehem, etc. actually supports the conclusion that there was a real historic Jesus. To me the nativity story, with the trip to Bethlehem for a census is on the surface ludicrous- what administrator in his right mind would uproot people and have them move all over the province to be enumerated? And how would you count people whose ancestors came from outside the province? Such a policy would seem to guarantee an inaccurate count?

To me it seems the story has only one purpose- it serves as a literary device to make a real person, whom everybody knew to be from Nazareth, appear to have been born in Bethlehem. Scripture led many to believe the Messiah would come from Bethlehem. The gospel writers were trying to reconcile that belief with the belief that a specific Galilean was the Messiah.

If Jesus was purely fictional they could have just as well had him be a lifelong resident of Bethlehem.