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Guyver

Historicity of Jesus

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Guyver

I mean, I'm all about discussing whatever; and I know there's some value in it.....but sheez.  

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XenoFish
4 minutes ago, Guyver said:

Didn't take much to flip that sucker off topic.  

Well consider this. Even if the biblical Jesus didn't exist. What was the real meaning behind "his" message? On UM we've had this particular debate for as long as I can remember. It's a reoccurring thing.

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XenoFish

At one time I'd fight tooth and nail against anyone on this topic. Now, I just don't care. I'm looking at the big picture. If the golden rule is all we need and trust that things might get better, what are we really arguing about? 

Edited by XenoFish
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Mr Guitar

I'm of the opinion that humans, much like cows, butterflies, starfish, trees, or any other biological, living thing, function (live) until their systems wear out and they die, after which they break down into their molecular/atomic components. Some, like trees/plants and animal species who are not ceremoniously buried can then become nourishment for newer generations. Humans, OTOH, who are interred in caskets and vaults, just lay there and rot. Cremains also are wasted when locked inside urns - much better to be scattered where they have a chance of doing some good.

Oh, sorry - got away from the original question. Do I think Jesus actually existed? Nope!  Totally made up by shamans/priests who saw religion  as a way to profit from and control the population. Some people seem so afraid of dying and thinking for themselves that they tend to grab on to anything that gives them hope. If they would just accept that we all die at some point and get on with their lives, they would be a lot happier with fewer worries.

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GlitterRose

Geez...at least I started out on topic. 

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Mr Walker
5 hours ago, ChaosRose said:

Historians do generally agree...without much evidence. And because it's taboo to actually question it too much. 

The bits they do have are very questionable. 

Ultimately, I think in grasping at straws to cling to a literal, historical Jesus...a lot of people miss the message. Which is be awesome to each other. 

No that is not true.

Historians apply the same if not more rigour to this question than  all others Academic historians accept that  the historical jesus was a real person.  he was born around the time and place attributed to him   e was baptised by john  he taught a specific school of rabbinical judaism which he had clearly learned as a young man.

  He was crucified a the behest of  the   judaic school in power a the time which also killed, or had killed, many of their opponents ( a more moderate school who were strongly challenging the for authority and power ) An ironical aside is that the liberal judaism taught by christ is the modern form of judaism and replaced the more zealous form when it was overthrown ( It is Known as the hillel school after father and son rabbis)     He was a preacher and teacher who established a local following

 And saul paul,  who was also real, reinvented the teachings of christ to create the beginnings of modern christianity.  There was a net work of shrines and churches within years of christ's death and  20 years after his death it was so widespread that a synod had to be called to  organise and formalise the church. While it began as a form of judaism, by about AD 70 it was so different and  its followers so numerous, that the roman empire altered their taxation laws to tax christians differently from  jews All that is a matter of historic record.

Historians generally agree that the gospels were written within one lifetime from christ.s death although it is hard to be precise . One could have been written by a living witness, the others a bit later,  from oral stories recollections etc of his followers.

 Acts was written about 62 AD, 30 or so years after christ's death.  The gospel of mark was written about AD 70 , 40 years after his death, and  Matthew and Luke sometime in the 80s and 90s , still only 50- 60 years after his death

One can't miss christs message if one reads the gospels  The rest of the message is a construct of pauls, and those who put together the bible we read today.  

Christs message from his heart, as a jewish preacher to his congregation,  is as important as that of buddha or any other religious leader The promise of the bible is a different,and belief driven, thing.

But christs template for how to live a life on earth today remains as true today as it did 2000 years ago 

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Mr Walker
6 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Even if he was a real persons. It more like he gave a cliff notes version of Judaism. Probably with a few additions due to mixing of cultures. Not a miracle man.

Pretty important cliff notes on how to live a human life:)  However it happens that  i agree with you. :) 

The message of salvation, eternal life etc., and the miracle working of the gospels,  is a belief based one requiring faith, and open to people to choose or disregard.

HOWEVER, the template christ provided on how to live; in the world, but not of the world, how to think of self and others, what is truly important in a person's life,  how to act from love, his social justice messages etc., are the most important and practical part of his story. 

