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jesus' childhood

Discussion in 'Biblical Debates' started by bradleykavin, Jul 23, 2006.

  1. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    I am assuming that you mean evidence outside of the bible. I don't subscribe to that, since most written accounts within 200 years of an event are considered credible in hostorical circles. When it comes to the Bible though, for some reason a measurement is always required for accuracy to be established. Here are some writtings that may help you:

    1) Tacitus, a first century roman historian mention Christian (followers of Chrestus or Christ) who were persecuated greatly under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius.

    2) Suetonius, a secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (or Christ) who lived during the first century.

    3) Flavius Josephus is the most famous Jewish historian. In his Antiquities he refers to James, “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.” There is a controversial verse (18:3) that says, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats. . . . He was [the] Christ . . . he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him." One version reads, "At this time there was a wise man named Jesus. His conduct was good and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who became his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders."

    4) Julius Africanus quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).

    5) Pliny the Younger, in Letters 10:96, recorded early Christian worship practices including the fact that Christians worshiped Jesus as God and were very ethical, and includes a reference to the love feast and Lord’s Supper.

    6) The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) confirms Jesus' crucifixion on the eve of Passover, and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.

    7) Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus' teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion, and renunciation of material goods.

    8) Mara Bar-Serapion confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of his followers.

    Then, there is the fact that not one historical writer form the period, or shortly after, denouces the followers of Christ or Christ himself as a fraud or deny his existence. It would seem to me that with such a large religious movement, if there was credible evidence that Jesus Christ did not in fact exist, and that his minstry was a lie, that there would be plenty of Roman historians ready with pen in hand to write such a thing down. That did not happen. I wonder why? Maybe because accuracy if history was of the utmost importance at the time, and Jesus Christ really did exist.

    Information taken from http://www.gotquestions.com
     
  2. BUDDY

    BUDDY User of Aspercreme

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    If you believe that Jesus the man existed, then you must believe that Jesus the child existed as well. I guess then that you do not believe that Jesus Christ, the man, ever really lived and that he is a figment of someone's imagination?

    Also, there is not a whole lot written about Gingis Khan's childhood. In fact, I couldn't find anything. I guess that he didn't really exist either.

    Of course I am being sarcastic. The point is that we know historically the existence of someone based upon the results of there actions, there accomplishments, and what others say about them. Given those prerequisites, there is plenty of evidence to support the existence of Jesus.
     
  3. Smoke

    Smoke Done here.

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    I can't imagine what historical accounts you've been traveling in. Historians generally consider newspaper accounts, for instance, which are usually written very soon after the events they describe, and sometimes by eyewitnesses, as very much prone to error, and an unsourced account written 100 or 150 years after the event has to be weighed very carefully indeed. For example, there is a book by a descendant of Rebecca Nurse (one of the people executed for witchcraft at Salem, Massachusetts) that records Nurse family traditions about Rebecca Nurse and her family. It's considered an accurate recounting of the family traditions, but familiy traditions are notoriously unreliable, and historians take the book with a huge grain of salt on the rare occasions they consider it at all.

    If we apply such a standard to accounts of the life of Jesus, we'll find ourselves accepting not only Luke, but the infancy gospels and all manner of Gnostic gospels as credible, and I don't think that's where you're trying to go.

    If you'd read the thread, you wouldn't have to guess, and you'd know very well that's not what I'm saying.

    In fact, just a few posts back I said something very similar to what you're saying:
    I don't know of any authentic stories of the childhood of Boudicca or Athelstan, but it would be foolhardy to construe that as evidence that neither existed.
    To be clear to those who aren't following along, I should have said, "We don't have any credible accounts of the childhood of Jesus."

    I do accept that Jesus existed, though not necessarily for the reasons you list, and I understand that it follows from the fact of his existence that he must have been a child at some point.
     
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  4. Cordoba

    Cordoba Well-Known Member

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    From The Gospel of Barnabas:

    Herod seeing that the magi did not return, believed himself mocked of them; whereupon he determined to put to death the child that was born. But behold while Joseph was sleeping there appeared to him the angel of the Lord, saying: 'Arise up quickly, and take the child with his mother and go into Egypt for Herod willeth to slay him'. Joseph arose with great fear, and took Mary with the child, and they went into Egypt, and there they abode until the death of Herod: who, believing himself derided of the magi, sent his soldiers to slay all the new-born children in Bethlehem. The soldiers therefore came and slew all the children that were there, as Herod had commanded them. Whereby were fulfilled the words of the prophet, saying:
    'Lamentation and great weeping are there in Ramah; Rachel lamenteth for her sons, but consolation is not given her because they are not.'
    Jesus at 12:
    http://barnabas.net/barnabasP9.html
     
  5. Halcyon

    Halcyon Lord of the Badgers

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    I've always wondered how people link real world events to prophecy, is it a random allocation process as this case seems to indicate, or do people actually put thought into it?
     
  6. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

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    Really? I was not aware that the Illiad and Odessy were no accepted as historical fact, nor that Josephus's account of an army of chariots in the sky was considered to be an historical occurance.

