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Still Waters

Proof of Jesus Christ?

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Jesus Christ may be the most famous man who ever lived. But how do we know he did?

Most theological historians, Christian and non-Christian alike, believe that Jesus really did walk the Earth. They draw that conclusion from textual evidence in the Bible, however, rather than from the odd assortment of relics parading as physical evidence in churches all over Europe.

That's because, from fragments of text written on bits of parchment to overly abundant chips of wood allegedly salvaged from his crucifix, none of the physical evidence of Jesus' life and death hold up to scientific scrutiny.

http://www.livescien...us-debated.html

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This article is reminiscent of a quasi-debate I've been engaged in on another thread.

These alleged "proofs" have long been rejected (except for textual and historical criticism) in the academic Christian community. No scholar of distinction utilizes the Shroud of Turin, slivers from the cross, lead books, etc. as reliable indicators of anything but pious totemic gullibility. It's surprising that this kind of article would even be produced in 2013. No academician, of whom I am aware, takes such things seriously.

But such information continues to be disseminated as if it were commonly used as evidence of Jesus' historicity, keeping the door open for the inaccurate characterization of Christians as naïve fools.

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Posted (edited)

This article is reminiscent of a quasi-debate I've been engaged in on another thread.

These alleged "proofs" have long been rejected (except for textual and historical criticism) in the academic Christian community. No scholar of distinction utilizes the Shroud of Turin, slivers from the cross, lead books, etc. as reliable indicators of anything but pious totemic gullibility. It's surprising that this kind of article would even be produced in 2013. No academician, of whom I am aware, takes such things seriously.

But such information continues to be disseminated as if it were commonly used as evidence of Jesus' historicity, keeping the door open for the inaccurate characterization of Christians as naïve fools.

Hey! For once we agree on something.

Here's a mystery for you historians out there. In 1187 Saladin defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin and captured the holy relic, the True Cross. What happened to it? Did he keep it as a trophy? Was it destroyed? Might it still be around somewhere?

Doug

Edited by Doug1o29

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Hey! For once we agree on something.

Here's a mystery for you historians out there. In 1187 Saladin defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin and captured the holy relic, the True Cross. What happened to it? Did he keep it as a trophy? Was it destroyed? Might it still be around somewhere?

Doug

Agreement does feel different. . . but good. Nice to know I'm not universally considered a 'naive fool' (despite what my wife says).

As for the "True Cross" (if it indeed was): After Saladin defeated Richard I (et.al.) I assume he captured much "holy" booty/loot. If the cross was there, perhaps he secreted it away for use as a bargaining or propaganda chip later on. It would take a real-life Indiana Jones to track it down after 9 centuries. Most Muslims are uncomfortable at best and condemnatory at worst about various "images" (I think about the blasted Buddhist facades in Afghanistan), so Saladin may have had it burned and been done with the matter.

It's intriguing to think it might still be around, but it would be problematic to prove it was the true True Cross (same problem with almost all relics).

What do you think happened? You know your medieval--Middle Eastern history well. Wasn't Saladin from Damascus, or headquartered there (if Indy wants to start the hunt)? Were 12th century Muslims as militant regarding objects/images as some are now? I don't know. I know that Islam totally rejects the doctrine of the Trinity, and the cross--any cross--would be an heretical symbol a la the Buddhist statuary to Allah, one would surmise.

Interesting stuff. If you're an aficionado of 'Monty Python,' I'll admit that I do 'believe in' one "relic:" The Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch. Be careful counting. . .

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