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Will Do
2 hours ago, Mr Guitar said:

I'm of the opinion that humans, much like cows, butterflies, starfish, trees, or any other biological, living thing, function (live) until their systems wear out and they die, after which they break down into their molecular/atomic components. Some, like trees/plants and animal species who are not ceremoniously buried can then become nourishment for newer generations. Humans, OTOH, who are interred in caskets and vaults, just lay there and rot. Cremains also are wasted when locked inside urns - much better to be scattered where they have a chance of doing some good.

Oh, sorry - got away from the original question. Do I think Jesus actually existed? Nope!  Totally made up by shamans/priests who saw religion  as a way to profit from and control the population. Some people seem so afraid of dying and thinking for themselves that they tend to grab on to anything that gives them hope. If they would just accept that we all die at some point and get on with their lives, they would be a lot happier with fewer worries.

Unless you think for yourself there is no hope of surviving to eternal life.

Accepting Jesus died for you, or not.

 

 

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Guyver
5 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Well consider this. Even if the biblical Jesus didn't exist. What was the real meaning behind "his" message? On UM we've had this particular debate for as long as I can remember. It's a reoccurring thing.

OK....so I picked a topic that's been done before.  Then let it rip and talk about whatever.  For me, I'm just getting to the point where I'm almost willing to consider that this whole deal which has effected so much of this planet may just be completely fabricated......and I'm willing to say it out loud.  Alright?

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Guyver
3 hours ago, Mr Guitar said:

I'm of the opinion that humans, much like cows, butterflies, starfish, trees, or any other biological, living thing, function (live) until their systems wear out and they die, after which they break down into their molecular/atomic components. Some, like trees/plants and animal species who are not ceremoniously buried can then become nourishment for newer generations. Humans, OTOH, who are interred in caskets and vaults, just lay there and rot. Cremains also are wasted when locked inside urns - much better to be scattered where they have a chance of doing some good.

Oh, sorry - got away from the original question. Do I think Jesus actually existed? Nope!  Totally made up by shamans/priests who saw religion  as a way to profit from and control the population. Some people seem so afraid of dying and thinking for themselves that they tend to grab on to anything that gives them hope. If they would just accept that we all die at some point and get on with their lives, they would be a lot happier with fewer worries.

Hello Mr. Guitar, I also play guitar.  Anyway, I've taken a long time to get to the place where I'm at now.  Christianity was a very large part of my life, for a long time.  So, I see fear in the religion.  I don't accept fear as being something that would come from Loving God.  So, while I respect the beliefs of people in the sense that I recognize their right to believe them, I find too much contradiction in the doctrines of Christianity to be able to accept it any longer.  I actually think the Buddhists are better Christians than Christians, and they don't even believe in God.  But I guess that's another topic.  

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Guyver
1 hour ago, Will Due said:

Unless you think for yourself there is no hope of surviving to eternal life.

Accepting Jesus died for you, or not.

 

 

I don't see why a person needs that.  And no offense to you or your beliefs, but any "new age religion" that needs to bring Jesus into it is just off, IMHO.  The reason is that the notion of Jesus the way the Christians teach is based upon the doctrine of original sin, which came from Paul.  Jesus didn't believe that.  He said the little children already were saved, and had angels.  He also said that he didn't come to call the righteous but sinners, to repentance. 

So, original sin being the reason that someone needs a savior, is just off to begin with because it assumes that God cursed the very creation that he made, plus all the people in it.  

I can't accept God being like that at all, and further.....the bible itself is conflicted about his actual nature which makes the whole thing more dubious IMHO.  

 

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Guyver

In the book of James the bible says something about relgion.  It say that pure and undefiled religion is the kind that helps other people in need.  And I know that's what you believe Will and I believe it too.  But so do atheists.  So, it's not common to just Christian people, at all....nor is it common to just Jesus' teachings, because others taught this too.  

In any event, the point is that one can consider "religion" and all that implies....and yet see that the only real religion taught by the bible is the one that the religious Christian type people don't really talk too much about.  

