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Thread started 03/08/15 7:29am

Graycap23

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Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts

I have tried 2 find Jesus in actual history book and it still escapes me.

Can anyone please help me out.

Jesus Never Existed Says New Report That Finds No Mention Of Christ In 126 Historical Texts

Jesus never existed. That is the conclusion of a researcher who says he has combed 126 texts written during or shortly after the time Jesus is supposed to have lived — and found no mention of Jesus whatsoever.

The claim that Jesus, the messianic figure at the center of the world’s largest religion, Christianity, was simply a fictional character is not a new one. Advocates of the “Mythical Jesus” theory have been around for years, arguing that the story of Jesus bears a close resemblance to numerous other mythological stories of ancient gods who were born of virgin mothers and performed miracles.

In a new article entitled “The Fable of the Christ,” Michael Paulkovich summarizes his findings, or lack of findings, which lead him to believe that Jesus never actually existed, but is instead a fictional character, made up to give followers of the religion founded in his name a central icon worthy of their worship.

Paulkovich says that only one of the 126 texts he combed through contains any mention of Jesus — and that, he says, is a forgery. That text is the first-century history book The Jewish Wars by the Roman historian Josephus Flavius, who wrote his work in the year 95 CE.

But, despite making his home just one mile from Jesus’s supposed hometown of Nazareth, Josephus appears totally unaware of the famous miracle worker who later went to Jerusalem where he became such a political threat that the Romans found it necessary to execute him by crucifixion.

The few mentions of Jesus in The Jewish Wars, Paulkovich argues, were added by later editors, not by Josephus himself.

Otherwise, says the author, despite the remarkable feats Jesus is alleged to have performed and the great deal of political unrest caused by his arrival in Jerusalem, not a single writer from the time and place of Jesus’s life finds that Jesus so much as rates a footnote.

“Emperor Titus, Cassius Dio, Maximus, Moeragenes, Lucian, Soterichus Oasites, Euphrates, Marcus Aurelius, or Damis of Hierapolis. It seems none of these writers from first to third century ever heard of Jesus, global miracles and alleged worldwide fame be damned,” Paulkovich said in a recent interview.


Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/...IjEW2vO.99

FOOLS multiply when WISE Men & Women are silent.
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Reply #1 posted 03/08/15 7:51am

TonyVanDam

I'm going to need popcorn & pepsi for THIS thread!

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Reply #2 posted 03/08/15 9:33am

Embrace

I guess he and you have never heard of The New Testament writings, nor of Flavius Josephus and his Antiguities of the Jews in which Jesus is mentioned several times:

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.

- Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63
(Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)



But dude, who am I kidding? Jesus was 50% human, 50% reptilian/god. Early Christians, or the early Illuminati argued for ages whether he was fully reptilian or fully human. He was definetely some sort of a shapeshifter.

Finally, at the council of Osiris in 342 they agreed that he was half human/half reptile or god. The dispute was settled and the Christian Churches were all forced to become servants of Rome: the ancient shapeshifting capital of the world.

Just ask Erin Sean Green Hicks. As we speak she is preparing the Earth for the 2nd coming. Or just send her 10.000 dollars, that would work too.


However, there is also this:


So-Called ‘Biblical Sch...de-Up Myth

The author of 'No Meek Messiah' now says Jesus never existed based on an absence of contemporary references. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Michael Paulkovich, author of No Meek Messiah, has proclaimed that Jesus never existed. In his book, the author details his shocking discovery of “one-hundred-twenty-six authors from the time of Jesus who should have, but did not record anything about the Christian godman.”

Paulkovich’s case rests on three main pillars. First, the discovery that no ancient writers from the first few centuries CE mention Jesus. Second, the assumption that most writers should have mentioned Jesus, since he was the Son of God and all that. Third, the keen observation that Jesus never wrote anything himself. Although an undeniably compelling trinity of argumentation, it is not without its logical problems.

Let’s get one thing straight: There is nigh universal consensus among biblical scholars—the authentic ones, anyway—that Jesus was, in fact, a real guy. They argue over the details, of course, as scholars are wont to do, but they’re pretty much all on the same page that Jesus walked the earth (if not the Sea of Galilee) in the 1st century CE.

So that brings us to Paulkovich’s list: 126 ancient writers, 0 references to Jesus. The list has a few issues. Although everyone on it is indeed ancient, some are a little too ancient—as in, lived-a-hundred-years-before-Jesus too ancient (Asclepiades of Prusa, for example).

A great many of the writers are philosophers, some quite famous (Epictetus). Philosophers aren’t really known, now or then, for their interest in current events. Some writers are mathematicians, rhetoricians, satirists, poets, or epigrammatists (Martial). Unless we’re looking for an ancient limerick about Jesus, these are probably the wrong authors to be reading.

Fully fourteen of the 126 are doctors, including a dermatologist, an ophthalmologist, and a gynecologist (Soranus). We can first point out that Jesus was supposed to have a gift for healing, so he probably didn’t take his annual checkup seriously. Also, even if Jesus did visit a doctor or fourteen, and even if they kept records of the savior’s health, we could never have access to those records because, you know, HIPAA.

There are some authentic historians on the list, though we can probably assume that someone writing a biography of Alexander the Great (Curtius Rufus) might not find an appropriate place to slot Jesus into that story. The vast majority of the authors listed, however, have none of their writings preserved for us, or mere fragments at most. It’s hard to say that a writer didn’t mention Jesus when all we have of that writer are a few lines quoted in someone else’s work.

Of the 126 people listed by Paulkovich, there are only 10 or so whom we might expect to have written about Jesus.



We do have the writings of Sextus Julius Frontinus—but what he wrote was a treatise on aqueducts. Jesus may have been the fountain of life, but it was the Romans who had the decent delivery system. One must make mention ofPhlegon of Tralles, though, of whom two works have indeed come down to us. The first, On Marvels, we might well expect to find a mention of Jesus in. The second, On Long-Lived Persons—less so.

A good number of the writers listed weren’t writers at all, but consuls, generals, even a king (Vardanes I) and an emperor (Tiberius). It must be noted that in this category of non-writers there are at least three who are characters in the TV series I, Claudius.

Long story short: of the 126 people listed by Paulkovich, there are only 10 or so whom we might expect to have written about Jesus. And it’s probably worth mentioning that there are, of course, writers from the first centuries CE who refer to Jesus, and even write quite extensively about him. But since those authors all got bundled into a collection called the New Testament, we should probably just dismiss them from the discussion.

By his own admission, Paulkovich isn’t the first writer (by which we mean philosopher or gynecologist) to take this approach. In 1909, John Remsburgcompiled a list—strikingly bereft of characters from I, Claudius—of 41 authors who never mention Jesus. The premise of both lists is the same: if Jesus was super-famous, a “mythical super-Savior,” then how is it that no one talks about him?

The answer is very simple: in his own day Jesus wasn’t that important. He was just another wannabe messiah who ended up on the wrong side of the authorities. The prime candidate for “Son of God” in the Roman world was the emperor himself, who had coins, statues, and temples to back those claims up. Jesus had a small band of followers and a lot of stories about sheep.

Even his miracles (if you believe he performed any) weren’t that unusual. Emperors could do those too, and there were plenty of travelling doctors, minor deities, and semi-official magicians touting miracle cures. It’s difficult to gain a market share under those circumstances and Jesus didn’t have very good PR. Nutrisystem is less remarkable once you’ve seen the P90X commercials.

It took decades for the group of Jesus followers to grow large enough to gain the attention of local authorities and be given the slur-ish epithet “Christian.” And it’s only after that happened that people outside the group gave the slightest damn what—or whom—these eccentrics were talking about.

The pièce de résistance in Paulkovich’s argument is that Jesus himself never wrote anything about himself. Scholarly estimates place literacy in the ancient world at around 5 percent. It’s not surprising that a carpenter from Galilee didn’t have the education or resources to put stylus to papyrus. This is a question of education, not non-existence. It’s not like he’s some weirdo who doesn’t have Twitter (see below).

Of course, there are plenty of ancient figures who never wrote anything themselves—Aristotle, for instance. Though let’s not start giving Paulkovich any more ideas.

The argument isn’t improved by saying that Jesus was a God who should be able to journal in his leisure time. Deities don’t write things by hand. They tend to let human beings do the brunt of the transcription (you feel me, Moses?).

If Paulkovich’s logic were to stand, we could make similar arguments about other people—people who aren’t mentioned in the major writings of their day, who never wrote an autobiography, but who, based on their own grandiose claims and those of their followers, really should have gotten much more attention than they did. People like, say, Michael Paulkovich.

It is safe to say that there are no historians that have, to this point, included Paulkovich in their writings (and let’s be honest, the chances going forward aren’t great). What’s more, not a single mathematician, poet, philosopher, or gynecologist (probably—stupid HIPAA) refers to him even a single time.

Paulkovich has written nothing about himself—we have no biographical data on him. (In truth, it is hard to find almost anyone with less of a web presence than Michael Paulkovich—including, for the record, no Twitter account.) Though his name is on a couple of books and articles, someone else probably wrote those. At least, that’s undoubtedly what “Paulkovich” would say if we suddenly discovered a text claiming to have been written by Jesus, right?



But please do carry on.



.

[Edited 3/8/15 10:09am]

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Reply #3 posted 03/08/15 10:11am

Embrace

Also from Flavius Josephus, the famous James passage, with 2 Jesuses mentioned, one "who was called Christ" and the other "the son of Damneus"...


