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Switch to Forum Live View Was ther a Jesus? Of course there was.. Many!!!
10 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 5:48PM #1
Adam_Kratt
Posts: 82
Was there a Jesus? Of course there was a Jesus – many!
The archetypal Jewish hero was Joshua (the successor of Moses) otherwise known as Yeshua ben Nun (‘Jesus of the fish’). Since the name Jesus (Yeshua or Yeshu in Hebrew, Ioshu in Greek, source of the English spelling) originally was a title (meaning ‘saviour’, derived from ‘Yahweh Saves’) probably every band in the Jewish resistance had its own hero figure sporting this moniker, among others.
Josephus, the first century Jewish historian mentions no fewer than nineteen different Yeshuas/Jesii, about half of them contemporaries of the supposed Christ! In his Antiquities, of the twenty-eight high priests who held office from the reign of Herod the Great to the fall of the Temple, no fewer than four bore the name Jesus: Jesus ben Phiabi, Jesus ben Sec, Jesus ben Damneus and Jesus ben Gamaliel. Even Saint Paul makes reference to a rival magician, preaching ‘another Jesus’ (2 Corinthians 11,4). The surfeit of early Jesuses includes:
Too strange to be a coincidence!
According to the Biblical account, Pilate offered the Jews the release of just one prisoner and the cursed race chose Barabbas rather than gentle Jesus.But hold on a minute: in the original text studied by Origen (and in some recent ones) the chosen criminal was Jesus Barabbas – and Bar Abba in Hebrew means ‘Son of the Father’!Are we to believe that Pilate had a Jesus, Son of God and a Jesus, Son of the Father in his prison at the same time??!!Perhaps the truth is that a single executed criminal helped flesh out the whole fantastic fable.
Gospel writers, in scrambling details, used the Aramaic Barabbas knowing that few Latin or Greek speakers would know its meaning.
Jesus ben Sirach. This Jesus was reputedly the author of the Book of Sirach (aka 'Ecclesiasticus, or the Wisdom of Jesus the Son of Sirach'), part of Old Testament Apocrypha. Ben Sirach, writing in Greek about 180 BC, brought together Jewish 'wisdom' and Homeric-style heroes.
Jesus ben Pandira. A wonder-worker during the reign of Alexander Jannaeus (106-79 BC), one of the most ruthless of the Maccabean kings. Imprudently, this Jesus launched into a career of end-time prophesy and agitation which upset the king. He met his own premature end-time by being hung on a tree – and on the eve of a Passover. Scholars have speculated this Jesus founded the Essene sect.
Jesus ben Ananias. Beginning in 62AD, this Jesus had caused disquiet in Jerusalem with a non-stop doom-laden mantra of ‘Woe to the city’. He prophesied rather vaguely:
"A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against the whole people."– Josephus, Wars 6.3.
Arrested and flogged by the Romans, he was released as nothing more dangerous than a mad man. He died during the siege of Jerusalem from a rock hurled by a Roman catapult.
Jesus ben Saphat. In the insurrection of 68AD that wrought havoc in Galilee, this Jesus had led the rebels in Tiberias. When the city was about to fall to Vespasian’s legionaries he fled north to Tarichea on the Sea of Galilee.
Jesus ben Gamala. During 68/69 AD this Jesus was a leader of the ‘peace party’ in the civil war wrecking Judaea. From the walls of Jerusalem he had remonstrated with the besieging Idumeans (led by ‘James and John, sons of Susa’). It did him no good. When the Idumeans breached the walls he was put to death and his body thrown to the dogs and carrion birds.
Jesus ben Thebuth. A priest who, in the final capitulation of the upper city in 69AD, saved his own skin by surrendering the treasures of the Temple, which included two holy candlesticks, goblets of pure gold, sacred curtains and robes of the high priests. The booty figured prominently in the Triumph held for Vespasian and his son Titus.
But was there a crucified Jesus?
Certainly. Jesus ben Stada was a Judean agitator who gave the Romans a headache in the early years of the second century. He met his end in the town of Lydda (twenty five miles from Jerusalem) at the hands of a Roman crucifixion crew. And given the scale that Roman retribution could reach – at the height of the siege of Jerusalem the Romans were crucifying upwards of five hundred captives a day before the city walls – dead heroes called Jesus would (quite literally) have been thick on the ground. Not one merits a full-stop in the great universal history.
But then with so many Jesuses could there not have been a Jesus of Nazareth?
The problem for this notion is that absolutely nothing at all corroborates the sacred biography and yet this 'greatest story' is peppered with numerous anachronisms, contradictions and absurdities. For example, at the time that Joseph and the pregnant Mary are said to have gone off to Bethlehem for a supposed Roman census, Galilee (unlike Judaea) was not a Roman province and therefore ma and pa would have had no reason to make the journey. Even if Galilee had been imperial territory, history knows of no ‘universal census’ ordered by Augustus (nor any other emperor) – and Roman taxes were based on property ownership not on a head count. Then again, we now know that Nazareth did not exist before the second century.
Nazareth – The Town that Theology Built