The word religion is used 6 times in the bible.  The only time it's used positively (that is without debate) is the reference in James which speaks to a religion that any good person can practice.  

 

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Guyver

Anyway, I guess I just needed to say that.  So thank you all for listening, and talk about whatever.  

PS.  Please remember that i'm new here.  Even though I was here years ago, just coming back to it now means I don't know what's been going on for the last many years.  

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XenoFish
34 minutes ago, Guyver said:

OK....so I picked a topic that's been done before.  Then let it rip and talk about whatever.  For me, I'm just getting to the point where I'm almost willing to consider that this whole deal which has effected so much of this planet may just be completely fabricated......and I'm willing to say it out loud.  Alright?

I think all of it is just a work of historical fiction. Every single religion on this planet came out of the minds and imaginations of mankind. Mostly as a means of creating a meaning in a world were none exist.

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Will Do
5 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Well consider this. Even if the biblical Jesus didn't exist. What was the real meaning behind "his" message? On UM we've had this particular debate for as long as I can remember. It's a reoccurring thing.

Jesus did and does exist. But he is not the biblical Jesus. Why is this true? Because Christianity is the religion about him, compromised, a distortion of his message. Christianity is not Jesus's religion.

 

6 hours ago, XenoFish said:

Well consider this. Even if the biblical Jesus didn't exist. What was the real meaning behind "his" message? On UM we've had this particular debate for as long as I can remember. It's a reoccurring thing.

His real message is NOT the message of Christianity -- that, if you accept Jesus was sacrificed to appease an angry God, you will be rewarded with gaining entry into the kingdom of eternal life, for basically, that's right, doing nothing.

No.

His real message was -- if you realize that God is actually your Father, which makes you his son or daughter, and if you take this serious enough to begin to sincerely and as best you can live up to this realization, to begin to be about the business of doing his will like every good child naturally wants to do for their earth father, to please him; then you will experience birth for the second time, and because of this, you will begin to grow spiritually and eventually be delivered from the fetters of the limitations of a solely material existence, and ultimately result in the progressive ascent up through several successive stages to life eternal.

 

"In my Father's house, there are many mansions"

 

 

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Will Do
1 hour ago, Guyver said:

In the book of James the bible says something about relgion.  It say that pure and undefiled religion is the kind that helps other people in need.  And I know that's what you believe Will and I believe it too.  But so do atheists.  So, it's not common to just Christian people, at all....nor is it common to just Jesus' teachings, because others taught this too.  

In any event, the point is that one can consider "religion" and all that implies....and yet see that the only real religion taught by the bible is the one that the religious Christian type people don't really talk too much about.  

The word religion is used 6 times in the bible.  The only time it's used positively (that is without debate) is the reference in James which speaks to a religion that any good person can practice.  

 

Perhaps this will give you something to chew on:

 

The Real Nature of Religion

 

RELIGION, as a human experience, ranges from the primitive fear slavery of the evolving savage up to the sublime and magnificent faith liberty of those civilized mortals who are superbly conscious of sonship with the eternal God.

101:0.2

Religion is the ancestor of the advanced ethics and morals of progressive social evolution. But religion, as such, is not merely a moral movement, albeit the outward and social manifestations of religion are mightily influenced by the ethical and moral momentum of human society. Always is religion the inspiration of man’s evolving nature, but it is not the secret of that evolution.

101:0.3

Religion, the conviction-faith of the personality, can always triumph over the superficially contradictory logic of despair born in the unbelieving material mind. There really is a true and genuine inner voice, that “true light which lights every man who comes into the world.” And this spirit leading is distinct from the ethical prompting of human conscience. The feeling of religious assurance is more than an emotional feeling. The assurance of religion transcends the reason of the mind, even the logic of philosophy. Religion is faith, trust, and assurance.

 

 

True Religion

101:1.1

True religion is not a system of philosophic belief which can be reasoned out and substantiated by natural proofs, neither is it a fantastic and mystic experience of indescribable feelings of ecstasy which can be enjoyed only by the romantic devotees of mysticism. Religion is not the product of reason, but viewed from within, it is altogether reasonable. Religion is not derived from the logic of human philosophy, but as a mortal experience it is altogether logical. Religion is the experiencing of divinity in the consciousness of a moral being of evolutionary origin; it represents true experience with eternal realities in time, the realization of spiritual satisfactions while yet in the flesh.