    I suspect that you are suffering from what is simply a false assertion regarding the burden of proof placed on an historical document.

    Tactus, believed born in 56AD in what is now France, was a second century
    writer, not a first century one.

    Yes, he does mention the existance of Christians. Yes, I agree that there were Christians. Yes, he does say that Christians believed in Jesus and his crucifixion: and again I agree that this is what Christians believed in the second century.

    That would conflict with the Bible which claims a man named Ysehua Bin Yeseph lived, was considered the Christ (annointed one) and was killed.

    As you've pointed out, that verse is widely regarded as a later Christian insert. Further, as I've mentioned, he also reports armies of chariots marshalling int he clouds.


    Recall as well, Josephus was Jewesh. He did not believe that Yeshua (if he believe Yeshua even existed) was the messiah; if he did, he would have been Christian. So if you wish to take him at his word, you must accept (minimally) the non-deific status of Jesus.

    And on and on. I can essentially refute your cites one-by-one on several fronts. None were contemporary, few (if any) assert the facts of the Bible independantly of it, and essentially all writers have other writings that you would not agree to be historically accurate.

    Add to that, many of the asserted references aren't refernces at all. Let's take your last one, Mara Bar-Serapion. Here's his writing on the matter:
    What advantage did the Athenians gain from putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as a judgment for their crime. What advantage did the men of Samos gain from burning Pythagoras? In a moment their land was covered with sand. What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise king? It was just after that that their kingdom was abolished. God justly avenged these three wise men: the Athenians died of hunger; the Samians were overwhelmed by the sea; the Jews, ruined and driven from their land, live in complete dispersion. But Socrates did not die for good; he lived on in the teaching of Plato. Pythagoras did not die for good; he lived on in the statue of Hera. Nor did the wise king die for good; he lived on in the teaching which he had given
    Socrates and Pythagoras were from the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Jesus was not. Nor was Jesus's death followed by the dispersion of the Jews. Far more likely this referres to the period where Nebercanezzer conqured Judea and king Zedekiah.
     
  7. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    The Bible tells us very little about Jesus’ childhood. Basically, his first 12 years are covered in two verses: "So when [Joseph and Mary] had carried out all the things according to the law of Jehovah, they went back into Galilee to their own city Nazareth. And the young child continued growing and getting strong, being filled with wisdom, and God’s favor continued upon him." (Luke 2:39, 40)
    Under the Mosaic Law, his parents had a duty. The Law said to Israelite parents: "These words that I am commanding you today must prove to be on your heart; and you must inculcate them in your son and speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up." (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7) The fact that Jesus continued "being filled with wisdom," and also that "God’s favor continued upon him," indicates that Joseph and Mary were obeying this command............... so he had God-fearing parents.
     
  8. Booko

    Booko Deviled Hen

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    What about the story when his parents lost track of him and found him in the synagogue?
     
  9. logician

    logician Well-Known Member

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    Any writings of Josephus concerning the supposed Chirst are considered forgeries added by the bishop Eusabias. All other references to a supposed Christ are hearsay at best, and not eyewitness accounts.
     
  10. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    yes , his parents made it a regular custom to go to Jerusalem for the passover and they took their family with them,
    While there, he spent quite some time at the temple, "sitting in the midst of the teachers and listening to them and questioning them." Moreover, "all those listening to him were in constant amazement at his understanding and his answers." Yes, young Jesus could not only ask thought-provoking, spiritually oriented questions but also give intelligent answers that amazed others. (Luke 2:41-50)
    When he was 12, he was about the age that the Jews view as an important milestone in the path toward manhood. Perhaps because of this normal and natural change, an oversight occurred when the time came for Joseph’s family to leave Jerusalem and return home. The account reads: "But when they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem, and his parents did not notice it. Assuming that he was in the company traveling together, they covered a day’s distance and then began to hunt him up among the relatives and acquaintances."—Luke 2:43, 44.
     
  11. noob

    noob Member

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    Think of the situation than. Their exist jewish cults such as Sadducees, Pharisees, etc. Some will decide to stone you if you speak blasphemy. In fact, the Jews were waiting for a Messiah. But they believed that this Messiah would liberate them from Roman Occupation. Therefore, If you told them that your son was the divine, and he didn't liberate the Jews, they would most likely kill you for heresy or blasphemy. Remember that these were radical zealots, and would not hesitate to stone you at the village gates.

    Jesus was meant to liberate us from our sins, not from the Romans.
    In fact, Jesus didn't have to defeat Rome.
    Rome fell long ago...
     
  12. JerryL

    JerryL Well-Known Member

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    OTOH, if she didn't offer a good story to Joseph then she would be stoned to death for having had sex with someone before her first marraige (thus dishonoring her father).
     
  13. logician

    logician Well-Known Member

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    The "Messiah" and what Jesus is to Christianity are certainly two quite different things.
     
  14. Mystic-als

    Mystic-als Active Member

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    There is not many times I've whole heartidly agreed with your views logician. BUT this is a time when I do.

    Agreed 100%
     
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