It is mentioned not at all in the Old Testament nor by Josephus, who waged war across the length and breadth of Galilee (a territory about the size of Greater London) and yet Josephus records the names of dozens of other towns. In fact most of the ‘Jesus-action’ takes place in towns of equally doubtful provenance, in hamlets so small only partisan Christians know of their existence (yet well attested pagan cities, with extant ruins, failed to make the Jesus itinerary).
What should alert us to wholesale fakery here is that practically all the events of Jesus’s supposed life appear in the lives of mythical figures of far more ancient origin. Whether we speak of miraculous birth, prodigious youth, miracles or wondrous healings – all such 'signs' had been ascribed to other gods, centuries before any Jewish holy man strolled about. Jesus’s supposed utterances and wisdom statements are equally common place, being variously drawn from Jewish scripture, neo-Platonic philosophy or commentaries made by Stoic and Cynic sages.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 6:04PM #2
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
[QUOTE=Adam_Kratt;675623] we now know that Nazareth did not exist before the second century.[/quote]

We know no such thing.

http://www.tfba.org/projects.php?projectid=9
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 07, 2008 - 6:28PM #3
Adam_Kratt
Posts: 82
[QUOTE=hortonthrockmorton;675652]We know no such thing.

http://www.tfba.org/projects.php?projectid=9[/QUOTE]

I like how when it comes to date techniques if they support your hypothesis you will acept them but if they deny your beliefs they become of questionable credibility

Jesus of Nazereth is not mentioned in any source outside of the Gospels.

No Roman or Jewish sources can be showed of a first hand account of Jesus. As shown above Josephus never Mentions Jesus of Nazereth and neither does the Talmud or and Roman authoritive source.

Next, we no that NO census took place, and there is NO exidence of Nazereth existing. It is never Mentioned in the Talmud, the Torah, the Neviim, the Ketuvim. It is never mentioned in any Jewish document or Roman document. The only evidence for Nazereth is the Gospel which alone is not proof and dating which can be incorrect give or take up to 100 years... shall we say the second century.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 08, 2008 - 10:58AM #4
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
[QUOTE=Adam_Kratt;675704]I like how when it comes to date techniques if they support your hypothesis you will acept them but if they deny your beliefs they become of questionable credibility



What on earth are you talking about?  What 'date techniques' have I challenged?  You said there was no first century Nazareth, based on a lack of extant written texts that mention it.  I provided a link to show that archaeological evidence indicates that there might have been.

Jesus of Nazereth is not mentioned in any source outside of the Gospels.



1.  Not true.  He is mentioned in our extant Josephus texts.  (No, you don't get to simply dismiss Josephus.  First, because while our current version of the Testimonium Flavium was likely messed with, you don't know that that entire thing is a forgery.  Second, because there is the additional brief other text in addition to the T.F.)

2.  Even if true, so what?  Virtually our only 'source' for any of these people outside the Christian canonical texts is Josephus.  The lack of any other contemporaneous sources for the existence of a first century Galilean Jew is not really all that shocking.

Next, we no (sic) that...there is NO exidence of Nazereth existing.



Why do you repeat this claim even after being shown evidence to the contrary?  This doesn't help your credibility.

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10 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2008 - 7:00AM #5
river8101
Posts: 5,587
I've never known Horty to post at MJD before.  Was this thread moved here from some other forum?  Here, Horty writes the usual Christian line about Josephus.

Josephus lived 37-103CE,  He was a Jerusalem born Pharisee, living in Rome.  He wrote History of the Jews, 79CE and Antiquities of the Jews,93CE.

Christian apologists (defenders of the faith, no matter how unreal) consider Josephus’ Jesus testimony the one sure evidence of the historicity of Jesus. This Jesus Testimony is found in Josephus’, Antiquities of the Jews. Contrary to those Christian apologists, the Jesus testimony is considered by many scholars including the Encyclopedia Britannica’s scholars as "an insertion by later Christian copyists." This Jesus testimony states "Jesus is the Christ, a doer of wonderful works, was crucified, and appeared the third day as the divine prophets foretold".

Why is this Jesus testimony considered a later insertion?

1. Josephus was a Pharisee. Only a Christian would call Jesus the Christ. Josephus would have had to renounce his Pharisaical beliefs to say Jesus was the Christ. Josephus died a pharisee.

2. Josephus writing style is to write chapter upon chapter about the most insignificant people and events. The Jesus testimony consists of four sentences. Why would Josephus’ Christ (the Jewish Messiah) deserve only four sentences? The reference was out of context.

3. The paragraphs before and after the Jesus testimony describe Romans killing Jews. The paragraph following the Jesus testimony begins

"About the same time another sad calamity put the Jews in disorder".

Would the "sad calamity" refer to the appearing of the "doer of wonderful works" or Romans killing Jews? The Jesus Testimony clearly does not follow the preceding paragraph and characteristic of later insertions is out of context.