Chapter 9

CONCERNING ALBINUS UNDER WHOSE PROCURATORSHIP JAMES WAS SLAIN; AS ALSO WHAT EDIFICES WERE BUILT BY AGRIPPA.

1. AND now Caesar, upon hearing the death of Festus, sent Albinus into Judea, as procurator. But the king deprived Joseph of the high priesthood, and bestowed the succession to that dignity on the son of Ananus, who was also himself called Ananus. Now the report goes that this eldest Ananus proved a most fortunate man; for he had five sons who had all performed the office of a high priest to God, and who had himself enjoyed that dignity a long time formerly, which had never happened to any other of our high priests. But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees,[23] who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent.[24] Whereupon Albinus complied with what they said, and wrote in anger to Ananus, and threatened that he would bring him to punishment for what he had done; on which king Agrippa took the high priesthood from him, when he had ruled but three months, and made Jesus, the son of Damneus, high priest.

.

[Edited 3/8/15 10:19am]

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Reply #4 posted 03/08/15 1:09pm

2freaky4church
1

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He existed or his name would not survive.

All you others say Hell Yea!! woot!
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Reply #5 posted 03/08/15 1:19pm

OnlyNDaUsa

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yes because there are only 126 texts that covered that time period...lol and any set if 126 documents would have mentioned a mid level street preacher.

No one is coming for your abortion: they just want common-sense abortion regulations: background checks, waiting periods, lifetime limits, take a class, and a small tax.
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Reply #6 posted 03/08/15 1:55pm

TonyVanDam

Embrace said:

I guess he and you have never heard of The New Testament writings, nor of Flavius Josephus and his Antiguities of the Jews in which Jesus is mentioned several times:

MEMO: A few paragraphs within Josephus' writings were forgeries! no no no!

The Jesus Forgery: Josephus Untangled

by Acharya S/D.M. Murdock

Josephus

The following article is excerpted from:

Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled

suns of god

When addressing the mythical nature of Jesus Christ, one issue repeatedly raised is the purported "evidence" of his existence to be found in the writings of Flavius Josephus, the famed Jewish general and historian who lived from about 37 to 100 CE. In Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews appears the notorious passage regarding Christ called the "Testimonium Flavianum" ("TF"):

"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works,--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." (Whitson, 379)

This surprisingly brief and simplistic passage constitutes the "best proof" of Jesus's existence in the entire ancient non-Christian library comprising the works of dozens of historians, writers, philosophers, politicians and others who never mentioned the great sage and wonderworker Jesus Christ, even though they lived contemporaneously with or shortly after the Christian savior's purported advent.

A False Witness

eusebius church historian catholic imageDespite the best wishes of sincere believers and the erroneous claims of truculent apologists, the Testimonium Flavianum has been demonstrated continually over the centuries to be a forgery, likely interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century. So thorough and universal has been this debunking that very few scholars of repute continued to cite the passage after the turn of the 19th century. Indeed, the TF was rarely mentioned, except to note that it was a forgery, and numerous books by a variety of authorities over a period of 200 or so years basically took it for granted that the Testimonium Flavianum in its entirety was spurious, an interpolation and a forgery. As Dr. Gordon Stein relates:

"...the vast majority of scholars since the early 1800s have said that this quotation is not by Josephus, but rather is a later Christian insertion in his works. In other words, it is a forgery, rejected by scholars."

So well understood was this fact of forgery that these numerous authorities did not spend their precious time and space rehashing the arguments against the TF's authenticity. Nevertheless, in the past few decades apologists of questionable integrity and credibility have glommed onto the TF, because this short and dubious passage represents the most "concrete" secular, non-biblical reference to a man who purportedly shook up the world. In spite of the past debunking, the debate is currently confined to those who think the TF was original to Josephus but was Christianized, and those who credulously and self-servingly accept it as "genuine" in its entirety.

To repeat, this passage was so completely dissected by scholars of high repute and standing--the majority of them pious Christians--that it was for decades understood by subsequent scholars as having been proved in toto a forgery, such that these succeeding scholars did not even mention it, unless to acknowledge it as false. (In addition to being repetitious, numerous quotes will be presented here, because a strong show of rational consensus is desperately needed when it comes to matters of blind, unscientific and irrational faith.) The scholars who so conclusively proved the TF a forgery made their mark at the end of the 18th century and into the 20th, when a sudden reversal was implemented, with popular opinion hemming and hawing its way back first to the "partial interpolation theory" and in recent times, among the third-rate apologists, to the notion that the whole TF is "genuine." As Earl Doherty says, in "Josephus Unbound":

"Now, it is a curious fact that older generations of scholars had no trouble dismissing this entire passage as a Christian construction. Charles Guignebert, for example, in his Jesus (1956, p.17), calls it 'a pure Christian forgery.' Before him, Lardner, Harnack and Schurer, along with others, declared it entirely spurious. Today, most serious scholars have decided the passage is a mix: original parts rubbing shoulders with later Christian additions."

Bishop Rev. Nathaniel Lardner imageThe earlier scholarship that proved the entire TF to be fraudulent was determined by intense scrutiny by some of the most erudite, and mainly Christian, writers of the time, in a number of countries, their works written in a variety of languages, but particularly German, French and English. Their general conclusions, as elucidated by Christian authority Dr. Lardner, and related here by the author of Christian Mythology Unveiled (c. 1842), include the following reasons for doubting the authenticity of the TF as a whole:

"Mattathias, the father of Josephus, must have been a witness to the miracles which are said to have been performed by Jesus, and Josephus was born within two years after the crucifixion, yet in all the works he says nothing whatever about the life or death of Jesus Christ; as for the interpolated passage it is now universally acknowledged to be a forgery. The arguments of the 'Christian Ajax,' even Lardner himself, against it are these: 'It was never quoted by any of our Christian ancestors before Eusebius. It disturbs the narrative. The language is quite Christian. It is not quoted by Chrysostom, though he often refers to Josephus, and could not have omitted quoting it had it been then in the text. It is not quoted by Photius [9th century], though he has three articles concerning Josephus; and this author expressly states that this historian has not taken the least notice of Christ. Neither Justin Martyr, in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew; nor Clemens Alexandrinus, who made so many extracts from ancient authors; nor Origen against Celsus, have ever mentioned this testimony. But, on the contrary, in chap. 25th of the first book of that work, Origen openly affirms that Josephus, who had mentioned John the Baptist, did not acknowledge Christ. That this passage is a false fabrication is admitted by Ittigius, Blondel, Le Clerc, Vandale, Bishop Warburton, and Tanaquil Faber.'" (CMU, 47)

Hence, by the 1840's, when the anonymous author of Christian Mythology Unveiled wrote, the Testimonium Flavanium was already "universally acknowledged to be a forgery."

Origen church fatherThe pertinent remarks by the highly significant Church father Origen (c. 185-c.254) appear in his Contra Celsus, Book I, Chapter XLVII:

"For in the 18th book of his Antiquities of the Jews, Josephus bears witness to John as having been a Baptist, and as promising purification to those who underwent the rite. Now this writer, although not believing in Jesus as the Christ, in seeking after the cause of the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple, whereas he ought to have said that the conspiracy against Jesus was the cause of these calamities befalling the people, since they put to death Christ, who was a prophet, says nevertheless--being, although against his will, not far from the truth--that these disasters happened to the Jews as a punishment for the death of James the Just, who was a brother of Jesus (called Christ)--the Jews having put him to death, although he was a man most distinguished for his justice" (Emphasis added)

Here, in Origen's words, is the assertion that Josephus, who discusses more than a dozen Jesuses, did not consider any of them to be "the Christ." This fact proves that the same phrase in the TF is spurious. Furthermore, Origen does not even intimate the presence of the rest of the TF. Concerning Origen and the TF, Arthur Drews relates in Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus:

"In the edition of Origen published by the Benedictines it is said that there was no mention of Jesus at all in Josephus before the time of Eusebius [c. 300 ce]. Moreover, in the sixteenth century Vossius had a manuscript of the text of Josephus in which there was not a word about Jesus. It seems, therefore, that the passage must have been an interpolation, whether it was subsequently modified or not." (Drews, 9; emph. added)

According to the author of Christian Mythology Unveiled ("CMU"), this Vossius mentioned by a number of writers as having possessed a copy of Josephus's Antiquities lacking the TF is "I. Vossius," whose works appeared in Latin. Unfortunately, none of these writers includes a citation as to where exactly the assertion may be found in Vossius's works. Moreover, the Vossius in question seems to be Gerardus, rather than his son, Isaac, who was born in the seventeenth century.

Church Fathers Ignorant of Josephus Passage

In any event, as G.A. Wells points out in The Jesus Myth, not only do several Church fathers from the second, third and early fourth centuries have no apparent knowledge of the TF, but even after Eusebius suddenly "found" it in the first half of the fourth century, several other fathers into the fifth "often cite Josephus, but not this passage." (Wells, JM, 202) In the 5th century, Church father Jerome (c. 347-c.419) cited the TF once, with obvious disinterest, as if he knew it was fraudulent. In addition to his reference to the TF, in his Letter XXII. to Eustochium, Jerome made the following audacious claim:

"Josephus, himself a Jewish writer, asserts that at the Lord's crucifixion there broke from the temple voices of heavenly powers, saying: 'Let us depart hence.'"