101:1.
101:1.3

The divine spirit makes contact with mortal man, not by feelings or emotions, but in the realm of the highest and most spiritualized thinking. It is your thoughts, not your feelings, that lead you Godward. The divine nature may be perceived only with the eyes of the mind. But the mind that really discerns God, hears the indwelling Adjuster, is the pure mind. “Without holiness no man may see the Lord.” All such inner and spiritual communion is termed spiritual insight. Such religious experiences result from the impress made upon the mind of man by the combined operations of the Adjuster and the Spirit of Truth as they function amid and upon the ideas, ideals, insights, and spirit strivings of the evolving sons of God.

1,105

Religion lives and prospers, then, not by sight and feeling, but rather by faith and insight. It consists not in the discovery of new facts or in the finding of a unique experience, but rather in the discovery of new and spiritual meanings in facts already well known to mankind. The highest religious experience is not dependent on prior acts of belief, tradition, and authority; neither is religion the offspring of sublime feelings and purely mystical emotions. It is, rather, a profoundly deep and actual experience of spiritual communion with the spirit influences resident within the human mind, and as far as such an experience is definable in terms of psychology, it is simply the experience of experiencing the reality of believing in God as the reality of such a purely personal experience.

101:1.5

While religion is not the product of the rationalistic speculations of a material cosmology, it is, nonetheless, the creation of a wholly rational insight which originates in man’s mind-experience. Religion is born neither of mystic meditations nor of isolated contemplations, albeit it is ever more or less mysterious and always indefinable and inexplicable in terms of purely intellectual reason and philosophic logic. The germs of true religion originate in the domain of man’s moral consciousness, and they are revealed in the growth of man’s spiritual insight, that faculty of human personality which accrues as a consequence of the presence of the God-revealing Thought Adjuster in the God-hungry mortal mind.

101:1.6

Faith unites moral insight with conscientious discriminations of values, and the pre-existent evolutionary sense of duty completes the ancestry of true religion. The experience of religion eventually results in the certain consciousness of God and in the undoubted assurance of the survival of the believing personality.

101:1.7

Thus it may be seen that religious longings and spiritual urges are not of such a nature as would merely lead men to want to believe in God, but rather are they of such nature and power that men are profoundly impressed with the conviction that they ought to believe in God. The sense of evolutionary duty and the obligations consequent upon the illumination of revelation make such a profound impression upon man’s moral nature that he finally reaches that position of mind and that attitude of soul where he concludes that he has no right not to believe in God. The higher and superphilosophic wisdom of such enlightened and disciplined individuals ultimately instructs them that to doubt God or distrust his goodness would be to prove untrue to the realest and deepest thing within the human mind and soul—the divine Adjuster.

 

 

Edited by Will Due
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Susanc241

"2)Well. I found no personal subjective evidence for any type of God having any influence within my life. I figure that my brain just isn't wired to believe like a lot of people are. Maybe it's a pro or a con of evolution. Life is a random chaotic and in many regards futile."

From my perspective, couldn't have put it better.  As to Jesus, I have always believed he probably did exist but he was nothing more than a charismatic teacher, 100% human, certainly not the 'son of God'.  He may have been a composite of several people on which the bible Jesus's life was based.

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eight bits

Guyver

Welcome back.!

Quote

Josephus being probably the most likely source of any accurate information doesn't really say jack about jesus.  Isn't that right?

Right, if Josephus wrote anything "about Jesus," then it was probably IMO a mention that the Christian movement, which Josephus' readers in 93 CE would've heard about, was said to date back to the term of Pontius Pilate in Judea (Antiquities, Book 18). I do not believe he wrote anything about Jesus of Galilee's brother, James (supposedly, two or three words in Book 20).

Quote

It's just so tedious.