4. Finally, and most convincing had Josephus actually written the Jesus testimony, church fathers in the following 200 years would surely refer to it in fending off critics of Jesus’ being just another myth. But, not once does Justin, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, or Origen ever refer to Josephus’ Jesus testimony. We know Origen read Josephus because Origen’s writings criticize Josephus for attributing the destruction of Jerusalem to the killing of James. The church fathers made no reference to Josephus’ alleged Jesus testimony because it was not in Josephus’ writing.

Not only does the Jesus Testimony appear fraudulent, but Josephus’ historical accounts both contradict and omit other New Testament bible stories:

1. According to the bible John the Baptist was killed about 30 CE at the beginning of Jesus ministry. In Josephus, John the Baptist is killed by Herod when Herod is at war with King Aertus of Arabia in 34 - 37 CE.

2. Josephus makes no reference to the celebration of Pentecost in Jerusalem when allegedly devote Jews of every nation gathered and all received the Holy Spirit evidenced by speaking in new tongues; a Jewish fisherman Peter is head apostle of the new church; a fellow pharisee named Saul of Tarsus becomes the apostle Paul, or of the church’s explosive growth throughout Palestine, Alexandria, Greece, or Josephus’ city of residence Rome. Peter and Paul’s alleged martyrdoms in Rome about 60 CE is unknown to Josephus. It bears noting that Christian apologists so determined to rely on the veracity of Josephus’ Jesus testimony excuse his later oversights.

Is it probable, as the Encyclopedia Britannica asserts that Christian copyists distorted truth by inserting the Jesus testimony? Eusebius (265-339 CE), acknowledged as "Father of Church History" and known to be the emperor Constantine’s overseer of doctrine writes in his The Preparation of the Gospel published by Baker House (a Christian company)on page 619 "it will be necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a remedy for the benefit of those who require such treatment". Eusebius, one of the most influential Christians in church history, condoned fraud as a tool to promote Christianity! The probability of Constantine’s Christianity being a product of fraud is directly related to the desperate need of evidence to support the historicity of Jesus. Without Josephus’ alleged Jesus testimony there is no credible first century non-Christian evidence of a historical Jesus.
“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2008 - 7:01AM #6
river8101
Posts: 5,587
Btw, even Nazereth was not mentioned anywhere outside the gospels.
“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2008 - 7:09AM #7
river8101
Posts: 5,587
Note to Adam:

On long posts, such as your first post, it would be helpful to separate your paragraphs.   Thanks, riv
“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2008 - 7:57AM #8
river8101
Posts: 5,587

river8101 wrote:

Btw, even Nazereth was not mentioned anywhere outside the gospels.



Very         little is known about Nazareth from the ancient sources.  Outside         of the New Testament, Nazareth is never mentioned until the Byzantine         period (4th c. CE.).

1. According to the Bible, Jesus grew up in Nazareth. There is no evidence that the town now called Nazareth was inhabited before the middle of the second century - that is, more than a hundred years after Jesus was supposed to living there.
   2. There are caves in the area that had been used to bury the dead. Jewish law prohibits followers from living next to such a graveyard.
   3. We are saying that the lack of evidence against the Bible's message is the same as evidence for the Bible's message.

Didn'r we discuss this on another thread?

“Faith is deciding to allow yourself to believe something your intellect would otherwise cause you to reject.”
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2008 - 11:33AM #9
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
[QUOTE=river8101;690087] Here, Horty writes the usual Christian line about Josephus.

[/QUOTE]

What 'usual line'?  I'm not defending the T.F. as written.  I said that we don't know that the entire passage is fraudulent, even if it does have interpolations, and the fact remains that we also have the other Jesus passage to deal with.
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10 years ago  ::  Aug 14, 2008 - 1:26PM #10
hortonthrockmorton
Posts: 3,497
[QUOTE=river8101;690136]Very         little is known about Nazareth from the ancient sources.  [/QUOTE]

That's true.  But based upon archaeological sources, one simply cannot say definitively that Nazareth did not exist.  Those who are relying on outdated information and ignoring more recent archaeological discoveries.

Do we know without a doubt that this ancient hamlet was the Nazareth of the NT?  No.  But there's enough there to give pause to those who previously were arguing that there was no Nazareth.

From the link I posted:

Late in 1996, an ancient wine press was discovered among rock terraces on a hilltop over-looking modern-day Nazareth. An archaeological survey of the area was conducted and excavation of the site began in April 1997 under the direction of Ross Voss and Stephen Pfann. Initial finds included the wine press, agricultural terraces, stone irrigation channels, bases of five watchtowers, and pottery sherds dating the site to the first century of the common era-about the time of Jesus.

Evidence suggests that the first-century residents of this village made their living growing grapes, olives, and grain on terraces cut into the limestone hills. At harvest time, all of the estimated 300 villagers would have gathered to stomp grapes to extract the juice or to huddle in watchtowers at night guarding their produce against thieves.

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