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Featured Must Watch Video: Jesus Never Existed

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Hubert Farnsworth, Aug 26, 2017.

  1. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    This video is a short excerpt from a larger documentary movie entitled Zeitgeist. I am not making the claim that this video is factually accurate about all of the details, in fact, it is possible that many could be erroneous. HOWEVER, there are many facts in this video, particularly with regard to the parallels between various "saviors" and the movements of astronomical bodies that are quite striking. I encourage Christians to watch this with an open mind, and perform additional research on this topic.

     
  2. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Ov Fire and the Void
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  3. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Actually, no, the parallels between Christianity and pagan religions, as well as the parallels between the story of Jesus and astrology have NOT been debunked. You should do your research. In fact, the gospels are entirely based upon the movement of the sun through various stages of the Zodiac. I would love to write more about this topic on the forum, but the post would be far, far too long. Instead, I've opted to share this video which gives an introduction (albeit very brief) to this fascinating topic.
     
  4. Saint Frankenstein

    Saint Frankenstein Ov Fire and the Void
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    Yes, it has:
    http://www.tektonics.org/copycathub.php

    A Christian site but uses actual sources to debunk the claims.
     
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  5. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Nothing on that site regarding astrological parallels between the sun moving through the zodiac and Christianity. I do agree that many of the claims about the pagan "saviors" may be erroneous (I mentioned that in the initial post), however, there are many issues raised in the video that have NOT been debunked, primarily those connecting Christianity to astrology.
     
  6. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    This has been around for many years.

    And long ago, I tried to verify from credible independent sources a fair number of its claims about what other folklore actually says. My success rate was notably poor and I concluded the arguments in the video aren't credibly based.

    However, there are, in my view, good reasons for wondering if an historical Jesus existed at all. I don't think there's a clincher one way or the other, so I rate the question as 50-50.
     
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  7. SalixIncendium

    SalixIncendium Ānanda
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    In your research, were you able to debunk any of the claims in the video?
     
  8. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Here's a criticism from Skeptic magazine of Part I of Zeitgeist, the part dealing with Christianity and the historicity of Jesus. It finds writer, producer, director and editor Peter Joseph's work to be sloppy and filled with inaccuracies mixed among truths.
     
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  9. Jayhawker Soule

    Jayhawker Soule <yawn> ignore </yawn>
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    <yawn>

    another dumb rerun​

    </yawn>
     
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  10. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Having watched it I went back through it and each time there was a claim I hadn't heard of, which was often, I tried to verify it independently from credible sources and repeatedly failed.

    At this distance I forget the details, but I concluded it was far more bunk than not.

    No need to take my word for it though. Anyone can put it to the same test.
     
  11. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    I agree for the most part.
     
  12. 'mud

    'mud ~~ Life is Stuff ~~
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    Beyond reality lies insanity,
    which is which ?
     
  13. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    I don't know how to estimate the odds.

    I also don't know what qualifies as a historical Jesus. The term "historical Jesus" generally refers to the idea that a real man once existed who is the inspiration for the central character in Christianity.

    To a believer, this probably refers to a person who fits the description of the Jesus of the New Testament including all of the miracles, but to the skeptic, the term is mostly understood to allow one to remove the supernatural aspects (virgin birth, changing water into wine, walking on water, resurrection, etc) and still call what remains a historical Jesus.

    My question is, how much can we remove from what remains before it is no longer close enough to the character in the scriptures to be called a historical Jesus?

    Let's look at two extremes:

    Suppose that all naturalistic aspects of the New Testament actually occurred but one. Maybe Jesus wasn't born in Bethlehem during a census. If that fact can be disproved (and I believe it has), but all of the rest were correct, we could probably all agree that a historical Jesus actually once existed.

    At the other extreme, suppose that none of the story has a historical correlate apart from the fact that one or several rabbis named Jesus existed in the first century CE. If that were the case, we could probably agree that Jesus of the New Testament was a fictional character.

    The question is, just how much can we carve away from this story and still say that what remains can be considered a historical Jesus?

    Suppose the story is true except for the miracles, Jesus was not born in Bethlehem, he only had eight disciples and one was named Felix, Jesus was not a carpenter, his mother was not named Mary, there was no Last Supper or betrayal by Judas, Jesus was married and had children, and the Sermon on the Mount never occurred, but the rest is historical. Is that still the Jesus of the New Testament?

    I realize that there is no good answer to this question. My point is to illustrate the problem with the question. Just what do we mean by a historical Jesus?

    Also, it's a moot point for the skeptic, who only cares if a demigod named Jesus once walked the earth. If the choice is between a mortal man that became legendary thanks to guys named Paul and Constantine and a myth, well, it doesn't matter which is the case.

    Still, I think it's worth considering what is being discussed or claimed when the phrase historical Jesus is used.
     
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  14. It Aint Necessarily So

    It Aint Necessarily So Well-Known Member
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    Between reality and insanity lies fiction.
     