Saint Jerome imageEither Jerome fabricated this alleged Josephus quote, or he possessed a unique copy of the Jewish historian's works, in which this assertion had earlier been interpolated. In any case, Jerome's claim constitutes "pious fraud," one of many committed by Christian proponents over the centuries, a rampant practice, in fact, that must be kept in mind when considering the authenticity of the TF.

Following is a list of important Christian authorities who studied and/or mentioned Josephus but not the Jesus passage:

  • Justin Martyr (c. 100-c. 165), who obviously pored over Josephus's works, makes no mention of the TF.
  • Theophilus (d. 180), Bishop of Antioch--no mention of the TF.
  • Irenaeus (c. 120/140-c. 200/203), saint and compiler of the New Testament, has not a word about the TF.
  • Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-211/215), influential Greek theologian and prolific Christian writer, head of the Alexandrian school, says nothing about the TF.
  • Origen (c. 185-c. 254), no mention of the TF and specifically states that Josephus did not believe Jesus was "the Christ."
  • Hippolytus (c. 170-c. 235), saint and martyr, nothing about the TF.
  • The author of the ancient Syriac text, "History of Armenia," refers to Josephus but not the TF.
  • Minucius Felix (d. c. 250), lawyer and Christian convert--no mention of the TF.
  • Anatolius (230-c. 270/280)--no mention of TF.
  • Chrysostom (c. 347-407), saint and Syrian prelate, not a word about the TF.
  • Methodius, saint of the 9th century--even at this late date there were apparently copies of Josephus without the TF, as Methodius makes no mention of it.
  • Photius (c. 820-891), Patriarch of Constantinople, not a word about the TF, again indicating copies of Josephus devoid of the passage, or, perhaps, a rejection of it because it was understood to be fraudulent.

Arguments Against Authenticity Further Elucidated

When the evidence is scientifically examined, it becomes clear that the entire Josephus passage regarding Jesus was forged, likely by Church historian Eusebius, during the fourth century. In "Who on Earth was Jesus Christ?" David Taylor details the reasons why the TF in toto must be deemed a forgery, most of which arguments, again, were put forth by Dr. Lardner:

  • "It was not quoted or referred to by any Christian apologists prior to Eusebius, c. 316 ad.
  • "Nowhere else in his voluminous works does Josephus use the word 'Christ,' except in the passage which refers to James 'the brother of Jesus who was called Christ' (Antiquities of the Jews, Book 20, Chapter 9, Paragraph 1), which is also considered to be a forgery.
  • "Since Josephus was not a Christian but an orthodox Jew, it is impossible that he should have believed or written that Jesus was the Christ or used the words 'if it be lawful to call him a man,' which imply the Christian belief in Jesus' divinity.
  • "The extraordinary character of the things related in the passage--of a man who is apparently more than a man, and who rose from the grave after being dead for three days--demanded a more extensive treatment by Josephus, which would undoubtedly have been forthcoming if he had been its author.
  • "The passage interrupts the narrative, which would flow more naturally if the passage were left out entirely.
  • "It is not quoted by Chrysostom (c. 354-407 ad) even though he often refers to Josephus in his voluminous writings.
  • "It is not quoted by Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople (c. 858-886 ad) even though he wrote three articles concerning Josephus, which strongly implies that his copy of Josephus' Antiquities did not contain the passage.
  • "Neither Justin Martyr (110-165 AD), nor Clement of Alexandria (153-217 ad), nor Origen (c.185-254 AD), who all made extensive reference to ancient authors in their defence of Christianity, has mentioned this supposed testimony of Josephus.
  • "Origen, in his treatise Against Celsus, Book 1, Chapter 47, states categorically that Josephus did NOT believe that Jesus was the Christ.
  • "This is the only reference to the Christians in the works of Josephus. If it were genuine, we would have expected him to have given us a fuller account of them somewhere."

When the earliest Greek texts are analyzed, it is obvious that the Testimonium Flavianum interrupts the flow of the primary material and that the style of the language is different from that of Josephus. There is other evidence that the TF never appeared in the original Josephus. As Wells says:

"As I noted in The Jesus Legend, there is an ancient table of contents in the Antiquities which omits all mention of the Testimonium. Feldman (in Feldman and Hata, 1987, p. 57) says that this table is already mentioned in the fifth- or sixth-century Latin version of the Antiquities, and he finds it 'hard to believe that such a remarkable passage would be omitted by anyone, let alone by a Christian summarizing the work.'" (Wells, JM, 201)

Flavius Josephus imageAlso, Josephus goes into long detail about the lives of numerous personages of relatively little import, including several Jesuses. It is inconceivable that he would devote only a few sentences to someone even remotely resembling the character found in the New Testament. If the gospel tale constituted "history," Josephus's elders would certainly be aware of Jesus's purported assault on the temple, for example, and the historian, who was obviously interested in instances of messianic agitation, would surely have reported it, in detail. Moreover, the TF refers to Jesus as a "wise man"--this phrase is used by Josephus in regard to only two other people, out of hundreds, i.e., the patriarchs Joseph and Solomon. If Josephus had thought so highly of an historical Jesus, he surely would have written more extensively about him. Yet, he does not. Lest it be suggested that Josephus somehow could have been ignorant of the events in question, the Catholic Encyclopedia ("Flavius Josephus") says:

"... Josephus...was chosen by the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem to be commander-in-chief in Galilee. As such he established in every city throughout the country a council of judges, the members of which were recruited from those who shared his political views."

Indeed, Josephus was a well-educated Jew who lived in the precise area where the gospel tale was said to have taken place, as did his parents, the latter at the very time of Christ's alleged advent. It was Josephus's passion to study the Jewish people and their history; yet, other than the obviously bogus TF, and the brief "James passage" mentioned by Taylor above, it turns out that in his voluminous works Josephus discussed neither Christ nor Christianity. Nor does it make any sense that the prolific Jewish writer would not detail the Christian movement itself, were Christians extant at the time in any significant numbers.

The Catholic Encyclopedia (CE), which tries to hedge its bet about the Josephus passage, is nevertheless forced to admit: "The passage seems to suffer from repeated interpolations." In the same entry, CE also confirms that Josephus's writings were used extensively by the early Christian fathers, such as Jerome, Ambrose and Chrystostom; nevertheless, as noted, except for Jerome, they never mention the TF.

Regarding the TF, as well as the James passage, which possesses the phrase James, the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, Jewish writer ben Yehoshua makes some interesting assertions:

"Neither of these passages is found in the original version of the Jewish Antiquities which was preserved by the Jews. The first passage (XVII, 3, 3) was quoted by Eusebius writing in c. 320 C.E., so we can conclude that it was added in some time between the time Christians got hold of the Jewish Antiquities and c. 320 C.E. It is not known when the other passage (XX, 9, 1) was added... Neither passage is based on any reliable sources. It is fraudulent to claim that these passages were written by Josephus and that they provide evidence for Jesus. They were written by Christian redactors and were based purely on Christian belief."

Yehoshua claims that the 12th century historian Gerald of Wales related that a "Master Robert of the Priory of St. Frideswide at Oxford examined many Hebrew copies of Josephus and did not find the 'testimony about Christ,' except for two manuscripts where it appeared [to Robert, evidently] that the testimony had been present but scratched out." Gerardus Vossius imageYehoshua states that, since "scratching out" requires the removal of the top layers, the deleted areas in these mere two of the many copies likely did not provide any solid evidence that it was the TF that had been removed. Apologists will no doubt insist that these Hebrew texts are late copies and that Jewish authorities had the TF removed. This accusation of mutilating an author's work, of course, can easily be turned around on the Christians. Also, considering that Vossius purportedly possessed a copy of the Antiquities without the TF, it is quite possible that there were "many Hebrew copies" likewise devoid of the passage.

Higher Criticism by Christian Authorities

The many reasons for concluding the Josephus passage to be a forgery have been expounded upon by numerous well-respected authorities, so much so that such individuals have been compelled by honesty and integrity to dismiss the Testimonium in toto as a forgery. In The Christ, John Remsburg relates the opinions of critics of the TF from the past couple of centuries, the majority of whom were Christian authorities, including and especially Dr. Lardner, who said:

"A testimony so favorable to Jesus in the works of Josephus, who lived so soon after our Savior, who was so well acquainted with the transactions of his own country, who had received so many favors from Vespasian and Titus, would not be overlooked or neglected by any Christian apologist (Lardner's Works, vol. I, chap. iv)."

Yet, the TF was overlooked and neglected by early Christian writers. In other words, they never cited it because it didn't exist.

Bishop William Warburton imageAnother authority, Bishop Warburton, called the TF a "rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too." Remsburg further related the words of the "Rev. Dr. Giles, of the Established Church of England," who stated:

"Those who are best acquainted with the character of Josephus, and the style of his writings, have no hesitation in condemning this passage as a forgery, interpolated in the text during the third century by some pious Christian, who was scandalized that so famous a writer as Josephus should have taken no notice of the gospels, or of Christ, their subject...."

In addition, the Rev. S. Baring-Gould remarked:

"This passage is first quoted by Eusebius (fl. A.D. 315) in two places (Hist. Eccl., lib. I, c. xi; Demonst. Evang., lib. iii); but it was unknown to Justin Martyr (fl. A.D. 140), Clement of Alexandria (fl. A.D. 192), Tertullian (fl. A.D. 193), and Origen (fl. A.D. 230). Such a testimony would certainly have been produced by Justin in his apology or in his controversy with Trypho the Jew, had it existed in the copies of Josephus at his time. The silence of Origen is still more significant. Celsus, in his book against Christianity, introduces a Jew. Origen attacks the argument of Celsus and his Jew. He could not have failed to quote the words of Josephus, whose writings he knew, had the passage existed in the genuine text. He, indeed, distinctly affirms that Josephus did not believe in Christ (Contr. Cels. I)."

