Jesus Myth

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Antimatter
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Re: Jesus Myth

Post by Antimatter » Thu May 15, 2008 5:22 pm

I generally abhor responding to one-liners, so let me first write a general response before responding to a few of your specific claims, Zarove.

You keep demanding proof from me. I don't think the burden of proof rests with me, as I haven't asserted anything. I haven't claimed that Jesus existed, that he did not exist, or that he walked around with a pink umbrella. As I pointed out in the OP, I do not have definitive proof for my suspicion that the tales of Christ's miracles are embellishments. However, that theory is consistent with what I do know.
  • Virgin births, walking on water, resurrections, and ascensions into space generally do not happen.
  • Countless religions claim miracles, and the contradictory claims made by these religions suggest that they cannot all be true.
  • Oral folk tales tend to get embellished with fantastic details. See snopes.com.
  • I have no compelling reason to think Christianity is an exception to the above.
That's why I consider my explanation more plausible than the belief that all the events in the New Testament actually happened. If you have evidence to the contrary, I would be very interested in seeing it. I could spend a lot of time researching this issue in depth (which I intend to do anyway, but not this month) and create a thoughtful response to all your demands for proof. I could list the parallels between Jesus and other ancient Roman, Hellenistic, and Egyptian savior figures. But based on what I have read from you so far, I really don't think you would give them any consideration.
ZAROVE wrote:No, we know a hekc of a lot baout it, because we have records of it. You may wan tot dismis htose records becaue thye are kept by the CHurhc, ...
Sure, I'll accept those records. How many people were Christian in 70 AD and 313 AD? What was the recorded annual growth rate?
Mormonism is not a Myth based religion, though, and no one doubts the authenticity of the exitance of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
The Christian figure analogous to Joseph Smith would be Paul, not Jesus. Nobody doubts either Paul or Smith existed, and both met their savior in a vision — never in person (unlike Plato and Socrates).
I beleive you mean, Nicea. Trent was held in the 1500's.
The first definitive canonical list was not published until Trent in the mid-1500's.
Actually, you find it the most plasuable, I suspect, because it accords bettewr wiht your own A Priori beleifs, and becuase it helps o nealty explain away Christainity and find borrowings.
You know nothing about me. Please do not make such assumptions; they are false.
Again, allow me to point out that I'm not concerned with whether Jesus existed as a historical individual. I'm interested in the historical accuracy of the miracles, his resurrection, and the reliability of the Biblical account of those events.
But the thread itself, need I poitn out, is not base d arudn that, it is based around your notaiton of Metacrocks endless posting about the JEuss Myth theory. The Jeus Myt theory is not that Jeus sexisted but his Miralces didn't, or veen that Pagan elements wher ebororwnd to embellish his life sotrh, but that JEuss himself never eisted.
That seems like a silly position for anyone to hold. How could anyone prove that an ancient individual did not exist? Are you sure this isn't a straw man?
Is that the correct link? It looks like a landing page to me.
Woudl you expect miracles to be every-day occuances?
If the New Testament were historically accurate in every detail, yes.

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Re: Jesus Myth

Post by Metacrock » Thu May 15, 2008 8:25 pm

hey man that is exactly what they say! If you don't know that you don't know the first thing about the Jesus myth phenomenon. Go read Dourghtey. Go read Wells, go read Frick and Ghandi. that's exactly what they say. He did not exist. how could prov eit, not them! they just argue form silence. that is exacty what I hate their bull shit so very much. they are amaturish. they wont to overturn all the work of all historians based upon their stupid ass understanding of evidence.
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Re: Jesus Myth

Post by ZAROVE » Thu May 15, 2008 9:15 pm

You keep demanding proof from me. I don't think the burden of proof rests with me, as I haven't asserted anything.

Actually yyopu have made assertions, and it is on those occassions that you have made assertiosn that I demand evidence.

IE, you assert that early Christianity did not acutlaly teach a virign birht, and that those elements whewre acutlaly borrowed form local Pagan traditions which entered Christianity from the Pagans who converted ot the movement, who brought wiht them their concept of a Virign born god or saviour, and it was subsequently added to the Christian faith form their, incorporated from Mathew, and formtheir expande dupon in Luke.


This is an assertion on your part, and one that doens't even fit with the Markain Priority usually foudn in Shcolarhsip since it asserts Luke and Mathew where written seperaltye btu both dependant upon Mark and Q, and doens't rellay make sence given that Mathew was written for a Jewish Aaudience, and we are thus made to think that a book written for Jews woudl borrow form Pagan cultures.


Thats an assertion that lacks evidence.


You make other rather broad assertions too, such as the statement baotu Jeuss's story developign mythically, which dpens't acutllay seem suportbale form the silence of Pauls writtings and other evidence you seem tot hink indicates this.


shoudl I list every asserion you have made?