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  15. The Holy Bottom Burp

    The Holy Bottom Burp Active Member

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    Yeah, for me this is a pointless question. Nobody can build up a convincing case one way or the other. If I'm honest I thought Richard Carrier posited an intellectually plausible case at one point, but these days I'm thinking he is more about selling books. Don't get me wrong, I think his case is intellectually plausible, but no more so than Christians who would claim the whole nine yards; Jesus was God etc. We are just guessing at it, lets be honest shall we? Textual criticism of the NT suggests retrospective editing and contradiction, at least in serious academic biblical circles. However, when it come down to poorly recorded events in human history how the heck can we be sure about anything? Just saying.
     
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  16. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    I call it 50-50 because an HJ is possible but not necessary to account for the gospels ─ which means Mark in particular. An HJ would be an historical human who was the peg on which the tales were hung, and as you say, the degree to which he was present in the stories at all would be the problem.

    And the skeptical enquirer ─ the impartial historian ─ will notice that it's not just the miracle tales that should be removed, but all the fulfillment-of-prophecy stories as well. A great deal of Mark (the first gospel to be written) can be mapped onto the Tanakh, strongly suggesting that its author, like Paul, had very little biographical information about his hero, and solved the problem with a tale by which the hero ticks off a list of purported messianic prophecies that the author has to hand. Mark, for example, has no child Jesus, and doesn't become the son of God until John the Baptist baptizes him and Yahweh adopts him, on the model of Psalm 2 (ie in the traditional Jewish manner. It's also said that Mark's writing style in Greek is the crudest of the four, suggesting his first language was Aramaic or just possibly Latin). In Matthew and Luke, Jesus is Yahweh's son by divine insemination ie in the Greek tradition.
    Just so. John Dominic Crossan (a practicing Christian) in The Historical Jesus: the Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant thinks an HJ existed but is very hard to find in the bible, and attempts to assess which of the sayings attributed to Jesus in the gospels are correctly attributed to him ie what was his core message.
    I wouldn't put it that way. Skeptical historical enquiry simply seeks to determine what accurate statements (if any) we can make about what was really the case, what really happened. If the origin of Jesus was Crossan's 'Mediterranean Jewish peasant' (which seems a fair place to start) then what can we say about him?
    I think it matters, either way.
     
  17. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    Carrier has a scattered, prolix writing style, and I find him hard to read.

    Robert M Price is a good writer with academic credentials.

    Earl Doherty is interesting too, but he argues details in detail, so he's not a quick read. His The Jesus Puzzle used to be online but I can't find it. It's now a book ─ a long one, I dare say.

    Bart Ehrman believes there was an HJ but his critiques of the NT texts are very readable, with sound scholarship, and highly illuminating. (As a fan, I was very disappointed with his Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth though.)

    On >this link< is a version of David Fitzgerald's book Nailed. Fitzgerald sometimes lapses into a Ha Ha Gotcha! style, but if you can ignore that, the facts he offers are well-founded and interesting, and he kicks the narrative along. He thinks there was no HJ. As I said, my own view is that the question is open.
     
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  18. Hubert Farnsworth

    Hubert Farnsworth Well-Known Member

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    Good point. One thing I have thought is that "Jesus" may have been a compilation of several different men. There were a lot of "messiahs" running around the middle east back then.
     
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  19. The Holy Bottom Burp

    The Holy Bottom Burp Active Member

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    I haven't quite finished reading your link but I found it interesting about the "fabricated census", that required Jesus to be delivered in Bethlehem to fulfil prophecy. Hitchens actually used that as evidence of a HJ. Why go to those lengths with a convoluted and unlikely scenario if they were just making it up? Have him born in Bethlehem from the get go and be done with it. I think he had a point, however, like yourself I don't have a strong opinion, unless somebody comes up with a time machine we'll never know.
    I agree about Bart Ehrman btw, I'm a fan of his work, balanced and authoritive.
     
  20. blü 2

    blü 2 Well-Known Member
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    First, there's no such account in Mark, the earliest gospel. Second, the purported facts are largely contradicted by history, so certainly erroneous, and considering the rest of the gospel, very possibly made up, either by the author or one of his sources. Third, if you can map it onto a story in the Tanakh, it's a fulfillment-of-prophecy story. But ... it's possible.

    There are a few things that may support the notion of an historical Jesus. One is Paul's 'James the brother of the Lord' (Galatians 1:19). Ehrman thinks that's a clincher. I don't think that's clear. Another is the manner in which Jesus is always portrayed as being aggro towards his ma and his family: Mark 3:31. Mark 6:3, Mark 15:40, Matthew 10:34, Luke 11:27, John 2:3 and the apparent exception, John 19:26. I can't find a mapping for that, and it's an odd portrayal, even more odd in Matthew and Luke who say the lady has celestial backing.

    I used to think that the hints of Jesus as puny or having a visible disability were evidence too eg Luke 4:23 'physician heal thyself' and 'King of the Jews' on the cross, which won't work as a jibe if the figure looks like Arnie; and while that's possible, yet these can be mapped pretty clearly onto Isaiah 53, the 'suffering servant'. which is still routinely cited as a prophecy of Jesus even though it's unambiguously talking about the state of Israel and the politics of its own day.
     
    #20 blü 2, Sep 1, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2017
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