Off Topic Messages

Mon May 08, 2006 3:29 pm

There may well have been a 'historical' Jesus.

But the evidence is a bit sparse.

The whole bible is a mish-mash of hearsay, legend, fiction and fable; written, re-written, edited, added to, translated and re-translated by many different writers and translators countless times over the years.

And many of these had their own agendas.

It hardly stands up as a historic record.

Cue Pete Dube !

Tue May 09, 2006 8:42 am

Scatter wrote:
jaywhite wrote:Scatter, did you read the link I provided in my post?

Here's the link again:

http://www.atheists.org/christianity/didjesusexist.html

(The part about absence of evidence and evidence of absence is especially poignant).



Goodnes Jay..........how much time do you think I have??? :lol: :lol:

I'll look at it further, but the scan I did uncovered nothing that hasn't been addressed a million times (despite the authors copius plagiarism from sources Ive see a million times. Original research indeed :lol: :http://www.christiananswers.net/lol: )[/quote]

Obviously I can't speak for your time Scatter, but a lenghty red lined
post will potentially invite a response. I thought the link I provided did a good job of addressing your points.

Tue May 09, 2006 3:23 pm

Scatter wrote:I find it odd to think that you find it infinitely easier to believe in "Mirror Jesus" with his "Mirror Christian" sect than to consider that these records refer to the Jesus whose career, life, death, teachings, nationality, followers,etc we are all familiar with and are accurately described in the records. Sometimes the obvious answer is obvious for a reason. The old adage of "If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, chances are, it's a duck (and EPE has it up for sale :lol: )applies here.
But, you have a right to see it that way.........more power to'ya my friend!!!!!

BTW.........

I can't wait to hear about the other rock'n'roll singer from the '50s out of Memphis who changed popular culture, made movies through the 60s, made a comeback that took him through the 70s until he died in his bathroom. We'll call him "Mirror Elvis":wink:


[/quote]

You have misinterpreted my post. I'm not suggesting there was a mirror Jesus or mirror Christians. We can't discount the possibility that there was simply no real original figure head though. We are speaking of a time where the figure heads of religious movements were mythical figures - in fact, mythical figures whose life stories often overlapped greatly with that of Jesus Christ. The virgin birth, death and resurrection, miracles etc were all common themes attributed to mythical pagan figures. These pagan God Men did not actually exist, but were worshipped as if they were real figures. Why must Jesus necessarily be any different? Even if he did exist, the significant events of his life were fabricated afterwards to such an extent that it wasn't the real person who was being worshipped - thus the point of his existence becomes rather redundant! To take your Elvis point further, if in 100 years people began writing about a Memphis truck driver who became a rock 'n' roll singer, made movies in the 60s and died in 1977, they would be referring to Elvis. If they added that he healed the sick, was the Son of God, born of a virgin and was resurrected on 18th August 1977, they wouldn't be speaking of a real person - just borrowing elements of one life and mixing them with some far fetched stories to create a mythical figure.

Your 'film at 11' point is spurious. I'm not suggesting that we should have a wealth of contemporaneous documentation of every event in Jesus' life. A single reference to him within decades of him supposedly walking the earth shouldn't be too much to ask though.

Incidentally, doubts over whether or not Jesus existed have not simply emerged 2000 years on, as you suggest.

Tue May 09, 2006 4:50 pm

Baloney! The resemblances to the pagan gods are at best superficial, and when examined critically the comparisons simply don't stand up to scrutiny. There actually isn't any virgin births or resurrections of these deities. I'll use Osiris for an example, since that is the only myth for which there is any documentation that pre-dates Christianity, and because I actually looked into this for myself. One version of the 'resurrection' story (and there are many variations) has it that Isis took Osirisis' body parts put them back together (minus 1) and then Osiris returned to life - as lord of the underworld (the abode of the dead). Nothing to suggest that Osiris returned to physical life in this world. In the case of a 'virgin' birth one vivid version (again there are many) has it that Isis, who was married to Osiris (nothing in the myth suggests they hadn't previously had intercourse), performed a magical rite over his dead body, whereupon Osiris' corpse got an erection (?) and Isis climbed aboard and rode the ol' saddlehorn for all she was worth. This rather interesting act is how Horus was said to have been conceived. A woman became impregnated by screwing a corpse! A corpse with an erection! Whatever one may think of the virgin conception of Mary compared to this it's a rather sober account.

In addition, the vast majority of the material on these 'dying/rising gods' post-dates Christianity, so one can legitimately posit that it was the pagans copping from the Christians if their was any copping. Because of these and other reasons the whole bit about Christianity borrowing from the pagan religions is not given much credence in scholarly circles. It was popular for a time in the earlier part of the 20th century, but was eventually discredited. It only still plays to the Infidels.org set or to a handful of fringe scholars.

The vast majority of the pagan god-men stories are stories concerning figures from the dim and distant past that may or may not have even lived. The gospels and the book of Acts and Paul's epistles were written towards the latter portion of the first century. Exactly when is open to debate, but many of Paul's letters are within 30-35 years from the crucifixion - still within the lifetimes of eyewitnesses. The book of Acts ends with Paul under house arrest circa 62 A.D. It mentions nothing of the Jewish revolt of 66 A.D. or the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. - events that would've been monumental for a book dealing with the history of the early Christian movement. Nor does it mention the deaths of the three most significant figures of the early church Peter, Paul (both held to have been put to death during the Neronian persecutions of 64-67), and James (executed in A.D. 62 by the Jewish authorities). This is most telling in view of the fact that Acts does record the deaths of Stephen, the first Christian martyr, and James the brother of John.

All of this indicates to many scholars and historians that Acts was written around 62-63 A.D. This would in turn mean that Luke's gospel was written sometime earlier. How much earlier? 2-5 years is probably a reasonably good estimate. Which would mean an even earlier date for Mark's gospel since it is widely accepted that Luke used Mark as one of his sources. Now we're in the mid-50's.

Tue May 09, 2006 11:17 pm

Pete Dube wrote:In addition, the vast majority of the material on these 'dying/rising gods' post-dates Christianity, so one can legitimately posit that it was the pagans copping from the Christians if their was any copping. Because of these and other reasons the whole bit about Christianity borrowing from the pagan religions is not given much credence in scholarly circles. It was popular for a time in the earlier part of the 20th century, but was eventually discredited. It only still plays to the Infidels.org set or to a handful of fringe scholars.


Evidently, it played well to early church fathers such as Justin Martyr too. So aware were they of the similarities with pagan traditions that they came up with the notion of 'diabolical mimicry'. The theory is that the Devil plagiarised Christianity through anticipation, ie advanced the Jesus life story before it happened, so as to undermine belief in the real Jesus when he arrived. If at least some of the pagan traditions did not pre-date Jesus, I can't imagine why they felt the need to come up with such a contrived explanation for the similarities.

Of course even if many of the events in the Gospels were borrowed from other sources or simply made up, Jesus could still have existed and he could have been an inspirational man. I just think the evidence is lacking.