I haven't claimed that Jesus existed, that he did not exist, or that he walked around with a pink umbrella. As I pointed out in the OP, I do not have definitive proof for my suspicion that the tales of Christ's miracles are embellishments. However, that theory is consistent with what I do know.

But you have asserted that those miralces came along from local Pagan cultures, and whewre added to Christianity by Pagan converts, and you asserted that the firts book written base don thes epagan converts ideas was mathew which was expande dupon by Luke, and you have made other assertions, which do not relaly have evidence to support them.



Virgin births, walking on water, resurrections, and ascensions into space generally do not happen.
Jesus didnot ascend into space, thoigh. He ascended into Heaven, which is nto the same hting. I do abhor the sloppy thinking. FIrts, Athism is said otbe a rejection of religion, an dnow this.


And, just ebcause they generlaly do nto happen dpens't meanthey cannot ever happen.


Countless religions claim miracles, and the contradictory claims made by these religions suggest that they cannot all be true.

On the other hand, their is also signifigant overlap between rleigions as well, and htis logic is also spurious.


IE, even if I reject Buddhisms teahing abotu the need to detatch oenself from the world and by so doing free myself from pain and suffering by not allowuign the world at large to trap me in such concerns, I do not, then, assme that every narrative from Buddhism, such as the life of Sidhartha Gutama are false, or even nessisairly that the miralces he is said to have performed are false.


You cannot asusme tha contradictiosn ebtweenr eligions tenets prove that all claims of all religoons are suspect, especuakly sicne you ar eocnfuisng the spacific teahings with the claism of miralces.



Oral folk tales tend to get embellished with fantastic details. See snopes.com.

On the other hand, oral cultures tend ot do better at preserivng original stories by muth than we do these days...


shodl that be ignroed?



[uote]
I have no compelling reason to think Christianity is an exception to the above.[/quote]

But at the same time, you seem to be applyign a aystwm of thought to which you rationalise Christianity away, puttign it into a neat little box that happens o fit your pre-concienved worldview. so obviously when you hear of miracles, you must then reject them as mythic or legendary, simply becase thats what you worldview tells you they must be, then you apply these sorts of explanatiosn later.


That is not, to me, compelling.




That's why I consider my explanation more plausible than the belief that all the events in the New Testament actually happened. If you have evidence to the contrary, I would be very interested in seeing it.
The Irony is, those other religions do provide evidence. As much as other religions may contraidct Xhristianity in soem areas of teaching, they also correspodn to it in others, lending credence, and all speak of unusual phoenomenon happening throughout Human history.


Modern tales of such events also happen to occure on a regular basis, not all reported by kooks and werdos, and which seem to be the same sort of thing as int he Bile or other religious texts that happen to mention miracles.




I could spend a lot of time researching this issue in depth (which I intend to do anyway, but not this month) and create a thoughtful response to all your demands for proof.

I doubt it, since you seem to misunderstand what I have said, and focus only ont he elements which you seem to be able to formulate arguments against.

For instance, you said yu made no assertiosn that need evidence, yet you id, and those are what I called upu on. I dount that that will be researched by you, and it seems form th above your researhc will be nothign more than an attemto to find a way to bettere articulate your predetermiend conclusions abotu Miralcws begn embellihsments and legendary and to find better examples ot prop that up.


I could list the parallels between Jesus and other ancient Roman, Hellenistic, and Egyptian savior figures. But based on what I have read from you so far, I really don't think you would give them any consideration.



Of coruse not, because Im a naror wmidned CHristain whose faith blidns them...


Look, just ebcause I reject the idea of their beign such similarities doens't eman I am doiugn so becuase as a Christain I refuse ot criticlaly examine my faith and look hoenslty at the evidence. Just liek beign an Ahtiets doenst free your midn to examien the facts and arrive as logical conclusiosn base don the evidence.


I've seen these parralllesl before, and they just arne't there.


From those who claim Jesus lead a near-identical life as Hoerus and Appolo and Mithras, to those who take a more suble approach liek Mark Engham and claim its osmehat bae don the Oddessey , I've seen these things. But me findign them unconvincign itsn't becuase I am a Christain who just won't look at the truth, and sayign that is getitng relaly old from the woudl-be Athiests who thinks that this is plausable just because it helps deconstruct Jeuss.


EVen if I where an Ahtiets I'd reject this crap.


Just like I reject a good many Christian explanaitosn for things.


ZAROVE wrote:
No, we know a hekc of a lot baout it, because we have records of it. You may wan tot dismis htose records becaue thye are kept by the CHurhc, ...
Sure, I'll accept those records. How many people were Christian in 70 AD and 313 AD? What was the recorded annual growth rate?