Remsburg also recounts:

"Cannon Farrar, who has written an ablest Christian life of Christ yet penned, repudiates it. He says: 'The single passage in which he [Josephus] alludes to him is interpolated, if not wholly spurious' (Life of Christ, Vol. I, p. 46).

"The following, from Dr. Farrar's pen, is to be found in the Encyclopedia Britannica: 'That Josephus wrote the whole passage as it now stands no sane critic can believe.'"

And so on, with similar opinions by Christian scholars such as Theodor Keim, Rev. Dr. Hooykaas and Dr. Alexander Campbell. By the time of Dr. Chalmers and others, the TF had been so discredited that these authorities understood it as a forgery in toto and did not even consider it for a moment as "evidence" of Jesus's existence and/or divinity. In fact, these subsequent defenders of the faith, knowing the TF to be a forgery, repeatedly commented on how disturbing it was that Josephus did not mention Jesus.

In the modern apologist work The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel relates a passage from a novel published in 1979 by Charles Templeton, in which the author states, regarding Jesus, "There isn't a single word about him in secular history. Not a word. No mention of him by the Romans. Not so much as a reference by Josephus." (Strobel, 101) Strobel then reports the response by Christian professor Edwin Yamauchi, who claimed that Templeton was mistaken and that there was a reference to Jesus by Josephus. Yamauchi's fatuous response ignores, purposefully or otherwise, the previous ironclad arguments about which Templeton was apparently educated, such that he made such a statement. In other words, Templeton was evidently aware of the purported reference in Josephus but had understood by the arguments of the more erudite, earlier Christian authorities that it was a forgery; hence, there is "not so much as a reference by Josephus." In this facile manner of merely ignoring or dismissing the earlier scholarship, modern believers cling to the long-dismissed TF in order to convince themselves of the unbelievable.

For a more modern criticism, in The Jesus Puzzle and his online article "Josephus Unbound," secularist and classicist Earl Doherty leaves no stone unturned in demolishing the TF, permitting no squirming room for future apologists, whose resort to the TF will show, as it has done in the past, how hopeless is their plight in establishing an "historical Jesus." Concerning the use of Josephus as "evidence" of Jesus's existence, Doherty remarks:

"[I]n the absence of any other supporting evidence from the first century that in fact the Jesus of Nazareth portrayed in the Gospels clearly existed, Josephus becomes the slender thread by which such an assumption hangs. And the sound and fury and desperate manoeuverings which surround the dissection of those two little passages becomes a din of astonishing proportions. The obsessive focus on this one uncertain record is necessitated by the fact that the rest of the evidence is so dismal, so contrary to the orthodox picture. If almost everything outside Josephus points in a different direction, to the essential fiction of the Gospel picture and its central figure, how can Josephus be made to bear on his shoulders, through two passages whose reliability has thus far remained unsettled, the counterweight to all this other negative evidence?"

Other modern authors who criticize the TF include The Jesus Mysteries authors Freke and Gandy, who conclude:

"Unable to provide any historical evidence for Jesus, later Christians forged the proof that they so badly needed to shore up their Literalist interpretation of the gospels. This, as we would see repeatedly, was a common practice." (Freke and Gandy, 137)

Despite the desperate din, a number of other modern writers remain in concurrence with the earlier scholarship and likewise consider the TF in toto a fraud.

The Suspect: Eusebius (c. 264-340)

Eusebius church father catholic historian imageIn addition to acknowledging the spuriousness of the Josephus passage, many authorities quoted here agreed with the obvious: Church historian Eusebius was the forger of the entire Testimonium Flavianium. Various reasons have already been given for making such a conclusion. In "Did Jesus Really Live?" Marshall Gauvin remarks:

"Everything demonstrates the spurious character of the passage. It is written in the style of Eusebius, and not in the style of Josephus. Josephus was a voluminous writer. He wrote extensively about men of minor importance. The brevity of this reference to Christ is, therefore, a strong argument for its falsity. This passage interrupts the narrative. It has nothing to do with what precedes or what follows it; and its position clearly shows that the text of the historian has been separated by a later hand to give it room."

Regarding the absence of the TF in the writings of earlier Christian fathers and its sudden appearance with Eusebius, CMU says:

"it has been observed that the famous passage which we find in Josephus, about Jesus Christ, was never mentioned or alluded to in any way whatever by any of the fathers of the first, second, or third centuries; nor until the time of Eusebius, 'when it was first quoted by himself [sic].' The truth is, none of these fathers could quote or allude to a passage which did not exist in their times; but was to all points short of absolutely certain, forged and interpolated by Eusebius, as suggested by Gibbon and others. Even the redoubtable Lardner has pronounced this passage to be a forgery." (CMU, 79-80)

Moreover, the word "tribe" in the TF is another clue that the passage was forged by Eusebius, who is fond of the word, while Josephus uses it only in terms of ethnicity, never when describing a religious sect. Kerry Shirts adds to this particular point:

"Eusebius studied Josephus diligently, and could thus masquerade as he, except when he used the word 'tribe' to describe the Christians. All the literature from the Ante-Nicene Fathers show they never used the word 'tribe' or 'race' with reference to the Christians, was [sic] either by the Fathers or when they quoted non-Christian writers. Tertullian, Pliny the Younger, Trajan, Rufinus--none use 'tribe' to refer to Christians. Eusebius is the first to start the practice."

In Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins, Edwin Johnson remarked that the fourth century was "the great age of literary forgery, the extent of which has yet to be exposed." He further commented that "not until the mass of inventions labelled 'Eusebius' shall be exposed, can the pretended references to Christians in Pagan writers of the first three centuries be recognized for the forgeries they are." Indeed, Eusebius's character has been assailed repeatedly over the centuries, with him being called a "luminous liar" and "unreliable." Like so many others, Drews likewise criticizes Eusebius, stating that various of the Church historian's references "must be regarded with the greatest suspicion." As Drews relates, Swiss historian Jakob Burckhardt (1818-1897) declared Eusebius to be "the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity." (Drews, 32/fn) Eusebius's motives were to empower the Catholic Church, and he did not fail to use "falsifications, suppressions, and fictions" to this end.

Conclusion: Josephus No Evidence of Jesus

Even if the Josephus passage were authentic, which we have essentially proved it not to be, it nevertheless would represent not an eyewitness account but rather a tradition passed along for at least six decades, long after the purported events. Hence, the TF would possess little if any value in establishing an "historical" Jesus. In any event, it is quite clear that the entire passage in Josephus regarding Christ, the Testimonium Flavianum, is spurious, false and a forgery. Regarding the TF, Remsburg summarizes:

"For nearly sixteen hundred years Christians have been citing this passage as a testimonial, not merely to the historical existence, but to the divine character of Jesus Christ. And yet a ranker forgery was never penned....

"Its brevity disproves its authenticity. Josephus' work is voluminous and exhaustive. It comprises twenty books. Whole pages are devoted to petty robbers and obscure seditious leaders. Nearly forty chapters are devoted to the life of a single king. Yet this remarkable being, the greatest product of his race, a being of whom the prophets foretold ten thousand wonderful things, a being greater than any earthly king, is dismissed with a dozen lines...."

The dismissal of the passage in Josephus regarding Jesus is not based on "faith" or "belief" but on intense scientific scrutiny and reasoning. Such investigation has been confirmed repeatedly by numerous scholars who were mostly Christian. The Testimonium Flavianum, Dr. Lardner concluded in none too forceful words, "ought, therefore...to be discarded from any place among the evidences of Christianity." With such outstanding authority and so many scientific reasons, we can at last dispense with the pretentious charade of wondering if the infamous passage in the writings of Josephus called the Testimonium Flavianum is forged and who fabricated it.

Excerpted from Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S.

Sources:

Anonymous, Christian Mythology Unveiled, 1842
ben Yehoshua, mama.indstate.edu/users/nizrael/jesusrefutation.html
Catholic Encyclopedia, "Flavius Josephus," www.newadvent.org/cathen/08522a.htm
Charlesworth, James H., www.mystae.com/restricted...urces.html
Doherty, Earl, pages.ca.inter.net/~oblio/supp10.htm
Doherty, Earl, The Jesus Puzzle, Canadian Humanist, Ottawa, 1999
Drews, Arthur, Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus, Joseph McCabe, tr., Watts, London, 1912
Freke, Timothy and Gandy, Peter, The Jesus Mysteries, Three Rivers, NY, 1999
Gauvin, Marshall, www.infidels.org/library/...live_/html
Jerome, www.ccel.org/fathers2/NPN...-06-03.htm
Johnson, Edwin, Antiqua Mater: A Study of Christian Origins, www.christianism.com/articles/1.html
Josephus, The Complete Works of, Wm. Whitson, tr., Kregel, MI, 1981
Kirby, Peter, home.earthlink.net/~kirby/xtianity/josephus.html
Origen, www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF...f04-55.htm
Oser, Scott, www.infidels.org/library/...ojfaq.html
Remsburg, John, The Christ, www.positiveatheism.org/h...sbrg02.htm
Shirts, Kerry, www.cyberhighway.net/~shi...susand.htm
Stein, Dr. Gordon, www.infidels.org/library/...jesus.html
Strobel, Lee, The Case for Christ, Zondervan, MI, 1998
Taylor, David, www.mmsweb.com/eykiw/relig/npref.txt
Wells, G.A., The Jesus Legend, Open Court, Chicago, 1997
Wells, G.A., The Jesus Myth, Open Court, Chicago, 1999

WEBSITE SOURCE:
http://www.truthbeknown.c...sephus.htm

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Reply #7 posted 03/08/15 2:01pm

TonyVanDam

There is more about the forgeries within Josephus' writings:

Why Josephus’ So-called...e Rejected

The acknowledged authority on the life and works of Josephus is Louis H. Feldman of Yeshiva University.

