Friday, May 18, 2012

The Major Evidence that Jesus Really Exiseted As A Man In History.


There I was wondering what the heck I should blog about today and this guys along and says this stuff that gives me perfect material to respond to. He's an atheist or atheist or skeptic calling himself "analyst."Analyst misanalysed something becuase he asked me for the evidence that Jesus rose from the dead. When I gave it to him he say "O that doesn't prove he existed." that's because you didn't ask that. Although one might gather that if he rose from the dead he probably existed.

Analyst says:
I took a brief look. Nothing there deals with the real problem: Every piece of evidence confirms that gospel Jesus never existed.

Of course he didn't tell me that was real issue he wanted answered. It's silly to say that "every piece of evidence confirms that he never existed." How can evidence confirm that? Especially since no one ever argued it in all of history until at least the 18th century if not the 19th. No enemies of Jesus, no coutner group to the Christians, no Jewish Rabbinical source, no one ever ever ever said anything that even vegly imply that he didn't exist. The Talmudists made up elaborate propaganda stories about him giving him a fictional history never ever imply that he didn't exist.

The following is a list of writers who lived and wrote during the time, or within a century after the time, that Christ is said to have lived and performed his wonderful works:

Josephus, Philo-Judaeus, Seneca, Pliny the Elder, Suetonius, Juvenal, Martial, Persius, Plutarch, Justus of Tiberius, Apollonius, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, Quintilian, Lucanus, Epictetus, Silius Italicus, Statius, Ptolemy, Hermogones, Valerius Maximus, Arrian, Petronius, Dion Pruseus, Paterculus, Appian, Theon of Smyrna, Phlegon, Pompon Mela, Quintius Curtius, Lucian, Pausanias, Valerius Flaccus, Florus Lucius, Favorinus, Phaedrus, Damis, Aulus Gellius, Columella, Dio Chrysostom, Lysias, Appion of Alexandria.

Enough of the writings of the authors named in the foregoing list remains to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ.

Meta: This is what logicians call "argument from silence." It's just "these guys don't mention him." There are good  reasons why they don't. That's not proof becuase it doesn't nix the sources that do mention him. That these sources don't mention him does not mean much.

guys who do Mention him.

Skeptics will often allege that "no extra biblical evidence for Jesus' existence exists." This is far from the truth. All of these following historians, of first and early second century, mention Jesus of Nazareth as a historical figure who existed in the first century CE, or they mention Christ.
* Thallus (c. 50-75AD)

*Phlegon (First century)

* Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, c.93)

* Tacitus (Annals, c.115-120)

* Suetonius (Lives of the Caesars, c. 125)

* Galen (various writings, c.150)

* Celsus (True Discourse, c.170).

* Mara Bar Serapion (pre-200?)

* Talmudic References( written after 300 CE, but some refs probably go back to eyewitnesses)

*Lucian (Second century)

*Numenius (Second cent.)

*Galerius (Second Cent.)

 See my links on Doxa for ingo

 here are links on Doxa to pages about some of these figures:

A.Josephus (3 pages)
C-D. Thallus and Phelgon
E. Lucian
F-H. Suetonius, Galen, Celsus,
I.Talmud (2 pages)


No one Ever questioned Jesus' existence in 1900 years of historiography about him. Before moving on let's talk about first century sources that mention  Jesus. The point is we don't have much i the way of anything form the first century and there is very little that doesn't mention Jesus (excluding Philo whose works are voluminous).

 First century Sources that don't mention Jesus.

[form JP Holding--Teckton Apologetics] Most of this comes from my friend J.P. Holding.

"A final consideration is that we have very little information from first-century sources to begin with. Not much has survived the test of time from A.D. 1 to today. Blaiklock has cataloged the non-Christian writings of the Roman Empire (other than those of Philo) which have survived from the first century and do not mention Jesus. These items are":

Of all these writers, only Seneca may have conceivably had reason to refer to Jesus. But considering his personal troubles with Nero, it is doubtful that he would have had the interest or the time to do any work on the subject."
 There aren't very many sources, so there have been writings about him but we don't have them. there are also reasons why he would not have been mentioned. 

Jp Holding:Tekton apologetics. again

We turn to John P. Meier [Meie.MarJ, 7-9] and Murray Harris [Harr.3Cruc, 24-27] for several reasons on this point:

a. Roman Historians were only concerned with issues that directly effected them where they lived, or pertained to the fortunes of the empire. He didn't address the Roman Senate, worte no treatesies, histories, poems or palys, never travaled outside of Palestine, and did not change the socio-economic situation in Paltestine. He was a strictly local affair, of regional importance only, in his own lifetime.