Secular Academics estimate that, dispite beign persecuted, the Churhc managed to compose 10% of the Populaiton.


Early Christiendom in th ifrts cneutry was usually centred aorun Jeruslame, and th emissions of Paul, where estimats range anywhere frm 50'000 to 100'000 whtin the firts century.


Obvioosuly growth of the ealry Church was gougn to increase geometrically, but you stiull miss the point of the satements. Thats the toruble with ever-so-logical Ahtiests, they tend not to listen themselves, then accuse peopel liek me of not listening.


OK, let me repeat, slowly, the point.


Between 30 AD and 100 AD, the Church grew rapidly, and htis was wthin a timeframe that allowedliving witnessof Jesus on earth. Anythign past that relaly decreases the livign witness aspect.


When we mention rapid growth of Christianity, we arne't tlakign abotu its rapid growht throghtu all of hisotry, we are talkignabtu its rapid growht in its earliest years.


Mythic cults take abotu 200to 300 years to grow to any comparable size, because they need time to form the myths and to work their way into public ocnciosuness as established events. THis is not what we see in CHristainity, where it comes in in a flash, and develps its beelifs ealry on , sees no permutaiton of the founders story ( You disagree but have not relaly stated how the Jeuss story has numerus vairents) and hwich won a lot of adherants as well as numerus detractors all within the firts two or three decades of the movement.


I dont need to work the math between 30 AD and 313 AD. All I need is the Data form the firts 60 years.

Thats what youseem to miss, that rapid growht proves that JEsus wa slikely areal man because of the aspect of its rapid growht and stability of narrative and teaching in its earliest years.


Thats whats beign argued.




Mormonism is not a Myth based religion, though, and no one doubts the authenticity of the exitance of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

The Christian figure analogous to Joseph Smith would be Paul, not Jesus. Nobody doubts either Paul or Smith existed, and both met their savior in a vision — never in person (unlike Plato and Socrates).

Except, Christianity was well established byt he time Smith began the movement and already accepted as a major religion. Joseph SMith acutlaly simply started a branch of a preexistant movement.

That said, Paul didnot found Christianity, and we have no reaosn tothink that Paul the Aposlte had a hand in the creaiton of the Non-Pauline Epistles such as those of Peter and John, James seems ot be written entirley for a different purpose as Pauline theology, the book fo Revelaiton isn't related, and neithe rare the three GOspels of Mathew, Mark, and John, Luke is only margionally related.

Without Paul, there woudl still have been a CHristianity, htis is not the same as Smith.


And its ntot he ame as Smith in other regards.

Yoru comparign apples and oranges.






I beleive you mean, Nicea. Trent was held in the 1500's.

The first definitive canonical list was not published until Trent in the mid-1500's.

You are wrong. THe Cousnil of Nicea and the COusnil of Laudiceia both cannonised thr Scrptures officially.

We have the Cannons online if you'd liek to read.


Actually, you find it the most plasuable, I suspect, because it accords bettewr wiht your own A Priori beleifs, and becuase it helps o nealty explain away Christainity and find borrowings.
You know nothing about me. Please do not make such assumptions; they are false.

Are htey?


Then why do you beleive that the ealry Jeuss stories where mebelished with local Pagan tradiitons, even htough no evidence occures, and why do you think that Miralce smust be rejecte dout of hand?

It is indicative of hwo you think, and htis is not mere assumption.



Again, allow me to point out that I'm not concerned with whether Jesus existed as a historical individual. I'm interested in the historical accuracy of the miracles, his resurrection, and the reliability of the Biblical account of those events.



But the thread itself, need I poitn out, is not base d arudn that, it is based around your notaiton of Metacrocks endless posting about the JEuss Myth theory. The Jeus Myt theory is not that Jeus sexisted but his Miralces didn't, or veen that Pagan elements wher ebororwnd to embellish his life sotrh, but that JEuss himself never eisted.


That seems like a silly position for anyone to hold. How could anyone prove that an ancient individual did not exist? Are you sure this isn't a straw man?

It is not a strawman, its a common claim amongst Ahtiests online. CHeck aroudn for it.

Here is a resocurce for it. THogh only one website, other messgae baords and web sites discuss this theory, and you ill see numeorus hol to it.


http://www.jesusneverexisted.org


http://www.earlychristianwrittings.com houses many.

Is that the correct link? It looks like a landing page to me.

Go to a searhc enguine and type in "Early Christian Writtings".

Its a site by Kirby.


Woudl you expect miracles to be every-day occuances?

If the New Testament were historically accurate in every detail, yes.

Then, you have not read the NEw Testament, as the writtign sin it do nto descirbe Miralces as Daily events that happen routinely. Hence why peepl wher eimpressed by them.