Education: B.A. (Phi Beta Kappa, Valedictorian), Trinity College, Hartford, 1946; M.A. (in classics), Trinity College, 1947; Ph.D. (in classical philology), Harvard University, 1951 (diss.: "Cicero's Conception of Historiography"); L.H.D. (honorary), Trinity College, 1998.

Teaching Positions: Ford Foundation Teaching Fellow in Classics, Trinity College, 1951-52; Instructor in New Testament Greek, Hartford Seminary Foundation, 1951-52; Instructor in Classics, Trinity College, 1952-53; Instructor in Classics, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, 1953-55; Instructor in Humanities and History, Yeshiva and Stern Colleges, 1955-56; Assistant Professor of Classical Civilization, Yeshiva College, 1955-61; Associate Professor of Classical Civilization, Yeshiva College, 1961-66; Professor of Classics, Yeshiva University, 1966-present; Abraham Wouk Family Professor of Classics and Literature, Yeshiva University, 1993-present.
Fellowships and Awards: Guggenheim Foundation, Fellow; American Council of Learned Societies, Senior Fellow; Selected to conducted seminar for college teachers, National Endowment for the Humanities, "The Greek Encounter with Judaism in the Hellenistic Period," at Yeshiva University, Summers of 1980, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1992; "Classical and Christian Roots of Anti-Semitism," Summer of 1987; Award for excellence in teaching the classics, American Philological Association, 1981; Judaica Reference Book Award, Association of Jewish Libraries, 1985; Fellow, Annenberg Research Institute for Judaic and Near Eastern Studies, Philadelphia, PA, 1988-89; Elected Fellow, American Academy for Jewish Research, 1993; Fellow, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, 1994.

Of his fifteen books on Josephus and 138 articles on Josephus and Judaism, I would like to quote what this Josephian scholar says about the Testimonium Flavaianum taken from "Josephus (CE 37-c.100)," in William Harbury et al., ed., The Cambridge History of Judaism vol. 3 (1999) pp. 911 - 912.

“We may remark here on the passage in Josephus which has occasioned by far more comment than any other, the so-called Testimonium Flavianum (Ant. XVIII. 63 - 4) concerning Jesus. The passage appears in all our manuscripts; but a considerable number of Christian writers - Pseudo-Justin and Theophilus in the second century, Minucius Felix, Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Julius Africanus, Tertullian, Hippolytus and Orgen in the third century, and Methodius and Pseudo-Eustathius in the early fourth century - who knew Jeosphus and cited from his works do not refer to this passage, though one would imagine that it would be the first passage that a Christian apologist would cite. In particular, Origen (Contra Celsum 1.47 and Commentary on Matthew 10.17), who certainly knew Book 18 of the Antiquities and cites five passages from it, explicitly states that Josephus did not believe in Jesus as Christ. The first to cite the Testimonium is Eusebius (c. 324); and even after him, we may note, there are eleven Christian writers who cite Josephus but not the Testimonium. In fact, it is not until Jerome in the early fifth century that we have another reference o it.

The principal internal argument against the genuineness of the Testimonium is that it says that Jesus was the Christ, whereas Josephus, as a loyal Pharisaic Jew, could hardly have written this. To be sure, there was several claimants to the status of Messiah in this era, and those who followed them were not read out of the Jewish fold; but in view of the fact that Josephus nowhere else uses the word Christos (except in referring to James, the brother of Jesus, Ant. XX.200) and that he repeatedly suppresses the Messianic aspects of the revolt against Rome because of the association of the Messiah with political revolt and independence, it would seem hard to believe that he would openly call Jesus a Messiah and speak of him in awe. The fact that Jerome (De viris illustrious 13) read that ’he was believed to be the Christ (credebatur esse Christus) would suggest that his text differed from ours. Another objection to the authenticity of the passage is that it breaks the continuity of the narrative, which tells of a series of riots. Those, such as Eisler, who regard the passage as interpolated, suggest that the original spoke of the Christian movement as a riot.

Pines (An Arabic Version of the Testimonium Flavianum and Its Implications (Jeruslame 1971))has created a considerable stir by bringing to the scholarly world’s attention two hitherto almost completely neglected works containing the Testimonium, one a tenth-century history of the world in Arabic by a Christian named Agapius and the other a twelfth-century chronicle in Syriac by Michael the Syrian. There are a number of differences between Agapuius and our Testimonium, notably in the omission of the statement ‘if one ought to call him a man’ and of Jesus’ miracles and of the role of the Jewish leaders in accusing Jesus, and, above all, in the assertion that Jesus was perhaps the Messiah (‘was thought to be’ in Michael). Since Agapius declares that ‘This is what is said by Josephus and his companions’ and indeed includes a number of other details not found in Josephus, we may conjecture that he used other sources as well. Inasmuch as there are changes in the order of the statements of the Testimonium in Agapius and Michael, we are apparently dealing not with a translation but with a paraphrase.”

So, by the account given by Louis Feldman, Christians are not above forgery and lies to give credence to Christianity!

WEBSITE SOURCE:

http://debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com/2008/11/why-josephus-so-called-testimonium.html

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Reply #8 posted 03/08/15 2:06pm

babynoz

Here's a rather cheeky rebuttal that casts a jaundiced eye toward Paulkovich's scholarship...

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/10/05/so-called-biblical-scholar-says-jesus-a-made-up-myth.html

byCandida Moss Joel Baden

The Real Deal
10.05.14

So-Called ‘Biblical Scholar’ Says Jesus A Made-Up Myth

The author of 'No Meek Messiah' now says Jesus never existed based on an absence of contemporary references. But absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

Michael Paulkovich, author of No Meek Messiah, has proclaimed that Jesus never existed. In his book, the author details his shocking discovery of “one-hundred-twenty-six authors from the time of Jesus who should have, but did not record anything about the Christian godman.”

Paulkovich’s case rests on three main pillars. First, the discovery that no ancient writers from the first few centuries CE mention Jesus. Second, the assumption that most writers should have mentioned Jesus, since he was the Son of God and all that. Third, the keen observation that Jesus never wrote anything himself. Although an undeniably compelling trinity of argumentation, it is not without its logical problems.

Let’s get one thing straight: There is nigh universal consensus among biblical scholars—the authentic ones, anyway—that Jesus was, in fact, a real guy. They argue over the details, of course, as scholars are wont to do, but they’re pretty much all on the same page that Jesus walked the earth (if not the Sea of Galilee) in the 1st century CE.

So that brings us to Paulkovich’s list: 126 ancient writers, 0 references to Jesus. The list has a few issues. Although everyone on it is indeed ancient, some are a little too ancient—as in, lived-a-hundred-years-before-Jesus too ancient (Asclepiades of Prusa, for example).

A great many of the writers are philosophers, some quite famous (Epictetus). Philosophers aren’t really known, now or then, for their interest in current events. Some writers are mathematicians, rhetoricians, satirists, poets, or epigrammatists (Martial). Unless we’re looking for an ancient limerick about Jesus, these are probably the wrong authors to be reading.

Fully fourteen of the 126 are doctors, including a dermatologist, an ophthalmologist, and a gynecologist (Soranus). We can first point out that Jesus was supposed to have a gift for healing, so he probably didn’t take his annual checkup seriously. Also, even if Jesus did visit a doctor or fourteen, and even if they kept records of the savior’s health, we could never have access to those records because, you know, HIPAA.

There are some authentic historians on the list, though we can probably assume that someone writing a biography of Alexander the Great (Curtius Rufus) might not find an appropriate place to slot Jesus into that story. The vast majority of the authors listed, however, have none of their writings preserved for us, or mere fragments at most. It’s hard to say that a writer didn’t mention Jesus when all we have of that writer are a few lines quoted in someone else’s work.

Of the 126 people listed by Paulkovich, there are only 10 or so whom we might expect to have written about Jesus.

We do have the writings of Sextus Julius Frontinus—but what he wrote was a treatise on aqueducts. Jesus may have been the fountain of life, but it was the Romans who had the decent delivery system. One must make mention of Phlegon of Tralles, though, of whom two works have indeed come down to us. The first, On Marvels, we might well expect to find a mention of Jesus in. The second, On Long-Lived Persons—less so.

A good number of the writers listed weren’t writers at all, but consuls, generals, even a king (Vardanes I) and an emperor (Tiberius). It must be noted that in this category of non-writers there are at least three who are characters in the TV series I, Claudius.

Long story short: of the 126 people listed by Paulkovich, there are only 10 or so whom we might expect to have written about Jesus. And it’s probably worth mentioning that there are, of course, writers from the first centuries CE who refer to Jesus, and even write quite extensively about him. But since those authors all got bundled into a collection called the New Testament, we should probably just dismiss them from the discussion.