Harris adds that "Roman writers could hardly be expected to have foreseen the subsequent influence of Christianity on the Roman Empire and therefore to have carefully documented" Christian origins. How were they to know that this minor Nazarene prophet would cause such a fuss?"
Jesus and History
Online Electronics books

Edward C. Wharton

From Pagan Sources

"Palestine of the first century has been referred to as an unimportant frontier province in the Roman Empire. Those provincial governors assigned to that region of the world were often thought to have received hardship posts. Too, those who wrote the history of Rome were in the upper strata of Roman society and usually had a personal dislike of Orientals, disapproved of their religions and looked upon their superstitions as very un-Roman. [Micahel Green , Runaway World, Inter-Varsity Press, p. 12.] This partially accounts for the little trickles of information that comes from their pens about the Christian religion. They wrote about it only as it forced its way into the mainstream of their view. Yet what they did write is proof positive that Jesus Christ was both a real person and that he had made such an impact upon society that the Roman world found it increasingly difficult to disregard him."

 Holding again.

"Jesus marginalized himself by being occupied as an itinerant preacher. Of course, there was no Palestine News Network, and even if there had been one, there were no televisions to broadcast it. Jesus never used the established "news organs" of the day to spread His message. He travelled about the countryside, avoiding for the most part (and with the exception of Jerusalem) the major urban centers of the day. How would we regard someone who preached only in sites like, say, Hahira, Georgia?"
 He was unimportant, poor, migrant, in an empire the captial of which was very far away, ran by rich tyrannts and he could do nothing to imporve their power. Why should they have an interest in him?

Not concerned with Roman gods.

Jesus' bore a message of eschatological and spiritual significance about an obscure foreign God most Romans knew little about. They had no particular reason to see him as anything other than a strictly regional private matter concerning a religion that seemed barbaric and about which they had no interest.
 No evening News.
News travaled slowly, the distances were great. They had no mass communications. It took months for Rome to learn of events in Palestine, and most of the events there were of little interest to them. Moreover, his work only lasted three years. By the time he was begining to reach the height of his fame in Jerusalem word of his very existence might just be reaching Rome, where it would have been gretaed coldly with no real interest anyway. Than suddenly he was gone, exicuted as a torulbe maker and good ridence! Reports of his resurrection would not flood Rome as great astounding news, other supernatural claims were made all the time from all parts of the world, including Rome itself, so who would believe or care about this one?

 Analyst talks about philo:

Philo was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived until long after the reputed death of Christ. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Christ is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Christ's miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. He was there when Christ made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem.

He was there when the crucifixion with its attendant earthquake, supernatural darkness, and resurrection of the dead took place -- when Christ himself rose from the dead, and in the presence of many witnesses ascended into heaven. These marvelous events which must have filled the world with amazement, had they really occurred, were unknown to him. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although this Word incarnate dwelt in that very land and in the presence of multitudes revealed himself and demonstrated his divine powers, Philo saw it not.

   Jesus Mythers seem to think Philo was some kind of historian who avidly recorded all the deeds of his people. He was not a historian, he did not live in Jerusalem but Alexandria. He was concerned with a contemplative life. He was a philosopher. He doesn't record the existence of any of the major people in Jerusalem in Jesus' life time. there's no evidence he visited Jerusalem during Jesus' ministry or death. The Catholic Encyclopedia says:"The best-known episode of his life is the voyage he made to Rome in 39;" Evey thing else was in Alexandria. If this trip to Rome is the best known episode of his lie  it seems obvious we would know if he went to Jerusalem during the ministry and death of Jesus. Once source says he visited Jerusalem but not when. One source I found suggest we don't know when the visited Jerusalem:
"Of his personal life, the only other incident narrated occurred on his one undated visit to Jerusalem (cf. De Providentia, in Yonge 1993: 755)." So it really is unfair to use him as a subject for this argument from silence (and being an argument from silence is bad enough).

 Real historians accept the historicity of Jesus without question and the Jesus mythers are actually conducting a campaign of resistance to real academic historiography. They make up their own standards that real historians don't use, such as "contemporary witness." They often say "we have no contemporary eye witnesses to Jesus life." Yes but real historians deal with things that happened hundreds of years before they were born so they don't look for "contemporary eye witnesses." They look for documents. A birth certificate would be great. WE are not going to find that. They probalby didn't even have them. The best we are going to do in dealing with a figure like Jesus who was not a governmental figure, not important to the rich and powerful., had nothing to do with Rome (which was the big time). Having nothing to do with Rome would be like expecting to find some little country preacher form Hobes New Mexico and expecting him to be world famous. If someone said "I went to the chruch in Springer (NM) where brother so and so preached." Their friend says "O you did not! he never existed because the Algonquin round table never talked bout him!" FDR never mentioned him in a speech. If he wasn't world famous he couldn't have existed.

Here are the major positive bits of evidence to prove that Jesus was a man in history. They are good enough. There is no evidence to prove miracles. that's not an issue of historical research anyway. Historians don't worry about that.