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Re: Jesus Myth

Post by KR Wordgazer » Fri May 16, 2008 7:36 pm

Antimatter wrote:Excellent point, Tiny. For a period, I considered myself a liberal Christian. I accepted many Biblical passages as myth, particularly Genesis and segments of the Gospels, but I discovered that I could still appreciate them for their moral lessons. I think the charged reactions we find when discussing the historical accuracy of Jesus arises from the current formulation of Christianity theology. The Catholic Church and many Protestant denominations rest entirely on the atonement for sins on the cross and the resurrection of Jesus.
I don't think it's accurate, however, to think of Christianity as a movement that started merely on the basis of some nice (but hardly unique) moral teachings, and then later got embellished with all these ideas of atonement and resurrection. It's pretty much impossible to say that Paul (whose writings we are able to set very early after the death of Christ) believed that Jesus was merely a great moral teacher, and not someone who actually and literally rose from the dead. The early Christian martyrs were willing to die for their faith-- and what was it? If it was just a set of good morals, why were the Romans so upset? Why were the Christians so vehement?

1 Cor. 15:3: (Paul's writings) -- "For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas [Peter], then by the twelve. After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain in the present [are still alive]. . ."

Paul is making it very clear here that what is most important ("first of all") to what he preaches is that Christ actually rose from the dead. To support that, he states the testimony of eyewitnesses who are still alive to testify.

There is simply no indication that Christianity was meant originally to be only a code of conduct based on the teachings of a great moral teacher. The earliest texts tell us that the original believers really did believe in the Resurrection and Atonement. It is not a question of a plain account to which the Resurrection was added later-- it is instead an account with a centerpoint of Resurrection, which people later have been trying to remove!

A Christianity without Christ's Atonement and Resurrection may still be a very nice thing-- but it is not Christianity as it originally appeared.
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Re: Jesus Myth

Post by tinythinker » Sat May 17, 2008 8:42 am

Antimatter wrote:Again, allow me to point out that I'm not concerned with whether Jesus existed as a historical individual. I'm interested in the historical accuracy of the miracles, his resurrection, and the reliability of the Biblical account of those events.
Antimatter wrote:
Zarove wrote:But the thread itself, need I poitn out, is not base d arudn that, it is based around your notaiton of Metacrocks endless posting about the JEuss Myth theory. The Jeus Myt theory is not that Jeus sexisted but his Miralces didn't, or veen that Pagan elements wher ebororwnd to embellish his life sotrh, but that JEuss himself never eisted.
That seems like a silly position for anyone to hold. How could anyone prove that an ancient individual did not exist? Are you sure this isn't a straw man?
Metacrock wrote:hey man that is exactly what they say! If you don't know that you don't know the first thing about the Jesus myth phenomenon. Go read Dourghtey. Go read Wells, go read Frick and Ghandi. that's exactly what they say. He did not exist. how could prov eit, not them! they just argue form silence. that is exacty what I hate their bull shit so very much. they are amaturish. they wont to overturn all the work of all historians based upon their stupid ass understanding of evidence.
Zarove wrote:But the thread itself, need I poitn out, is not base d arudn that, it is based around your notaiton of Metacrocks endless posting about the JEuss Myth theory. The Jeus Myt theory is not that Jeus sexisted but his Miralces didn't, or veen that Pagan elements wher ebororwnd to embellish his life sotrh, but that JEuss himself never eisted.

It is not a strawman, its a common claim amongst Ahtiests online. CHeck aroudn for it.

Here is a resocurce for it. THogh only one website, other messgae baords and web sites discuss this theory, and you ill see numeorus hol to it.


http://www.jesusneverexisted.org
This series of quoted excerpts really boil down the whole thing. Evaluating (primarily criticizing) attempts to deny/severely discredit the historical validity of Jesus (not a particular presentation of his identity) and speculating on the motives behind these attempts.


KR Wordgazer wrote:I don't think it's accurate, however, to think of Christianity as a movement that started merely on the basis of some nice (but hardly unique) moral teachings, and then later got embellished with all these ideas of atonement and resurrection.
That and some of the discussion between Zarove and Antimatter is certainly an interesting and relevant topic for discussion, but that topic is the nature of Jesus rather than the existence of Jesus, which is again what gets mixed up in the first place when people hear the phrase "Jesus myther". Maybe we could have another thread specifically for debating the identity of Jesus and the historical arguments about his significance within and outside of the Christian communities that have existed over the last 2000 years?
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Re: Jesus Myth

Post by Metacrock » Sun May 25, 2008 12:28 pm

yes. I think a lot of people confuss what the Jesus myth theory is about. They think it's saying that the standard evangelical take is a myth. But it's more than that.
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