By his own admission, Paulkovich isn’t the first writer (by which we mean philosopher or gynecologist) to take this approach. In 1909, John Remsburg compiled a list—strikingly bereft of characters from I, Claudius—of 41 authors who never mention Jesus. The premise of both lists is the same: if Jesus was super-famous, a “mythical super-Savior,” then how is it that no one talks about him?

The answer is very simple: in his own day Jesus wasn’t that important. He was just another wannabe messiah who ended up on the wrong side of the authorities. The prime candidate for “Son of God” in the Roman world was the emperor himself, who had coins, statues, and temples to back those claims up. Jesus had a small band of followers and a lot of stories about sheep.

Even his miracles (if you believe he performed any) weren’t that unusual. Emperors could do those too, and there were plenty of travelling doctors, minor deities, and semi-official magicians touting miracle cures. It’s difficult to gain a market share under those circumstances and Jesus didn’t have very good PR. Nutrisystem is less remarkable once you’ve seen the P90X commercials.

It took decades for the group of Jesus followers to grow large enough to gain the attention of local authorities and be given the slur-ish epithet “Christian.” And it’s only after that happened that people outside the group gave the slightest damn what—or whom—these eccentrics were talking about.

The pièce de résistance in Paulkovich’s argument is that Jesus himself never wrote anything about himself. Scholarly estimates place literacy in the ancient world at around 5 percent. It’s not surprising that a carpenter from Galilee didn’t have the education or resources to put stylus to papyrus. This is a question of education, not non-existence. It’s not like he’s some weirdo who doesn’t have Twitter (see below).

Of course, there are plenty of ancient figures who never wrote anything themselves—Aristotle, for instance. Though let’s not start giving Paulkovich any more ideas.

The argument isn’t improved by saying that Jesus was a God who should be able to journal in his leisure time. Deities don’t write things by hand. They tend to let human beings do the brunt of the transcription (you feel me, Moses?).

If Paulkovich’s logic were to stand, we could make similar arguments about other people—people who aren’t mentioned in the major writings of their day, who never wrote an autobiography, but who, based on their own grandiose claims and those of their followers, really should have gotten much more attention than they did. People like, say, Michael Paulkovich.

It is safe to say that there are no historians that have, to this point, included Paulkovich in their writings (and let’s be honest, the chances going forward aren’t great). What’s more, not a single mathematician, poet, philosopher, or gynecologist (probably—stupid HIPAA) refers to him even a single time.

Paulkovich has written nothing about himself—we have no biographical data on him. (In truth, it is hard to find almost anyone with less of a web presence than Michael Paulkovich—including, for the record, no Twitter account.) Though his name is on a couple of books and articles, someone else probably wrote those. At least, that’s undoubtedly what “Paulkovich” would say if we suddenly discovered a text claiming to have been written by Jesus, right?



Edited to inclued the credentials of the authors...

Dr. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at the University of Notre Dame and Dr. Joel Baden, a professor of Hebrew Bible at Yale University,



[Edited 3/8/15 14:40pm]

Prince, in you I found a kindred spirit...Rest In Paradise.
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Reply #9 posted 03/08/15 2:31pm

Embrace

TonyVanDam said:

There is more about the forgeries within Josephus' writings:

Dude, Josephus works are still widely used and respected as one of the best historic sources of the day and age. Just because some claim some passages were forged, doesn't make it so.


You only show your bias.

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Reply #10 posted 03/08/15 3:10pm

Embrace

2freaky4church1 said:

He existed or his name would not survive.

There were many men called Jesus back then. Flavius Josephus alone mentions about a dozen in his works. When talking about the Jesus we now talk about, he always consistently added, "who was called the Christ" to the name, or something along those lines.

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Reply #11 posted 03/08/15 3:11pm

toejam

avatar

Here's a good place to start: http://www.amazon.com/Did...062206443/

It's not as persuasive as I think Ehrman would have liked, but it does enough to show that there probably was a guy - an executed Jewish cult leader from whom the religion sprouted.

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
Toejam's band "Cheap Fakes": http://cheapfakes.com.au, http://www.facebook.com/cheapfakes
Toejam the solo artist: http://www.youtube.com/scottbignell
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Reply #12 posted 03/08/15 3:52pm

duccichucka

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.

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Reply #13 posted 03/08/15 4:05pm

Embrace

^

So you suggest people here first order a book from amazon, then read and contemplate it and then post their opinion? lol

I suggest this work by the serious and highly regarded scolars Gerd Theissen and Annette Merz, called "The Historical Jesus - a comprehensive guide" could do the job quicker, tho' I doubt anybody here would read it.



So to put it short and straight: among serious Biblical scolars there is not much debate, if any, on the question whether the Jesus who was called "The Christ" actually walked this earth. For not only have Josephus works always been regarded, by Christians and non- Christians alike, as one of the best and most reliable sources on Jewish history, John the Baptist is also mentioned by Josephus. And unlike the Jesus passages, nobody ever questioned the passages on John the Baptist. Which gives even more credence to the position that Jesus was also a historical figure.

Flavius Josephus, Jewish antiquities 18.109ff

About this time Aretas, the king of the Arabian city Petra, and Herod Antipas had a quarrel. Herod the tetrarch had married the daughter of Aretas [called Phasaelis], and had lived with her a great while. But when he was once at Rome, he lodged with Herod, who was his brother indeed, but not by the same mother (this Herod was the son of the high priest Sireoh's daughter). Here, he fell in love with Herodias, this other Herod's wife, who was the daughter of Aristobulus their brother, and the sister of Agrippa the Great. Antipas ventured to talk to her about a marriage between them; when she admitted, an agreement was made for her to change her habitation, and come to him as soon as he should return from Rome: one article of this marriage also was that he should divorce Aretas' daughter.

So Antipas made this agreement and returned home again. But his wife had discovered the agreement he had made before he had been able to tell her about it. She asked him to send her to Macherus, which is a place in the borders of the dominions of Aretas and Herod, without informing him of her intentions. So, Herod sent her thither, unaware that his wife had perceived something.

Earlier, she had sent to Macherus, and all things necessary for her journey were made already prepared for her by a general of Aretas' army. Consequently, she soon arrived in Arabia, under the conduct of several generals, who carried her from one to another successively. She met her father, and told him of Herod's intentions. So Aretas made this the first occasion of the enmity between him and Herod, who had also some quarrel with him about their limits near Gamala.

So both sides raised armies, prepared for war, and sent their generals to fight. When they joined battle, Herod's army was completely destroyed by the treachery of some fugitives, who, though they were from the tetrarchy of Philip, had joined Aretas' army. So Herod wrote about these affairs to the emperor Tiberius, who became very angry at the attempt made by Aretas, and wrote to Lucius Vitellius, the governor of Syria, to make war upon him, and either to take him alive and bring him to him in bonds, or to kill him and send him his head. This was the charge that Tiberius gave to the governor of Syria.

Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God as a just punishment of what Herod had done againstJohn, who was called the Baptist. For Herod had killed this good man, who had commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, righteousness towards one another and piety towards God. For only thus, in John's opinion, would the baptism he administered be acceptable to God, namely, if they used it to obtain not pardon for some sins but rather the cleansing of their bodies, inasmuch as it was taken for granted that their souls had already been purified by justice.
Now many people came in crowds to him, for they were greatly moved by his words. Herod, who feared that the great influence John had over the masses might put them into his power and enable him to raise a rebellion (for they seemed ready to do anything he should advise), thought it best to put him to death. In this way, he might prevent any mischief John might cause, and not bring himself into difficulties by sparing a man who might make him repent of it when it would be too late.

Accordingly John was sent as a prisoner, out of Herod's suspicious temper, to Macherus, the castle I already mentioned, and was put to death. Now the Jews thought that the destruction of his army was sent as a punishment upon Herod, and a mark of God's displeasure with him.

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Reply #14 posted 03/08/15 4:08pm

TonyVanDam

Embrace said:

TonyVanDam said:

There is more about the forgeries within Josephus' writings:

Dude, Josephus works are still widely used and respected as one of the best historic sources of the day and age. Just because some claim some passages were forged, doesn't make it so.


You only show your bias.


rolleyes

You wouldn't know that because you were too lazy to back check any of the sources that are mention as proof that a few paragraphs within Josephus' writings were forgeries. In other words, Josephus was lied on and he NEVER said exactly what was written about the existence of Christ Jesus at all.

And you want to run you mouth about "bias"?!? Oh GTFOOHWTBS! Christian scholars are THE most bias people in these kind of discussion because they make it more about their "beliefs" than about the knowledge of absolute truth.

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Reply #15 posted 03/08/15 4:12pm

TonyVanDam

2freaky4church1 said:

He existed or his name would not survive.


Based on THAT^ argument, Santa Claus existed as well because hs name also survived. lol

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Reply #16 posted 03/08/15 4:20pm

Embrace

TonyVanDam said:


You wouldn't know that because you were too lazy


Learn to read some REAL works of scolarship, instead of that drivel that you throw around here.


Matthew 11

Jesus and John the Baptist

11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.[a]

2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[b] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way before you.’[c]

11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence,[d] and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.

16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not mourn.’

18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Gospel of Thomas Saying 46

(46) Jesus said, "From Adam unto John the Baptist there has been none among the offspring of women who has been more exalted than John the Baptist, so that such a person's eyes might be broken. But I have said that whoever among you becomes a little one will become acquainted with the kingdom, and will become more exalted than John."



