Steel Soapbox discussion…
On response to the following:
What is the historical evidence that Jesus Christ lived and died?
dragging out worn box, tapping on mic, clearign throat …
This I have got to comment on this sentence from the article I have linked to:
“These abundant historical references leave us with little reasonable doubt that Jesus lived and died.”
Whether or not you believe is second hand to this posting… so no jumping down my neck. Believe me you do not want to debate me in this area.
So here loud and clear: I am not stating he is real or not, lived or not, etc etc…… what is being addressed here is the miscalculation and preconceived bias in the article that fails in lining out both sides of an issue in order to prove a preconceived decision.
This is the problem with fields that attempt to prove a religious thought as valid, to find that verification in physical substance. Faith cannot always be verified and thus why one should not base their whole belief system by snagging on any glimmer of precious sacred gold, since some of that gold could be pyrite.
This article is a very simple classic example of bad research and a biased report that only shows one side without the depth that is needed to make a rational decision.
So let us start: As we read there is a strong understanding all historical written records are truth and evidence must be real. That right off the bat is a strike. One must start with a blank slate and determine one by one if the historical and archaeological evidence is valid. Both sides of the coin must be examined. While there are a couple of noted dissentients, it is brushed off easily by the author.
Fact is instead of these historical evidence proving Jesus lived, in actually they leaves more questions being all second hand accounts that have been possibly altered in some fashion through the ages. We have no first-hand account or archaeological evidence to prove such matters. Let me first address the historical accounts:
Second hand written accounts that may mention the name Jesus or that he lived, is the same as me writing today about Simba being a talking lion in 1994 when Clinton was president. If in 2000 years all that remains of what Simba was is some scant lines referring to a talking lion, would you then deduce a real lion can talk? What about the tie into to a historical fact in this case Clinton does that make it valid? No.
Same for these historical records. The account of Christian writers in the article is way too vague and pulling at loose ties. To make the statement that: “It is also difficult to imagine why Christian writers would invent such a thoroughly Jewish saviour figure in a time and place – under the aegis of the Roman empire – where there was strong suspicion of Judaism.” That is plain insular considering that is the time frame when a savior would be sought out and there are references to other saviors if you do some digging. Researchers have to remember context and reason why the account was being written, what was the purpose.
In this case the early Christian writers of course are building a base to attract believers. However are their claims 100 percent accurate or were they eyewitness. There is no real proof to assume so, just speculation. No diary written by Jesus, there was no media coverage in the day, nothing.
Turning to the non-Christian writers. Josephus does mentions Jesus three times, only two of them are noted by the author as possibly corrupted, yet validates the third one regarding James as not “suspicious” since the term “so called” is used thus a negative connotation and not a positive reinforcement as the other two Jesus remarks. But once again we must ask was there just one corruption done, was there a purpose for the three, why, and the time frame before we can assume Josephus is valid.
Same for Tacitus and Pliny, both are second hand accounts again, yet the Roman records fail to mention the religious sect and would had. So still there is no definitive proof. Others writers mentioned in the article, Lucian, Celsus, and the early Rabbis, are all dated 150 years plus after Jesus’s time. All were again second hand accounts, and all had a purpose for their mentioning of Jesus. The rabbis of course fashioned their account probably to discredit the Christians in order to keep those of the Jewish faith from changing sides. It does not show proof though that Jesus actually lived.
As for the supposed archeological evidence: that is negligible, based on conspiracy theories. The coin that is being touted as Cesarean as Jesus has no base in fact, just what if speculation. And the shroud of Turin has been debunked as a hoax of holy relics. So no there is not one shred of archaeological evidence.
Thus when you read or even write an argument you need to tie those loose ends up, satisfy both sides of the question, and play devil’s advocate. Then the results must either lead to a draw or why one side is overwhelmingly the favored. This article failed in providing that….