The Apostolic fathers provide a major link. The secular historians mentioned above aer also an important bit of evidence, but the Apostolic fathers provide direct links between people who knew Jesus as second century writers. Especially important are Papias who knew John and other eye witnesses to Jesus' ministry, and Irenaeus, who also knew Ploycarp, and Polycarp himself who also knew John the Apostle.

Irenaeus quoted his teacher Polycrp saying:

Fragments of the Lost Work

For I have a more vivid recollection of what occurred at that time than of recent events (inasmuch as the experiences of childhood, keeping pace with the growth of the soul, become incorporated with it); so that I can even describe the place where the blessed Polycarp used to sit and discourse-his going out, too, and his coming in-his general mode of life and personal appearance, together with the discourses which he delivered to the people; also how he would speak of his familiar intercourse with John, and with the rest of those who had seen the Lord; and how he would call their words to remembrance. Whatsoever things he had heard from them respecting the Lord, both with regard to His miracles and His teaching, Polycarp having thus received [information] from the eyewitnesses of the Word of life, would recount them all in harmony with the Scriptures. These things, through, God's mercy which was upon me, I then listened to attentively, and treasured them up not on paper, but in my heart; and I am continually, by God's grace, revolving these things accurately in my mind.

The first to head the list is Paul since his witness connects us with some histoircal source who actually set down the history of the early curch and were the first to do so, the four daughters of Philip of Hyropolis. See the pages on Doxa:

B.Clement of Rome
C.Philip of Hireopolis

The major source is the stuff the Talmud an the way it dove tails the what the Jesus Celsus. I have a couple of huge pages on the Talmudic testimony. Most of that is very hard to prove. There are some links that serve as dead giveaways. A history of the Talmud gives away the store on admitting Jesus existed:

There is a history of the Talmud

The Babylonian Talmud

translated by MICHAEL L. RODKINSON
Book 10 (Vols. I and II)
The History of the Talmud

from Vol I chapter II

Thus the study of the Talmud flourished after the destruction of the Temple, although beset with great difficulties and desperate struggles. All his days, R. Johanan b. Zakkai was obliged to dispute with Sadducees and Bathueians and, no doubt, with the Messiahists also; for although these last were Pharisees, they differed in many points from the teaching of the Talmud after their master, Jesus, had broken with the Pharisees

The index to this work indicates this statement was dealing with the late first century.

The real kicker is the comparison between Celsus and the Talmud. He was a Platonist and Polemical writer who lived toward the end of the first century. He sought to disprove Christianity. One way he tired was to get the goods on Jesus. So he went to the Jews and got them to him their propaganda about who this guy was. Thus, he's getting first century info that latter winds up int he Talmud. The very stuff that modern Rabbis say is not about Jesus and Celsus tell us it is. In includes such details as his mother was a hair dresser (in that culture the implication is a whore). He totally blows the Talmuists plausible deniability.

Origin quoting Celsus: Jesus had come from a village in Judea, and was the son of a poor Jewess who gained her living by the work of her own hands. His mother had been turned out of doors by her husband, who was a carpenter by trade, on being convicted of adultery [with a soldier named Panthéra (i.32)]. Being thus driven away by her husband, and wandering about in disgrace, she gave birth to Jesus, a bastard. Jesus, on account of his poverty, was hired out to go to Egypt. While there he acquired certain (magical) powers which Egyptians pride themselves on possessing. He returned home highly elated at possessing these powers, and on the strength of them gave himself out to be a god."

So we estabilsh:

(1) Mary was poor and worked with her hands

(2) husband was a carpenter

(3)Mary committed adultary with Roman soldier named Panthera. (where have we heard this before?)

(4) Jesus as bastard

(5) driven to Egypt where Jesus leanred magic.

All of these points are made in the Talmudic passages. This can be seen both above and on the next page. The use of the name Panthera is a dead give away. Clearly Celsus got this info from the Talmud. Christians never used the name Panthera. He could only hae gotten it form the Talmud and these are very charges the Talmudists made.

Here is a mishmash passage, which makes most of the points. Being from the Mishna it would draw upon first century material:

MISHNAH.[104b] If one writes on his flesh, he is culpable; He who scratches a mark on his flesh. He who scratches a mark on his flesh, [etc.] It was taught, R. Eliezar said to the sages: But did not Ben Stada bring forth witchcraft from Egypt by means of scratches [in the form of charms] upon his flesh? He was a fool, answered they, proof cannot be adduced from fools. [Was he then the son of Stada: surely he was the son of Pandira? - Said R. Hisda: The husband was Stada, the paramour was Pandira. But the husband was Pappos b. Judah? - his mother was Stada. But his mother was Miriam the hairdresser? - It is as we said in Pumbeditha: This is one has been unfaithful to (lit., 'turned away from'- satath da) her husband.] (Shabbath 104b)
 The following quotes are taken from Celsus On the True Doctrine, translated by R. Joseph Hoffman, Oxford University Press, 1987:


"Let us imagine what a Jew- let alone a philosopher- might say to Jesus: 'Is it not true, good sir, that you fabricated the story of your birth from a virgin to quiet rumourss about the true and insavoury circumstances of your origins? Is it not the case that far from being born in the royal David's city of bethlehem, you were born in a poor country town, and of a woman who earned her living by spinning? Is it not the case that when her deceit was uncovered, to wit, that she was pregnant by a roman soldier called Panthera she was driven away by her husband- the carpenter- and convicted of adultery?" (57).

why a Jew? or Philosopher? Celsus was obviously reading the Jewish sources. This is one of the charges made in the Talmud.

Here he claims to have secret knowledge that Christians don't have:

"I could continue along these lines, suggesting a good deal about the affairs of Jesus' life that does not appear in your own records. Indeed, what I know to be the case and what the disciples tell are two very different stories... [for example] the nonsensical idea that Jesus foresaw everything that was to happen to him (an obvious attempt to conceal the humiliating facts)." (62).
where is that from? It has to be the Talmud, or sources commonly drawn upon by the Talmud.

But how does this prove it was Jesus? Celsus sure thought it was. Apparently his Jewish contracts told him this is the straight facts on Jesus' life. We see that everywhere in the Talmud Jesus is talked about as a living person,and connections are made to his family and genealogy.

Celsus pushes the knowledge back to late second century, but due to the availability or Rabbinical writings it must have been around for some time before that. The Jews were very conscious of genealogies and family connections. why would they not pick up on the fact that Jesus had none and no one had ever seen him personally, if indeed that was the case?

what follows are descriptions of arguments and links to those arguments on Doxa. These are arguments that draw upon historical research and I think prove that Jesus existed:

IV. No Alternate Versions (3 pages).

The argument that most myths proliferate over time, but there is only one version of the Jesus story that is ever told, and it was basically the same from the begining. This is an indication that the facts are historical and everyone knew it from the begining.

Rebuttle to Peter Kirby's diatribe

Kirby's attempted refutation of the "no other verisons" argument; I've answered it on message boards before, so here is my answer again.

V. The Web of Historicity.

Everyone in the Jesus story is historical, the places, the events, the characters; everything around Jesus and everyone i the story who knew him really lived, why wouldn't the center peice of the story be historical too?

VI. Gosple Behind the Gospels

34 Lost Gospel,many of which we now have in whole or in part (some only in theory) testify to the fact that Jesus was always understood as a flesh and blood human in a historical context. Also shows canonical material was transmitted orally or in written form for a long time before the writting of the final verisons of the canoinical gospels.

VII.Community as Author: contemporary witnesses

This is corss refereced on Bible index.Sceptics make the argument that there are no contemporary witnesses. This argument says that the authors of the gospels were the communitie themselves and they constitute thosuands of contemporary witnesses.

Jospehus' Many Jesuses (Myther argument)

Some mythers try to porve a list of People Jospehus could have had in mind when he mentioned Jesus.

Did Nazareth Exist at the time of Jesus?

Did Jesus live in Nazareth? Some skeptics calim that Nazareth never existed in the time of Christ as an inhabited village. Archaeological excavations prove that it did. Nice graphics of excavaton sites.


sptrfn said...

Pretty good, Meta.

BTW, check this out. This is from Winston Wu from SCEPCOP. He came up with a book that "debunks Christianity". It seems, however, to be the same old nonsense:

Metacrock said...

O no, a book that debunks Christianity, what are we going to do?

sptrfn said...

I don't know(lol).

BTW, do these "debunkers" read the Bible at all in depth? Winston talks about the prophecies and this stupid "Jesus was coming back in the first century" idea, but he doesn't mention Acts, when Jesus told the disciples that it wasn't for them to know the times or seasons when they asked if he would restore the kingdom to Israel 10 days after he went up to heaven.

They also don't mention 2 Thessalonians, where Paul says that the Son of Perdition(Satan) has to stand in the holy place claiming to be God before Jesus comes back. That never happened yet, obviously.

Metacrock said...

Well 2 Thes was written decades after Jesus told his disciples the signs of the end. The early chruch did expect Jesus to return because that fit the Jewish expectations. It was only a few latter they began to realize the Jesus time fame is not the same as the time frame they had been taught as Jews.

sptrfn said...

Maybe that is why it says in Peter(I think) that God is not slack concerning his promises, and that one year with God is as 1000 years with man.

Switching gears, though, you know the Physicalism is Dead blog? Moi just put a post up about Dan Barker:

Isn't that the guy whose questions you answered that dealt with "bible contradictions" that he found? I saw the link on your Bible section of the DOXA site, but the link doesn't work now.