Josephus:


Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God as a just punishment of what Herod had done againstJohn, who was called the Baptist. For Herod had killed this good man, who had commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, righteousness towards one another and piety towards God.


.

[Edited 3/8/15 16:58pm]

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Reply #17 posted 03/08/15 8:54pm

SeventeenDayze

Who is to say that one book is more accurate than another. It's just a bunch of opinions that we either accept as fact or as fiction. Unless you see something with your own eyes, you have no idea if it's true or not. That's where faith steps in. You have to have some level of faith to accept certain things as "facts". We use faith all of the time without even realizing it and it doesn't stop anyone from operating in faith. When is the last time you knew who cooked your meal at a restaurant? Do you really know when and where you were born? Nope, someone had to tell you those things and you by faith accept those bits of information as facts. The truth is is that there are many books that claim to have all of the answers about the mysteries of life but it's up to us as indviduals to accept what we choose to accept as fact or fiction.

Trolls be gone!
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Reply #18 posted 03/08/15 9:08pm

babynoz

SeventeenDayze said:

Who is to say that one book is more accurate than another. It's just a bunch of opinions that we either accept as fact or as fiction. Unless you see something with your own eyes, you have no idea if it's true or not. That's where faith steps in. You have to have some level of faith to accept certain things as "facts". We use faith all of the time without even realizing it and it doesn't stop anyone from operating in faith. When is the last time you knew who cooked your meal at a restaurant? Do you really know when and where you were born? Nope, someone had to tell you those things and you by faith accept those bits of information as facts. The truth is is that there are many books that claim to have all of the answers about the mysteries of life but it's up to us as indviduals to accept what we choose to accept as fact or fiction.



cool

Prince, in you I found a kindred spirit...Rest In Paradise.
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Reply #19 posted 03/08/15 9:51pm

toejam

avatar

TonyVanDam said:

Christian scholars are THE most bias people in these kind of discussion because they make it more about their "beliefs" than about the knowledge of absolute truth.


If you're after "absolute truth" regarding ancient history, forget it. But the same then could be said for hypotheses over Jesus non-existence. We can't absolutely know that either. It comes down to most-reasonable hypotheses.

If you find Christian scholars untrustworthy, here's a list of non-Christian PHD-level scholars who I am fairly familiar with who accept the historicity of Jesus and have published on the topic. Most of these are either atheists/agnostics or liberal Jews:

Maurice Casey
James Crossley
Bart Ehrman
Geza Vermes
Paula Fredriksen
Zeba Crook
Robert Funk
R. Joseph Hoffman
Amy-Jill Levine
Diarmaid McCulloch
Elaine Pagels
James Tabor
Robert Eisenman
Morton Smith
Claudia Setzer

I know a lot of others whom I suspect are non-Christians, but I'm not sure so won't add them...

I would also add that not all "Christian" scholars let their bias get away from them. Everyone is bias. But it's not like there's an easy on/off switch that one can press to rid themselves of it. Don't pretend that yourself and non-Christians are immune from bias. Some of the best and most reasonable books on the historicity of Jesus I've read have been written by self-professing Christians. People like Dale Allison, E.P Sanders, Mark Goodacre, Stevan Davies, John Domminic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson, Dale Martin, John Meier, are top-notch critical scholars who I would recommend anyone interested in the quest of the historical Jesus to look into. Don't let the fundies and dodgy apologists put you off "Christian" scholars as a rule.

.

[Edited 3/8/15 22:04pm]

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Reply #20 posted 03/08/15 10:03pm

SeventeenDayze

babynoz said:

SeventeenDayze said:

Who is to say that one book is more accurate than another. It's just a bunch of opinions that we either accept as fact or as fiction. Unless you see something with your own eyes, you have no idea if it's true or not. That's where faith steps in. You have to have some level of faith to accept certain things as "facts". We use faith all of the time without even realizing it and it doesn't stop anyone from operating in faith. When is the last time you knew who cooked your meal at a restaurant? Do you really know when and where you were born? Nope, someone had to tell you those things and you by faith accept those bits of information as facts. The truth is is that there are many books that claim to have all of the answers about the mysteries of life but it's up to us as indviduals to accept what we choose to accept as fact or fiction.



cool

Thanks my dear! biggrin

Trolls be gone!
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Reply #21 posted 03/09/15 4:13am

TonyVanDam

Embrace said:

TonyVanDam said:


You wouldn't know that because you were too lazy


Learn to read some REAL works of scolarship, instead of that drivel that you throw around here.


.

[Edited 3/8/15 16:58pm]


If you're going to quote me, at least do it in correct context. And I still stand by my words from an earlier posts:

You wouldn't know the real story like you should because you were too lazy to back check any of the sources that are mention as proof that a few paragraphs within Josephus' writings were forgeries. In other words, Josephus was lied on and he NEVER said exactly what was written about the existence of Christ Jesus at all.

[Edited 3/9/15 4:14am]

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Reply #22 posted 03/09/15 4:21am

TonyVanDam

SeventeenDayze said:

Who is to say that one book is more accurate than another. It's just a bunch of opinions that we either accept as fact or as fiction. Unless you see something with your own eyes, you have no idea if it's true or not. That's where faith steps in. You have to have some level of faith to accept certain things as "facts". We use faith all of the time without even realizing it and it doesn't stop anyone from operating in faith. When is the last time you knew who cooked your meal at a restaurant? Do you really know when and where you were born? Nope, someone had to tell you those things and you by faith accept those bits of information as facts. The truth is is that there are many books that claim to have all of the answers about the mysteries of life but it's up to us as indviduals to accept what we choose to accept as fact or fiction.


But there is a massive flaw concerning faith. Why? Because what you "believe" and what you "know" are two different things.

Any one can be told to believe that 2+2=4, but no one will know this to be truth unless they have seen 2 objects with 2 other objects that makes it 4 objects.

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Reply #23 posted 03/09/15 4:28am

toejam

avatar

^Are you saying you KNOW there wasn't a historical Jesus?? Wow. That takes some balls. Even mythicists like Richard Carrier and Robert Price (the only two mythicists I'm aware of who have legit PHDs in relevent fields) admit that we can't know that. They believe he didn't, but don't claim that such a claim can be known.

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Reply #24 posted 03/09/15 4:34am

TonyVanDam

toejam said:

TonyVanDam said:

Christian scholars are THE most bias people in these kind of discussion because they make it more about their "beliefs" than about the knowledge of absolute truth.


If you're after "absolute truth" regarding ancient history, forget it. But the same then could be said for hypotheses over Jesus non-existence. We can't absolutely know that either. It comes down to most-reasonable hypotheses.

If you find Christian scholars untrustworthy, here's a list of non-Christian PHD-level scholars who I am fairly familiar with who accept the historicity of Jesus and have published on the topic. Most of these are either atheists/agnostics or liberal Jews:

Maurice Casey
James Crossley
Bart Ehrman
Geza Vermes
Paula Fredriksen
Zeba Crook
Robert Funk
R. Joseph Hoffman
Amy-Jill Levine
Diarmaid McCulloch
Elaine Pagels
James Tabor
Robert Eisenman
Morton Smith
Claudia Setzer

I know a lot of others whom I suspect are non-Christians, but I'm not sure so won't add them...

I would also add that not all "Christian" scholars let their bias get away from them. Everyone is bias. But it's not like there's an easy on/off switch that one can press to rid themselves of it. Don't pretend that yourself and non-Christians are immune from bias. Some of the best and most reasonable books on the historicity of Jesus I've read have been written by self-professing Christians. People like Dale Allison, E.P Sanders, Mark Goodacre, Stevan Davies, John Domminic Crossan, Luke Timothy Johnson, Dale Martin, John Meier, are top-notch critical scholars who I would recommend anyone interested in the quest of the historical Jesus to look into. Don't let the fundies and dodgy apologists put you off "Christian" scholars as a rule.

.

[Edited 3/8/15 22:04pm]


1. Bart Ehrman is a little bit of a hypocrite. The same man who is aware that the bible is flaw is also the same man who rejected his own sources, some of it being his own books, just so he can continue to "believe" that Christ existence. It's a good thing the D.M. Murdock, Robert M. Price, and a few others were successful in called out on Ehrman's bullshit.

2. Speaking of a list of non-Christians scholars, I highly recommend Robert M. Price.

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Reply #25 posted 03/09/15 4:36am

toejam

avatar

^Yes, I've read Bob Price and listened/watched many online stuff of his. I like his stuff. But I think he goes too far. Also, Bob would never say we can "know" Jesus didn't exist.

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Reply #26 posted 03/09/15 4:40am

toejam

avatar

TonyVanDamn said:
1. Bart Ehrman is a little bit of a hypocrite. The same man who is aware that the bible is flaw is also the same man who rejected his own sources, some of it being his own books, just so he can continue to "believe" that Christ existence. It's a good thing the D.M. Murdock, Robert M. Price, and a few others were successful in called out on Ehrman's bullshit.

.
What specifically do you think is "bullshit" about Ehrman's case? Have you read the book? Do you really think anyone who thinks there was a historical figure is only doing so "just so" they can believe that there was? I think there was.

.

[Edited 3/9/15 4:42am]

Toejam @ Peach & Black Podcast: http://peachandblack.podbean.com
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Reply #27 posted 03/09/15 5:19am

TonyVanDam

toejam said:

TonyVanDamn said:
1. Bart Ehrman is a little bit of a hypocrite. The same man who is aware that the bible is flaw is also the same man who rejected his own sources, some of it being his own books, just so he can continue to "believe" that Christ existence. It's a good thing the D.M. Murdock, Robert M. Price, and a few others were successful in called out on Ehrman's bullshit.

.
What specifically do you think is "bullshit" about Ehrman's case? Have you read the book? Do you really think anyone who thinks there was a historical figure is only doing so "just so" they can believe that there was? I think there was.

.

[Edited 3/9/15 4:42am]



Read on:

Bart Ehrman: Mythicists... plausible

In a recent interview with NPR (April 1, 2012), Did Jesus Exist? the interviewer summarizes Ehrman’s views thus:

Mythicists’ arguments are fairly plausible, Ehrman says. According to them, Jesus was never mentioned in any Roman sources and there is no archeological evidence that Jesus ever existed. Even Christian sources are problematic – the Gospels come long after Jesus’ death, written by people who never saw the man…. Most importantly…these mythicists point out that there are Pagan gods who were said to die and rise again and so the idea is that Jesus was made up as a Jewish god who died and rose again…. The mythicists have some right things to say… The Gospels do portray Jesus in ways that are non-historical.”

When I passed along that excerpt to Dr. Robert M. Price, another mythicist who, like me, was the subject of Ehrman’s wrath in DJE, Bob exclaimed: “Wow! That sounds like a retraction!”

Is it? Did Bart Ehrman retract his hastily composed screed, in which he tosses out calumny that could be construed as libel?

The gospels were written long after the purported events by people who never saw Jesus – on that fact Bart Ehrman and I concur wholeheartedly. Yet, according to Ehrman, we are supposed simply to rely on the “Aramaic” texts hypothesized to be at the basis of these pseudepigraphical gospels for our posited “historical” Jesus!

All of my major points are wrong?!

Note also that in his “review” of my book The Christ Conspiracy, Ehrman claims that “all of Acharya’s major points are in fact wrong.” Yet, one of my major points therein is that the gospels “come long after Jesus’ death, written by people who never saw the man.” If that point is wrong, so too is Ehrman’s contention of same, when he asserts that the four canonical gospels were not written by those in whose name they are pretended to be.

In his book Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible’s Authors are Not Who We Think They Are (9), Ehrman comments:

“The crucial question is this: Is it possible that any of the early Christian forgeries made it into the New Testament? That some of the books of the New Testament were not written by the apostles whose names are attached to them? That some of Paul’s letters were not actually written by Paul, but by someone claiming to be Paul? That Peter’s letters were not written by Peter? That James and Jude did not write the books that bear their names? Or…that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were not actually written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? Scholars for over a hundred years have known that in fact this is the case.”

In Christ Con, I cited some of that earlier scholarship, since few modern scholars at the time were making honest assessments like this one of Ehrman’s. Again, what he has said in this paragraph constitutes one of my major points, with which I basically start off my book – it is difficult to believe that Ehrman would not have noticed this part of my initial premise when he hastened to assail my scholarship.

In CC, I further questioned the validity of a number of so-called Pauline epistles, another major point with which Ehrman concurs, as can be seen from the above paragraph.

In my book Who Was Jesus? – which Ehrman did not read – I cited his research to back up several of these major points, including that we possess not the original gospels but merely “error-ridden copies!” Again, if that major point of mine is wrong, so too is Ehrman.

From my reading of his rant against me and my book, it truly appears that Ehrman did not even read my work, as he conveniently skips all the points with which he concurs, such as the above, as well as the forgery elsewhere within Christianity:

“In short, there were long, protracted and even heated debates in the early church over forged documents. Early Christians realized that there were numerous forgeries in circulation, and they want to know which books were written by their alleged authors and which were not.” (Ehrman, Forged: Writing in the Name of God, 22)

One of my major points in Christ Con is that the canonical texts are significantly interpolated, and another is that the authenticity of various of these texts was disputed in antiquity – both facts likewise expounded upon by Ehrman:

“A number of the books of the New Testament were disputed already in early Christianity, among the Christian scholars of the second to the fourth centuries, who were arguing over which books should be included in Scripture.” (Ehrman, Forged, 21)

I have, in reality, cited Ehrman’s work specifically because he has essentially proved several major points I made in Christ Con, which I have been revising and in which revision I cite him.

I have been wondering in this regard and others, such as the phallic bronze brouhaha, whether or not Ehrman simply received “Cliff Notes” of my book from an intern/assistant. In any event, the contention that all of my “major points are in fact wrong” is incorrect, as are other claims in Errman’s book. I am currently also composing a longer rebuttal to be published in a major response to the book.

SOURCE:
http://freethoughtnation....plausible/

And just in case all of THAT^ isn't enough, here a video that D.M. posted on YouTube where Ehrman admitted years earlier that Christ never existence. He even mentions the evidences to prove his earlier claim:


-----------------------------------------------
Transcript of clips of Bart Ehrman from the Craig Evans vs. Bart Ehrman Debate (3/31/2010):

The truth may not be what you were taught, but if it's true, you should believe it, not run from it!

As I studied more and more, using my intelligence as an evangelical but also praying about it, I became convinced that the New Testament gospels were not written by eyewitnesses or by people who knew eyewitnesses.

The first point to make is the rather obvious one that the gospels don't claim to be written by eyewitnesses. They are all anonymous.

The titles in your gospels - the Gospel According to Matthew and so forth - were added by later editors. They were not put there by the original authors.

Second point, none of the gospels claims to be written by the person whose name it bears. They don't claim to be written by eyewitnesses, and they don't claim to be written by people named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Those are later traditions that were added to the gospels. These traditions do not start appearing for about 100 years.

Some people think that there is an early Church father named Papias who attests to the witness of Mark and Matthew, but in fact there are very solid reasons for thinking that Papias, who lived around the year 120-140, is not referring to OUR Mark or OUR Matthew.

The first time anybody refers to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by name is Irenaeus in the year 180.

But the unfortunate thing about Jesus is that we have such scanty documentation about his life. Most people don't realize this, but Jesus is never mentioned in any Greek or Roman non-Christian source until 80 years after his death.

There is no record of Jesus having lived, in these sources. In the entire first Christian century, Jesus is not mentioned by a single Greek or Roman historian, religion scholar, politician, philosopher or poet. His name never occurs in a single inscription, and it is never found in a single piece of private correspondence. Zero! Zip references

--------------------------

THOSE^ were the exact words coming from Bart Ehrman who knew the truth that Christ never existed. Yet, only a few years later, he "proved" the exact opposite?!? Come on now, it's total bullshit. disbelief

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Reply #28 posted 03/09/15 5:29am

toejam

avatar

^Have you read "Did Jesus Exist?" yourself?

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Reply #29 posted 03/09/15 5:30am

TonyVanDam

The following message come directly from D.M. Murdock.
-----------

Bart Ehrman's sloppy errors in his book, "Did Jesus Exist?" for all to see:

The phallic ‘Savior of the World’ hidden in the Vatican
http://freethoughtnation.com/the-phal...

Does Josephus prove a historical Jesus?
http://freethoughtnation.com/does-jos...

Over 80 Rebuttals to Bart Ehrman's Anti-Mythicist Book 'Did Jesus Exist?'
http://www.freethoughtnation.com/foru...

Richard Carrier caught Bart Ehrman in a lie:
http://freethoughtnation.com/the-phal...

"Such libel only reveals a total disinclination to do a fraction of the research manifest on any single page of Acharya's works."
--Dr. Robert Price, page xxi of the book, "Bart Erhman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist?"

Cover image at the end of the video is of the collaborative rebuttal book: "Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth: An Evaluation of Ehrman's Did Jesus Exist?"
http://www.amazon.com/Ehrman-Quest-Hi...

The fact is that New Testament (NT) scholars are so narrowly focused on the NT they don't spend much time in comparative religion to investigate parallels, "borrowing" or syncretism from other pre-Christian religions. It's also significant that it's not a requirement for New Testament scholars or students to examine the case for mythicism or the Mythicist Position in order to receive a PhD. Don't believe us? Here it is straight from the horses mouth, Ehrman himself, one of the most well-known New Testament scholars:

"Writing Did Jesus Exist was an interesting task. For one thing, before writing the book, like most New Testament scholars, I knew almost nothing about the mythicist movement."
--Dr. Bart Ehrman

Bart Ehrman also confesses on page two in his book "Did Jesus Exist?" that for 30 years he never even thought to consider to question the existence of Jesus as real historical character because it was a question that he "did not take seriously." Bart goes on to say: "I discovered, to my surprise, an entire body of literature devoted to the question of whether or not there ever was a real man, Jesus ... I was almost completely unaware - as are most of my colleagues in the field - of this body of skeptical literature.""

http://freethoughtnation.com/forums/v...

So, why would we ever trust New Testament scholars on the subject of mythicism when they admit they know so little about it?

See also:

The Gospel Dates | When Were the Gospels Written?
http://stellarhousepublishing.com/gos...

Does Church Father Papias Prove the Gospels Existed in the First Century?
http://www.stellarhousepublishing.com...

The Mythicist Position
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63BNK...

----------------

I would take it a step further in asking THIS question:

Why would we ever trust any Christian scholars on the subject of Christ mythicism when they know absolute NOTHING about it because Christian scholars are too busy making up excuses for their own Christian beliefs that prevents them from seeing the truth in an non-bia matter?

[href^="http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/external-search?"], [href^="http://www.freefilesdownloader.com/"] {display:none !important;}

[Edited 3/9/15 5:31am]

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