If you've got Jewish Wars handy, then permit me to recommend Book 6, chapter 5, section 3. I think you'll find that that part moves along very crisply.

http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/war-6.htm

Quote

For me, I'm just getting to the point where I'm almost willing to consider that this whole deal which has effected so much of this planet may just be completely fabricated......and I'm willing to say it out loud.  Alright?

More than all right. Regardless of whether or not there was a real man who gathered the first Christian apostles (or whoever Paul's Peter-Cephas, one or two Jameses and one John were), what reaches us about Jesus' life and career from ancient sources is heaviily fabricated. That's just about the safest bet you could find. Completely fabricated cannot be ruled out, but heavily is a lock.

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DieChecker

Did Jesus actually exist?

If we're giving opinions, then I'm going to say... Yes, he did live and breath and eat and teach and die on a cross.

If we're going to ask for proof.... I'm going to have to say that many scholars of middle eastern history think the probability is high that there was a teacher who claimed to be the Christ and was named Jesus. BUT... other then circumstantial evidence, there isn't much proof which hasn't had the chance of being tampered with. 

I do agree with ChaoRose that the teachings of Jesus are more important then a fight over if he was real, or imagined.

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fred_mc

Yes, I think that he probably did exist, most historians think so. However, I think that the historical Jesus probably was pretty different from the Christian Jesus. You can see in the gospels that more and more details have been added in the gospels the later they have been written, probably the oldest gospel with least details is the most accurate, and it doesn't even mention the resurrection.

You can see similar things with modern religion founders like L Ron Hubbard, more and more details have been added and it is hard to know what is true or not.

I'm thinking that evidence for the existence of Jesus might have been destroyed during the first centuries AD when there was much persecution of Christians. If Roman officials would have found evidence for the existence of Jesus during that time they would probably have been quite eager to burn it since they wanted to get rid of all Christians, that everybody should worship the Roman Gods.

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Guyver
7 hours ago, eight bits said:

Guyver

Welcome back.!

Right, if Josephus wrote anything "about Jesus," then it was probably IMO a mention that the Christian movement, which Josephus' readers in 93 CE would've heard about, was said to date back to the term of Pontius Pilate in Judea (Antiquities, Book 18). I do not believe he wrote anything about Jesus of Galilee's brother, James (supposedly, two or three words in Book 20).

If you've got Jewish Wars handy, then permit me to recommend Book 6, chapter 5, section 3. I think you'll find that that part moves along very crisply.

http://sacred-texts.com/jud/josephus/war-6.htm

More than all right. Regardless of whether or not there was a real man who gathered the first Christian apostles (or whoever Paul's Peter-Cephas, one or two Jameses and one John were), what reaches us about Jesus' life and career from ancient sources is heaviily fabricated. That's just about the safest bet you could find. Completely fabricated cannot be ruled out, but heavily is a lock.

Thank you for the welcome.  I trust this is the passage you referred.

"Moreover, at that feast which we call Pentecost, as the priests were going by night into the inner [court of the temple,] as their custom was, to perform their sacred ministrations, they said that, in the first place, they felt a quaking, and heard a great noise, and after that they heard a sound as of a great multitude, saying, "Let us remove hence." But, what is still more terrible, there was one Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, who, four years before the war began, and at a time when the city was in very great peace and prosperity, came to that feast whereon it is our custom for every one to make tabernacles to God in the temple, (23) began on a sudden to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!"

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Guyver

Excellent find, I had not seen it before.  At least, that I recall.  

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Aquila King

I've posted this before on other threads, but it pretty much sums up my view on the matter.

 

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Minimalists
18 hours ago, Guyver said:

Josephus being probably the most likely source of any accurate information doesn't really say jack about jesus.  Isn't that right?  I mean, I've got his complete works, and I've read sections (The Jewish Wars) a couple of times.....but oh.....I'd rather get punched in the throat than spend 50 hours of study on that work.  It's just so tedious.   

Well he does in in Antiquities 18.3.3 

http://www.josephus.org/testimonium.htm

Of course this passage has been claimed by many to be a forgery.

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Aquila King
6 minutes ago, Alien Prophet said:

Well he does in in Antiquities 18.3.3 

http://www.josephus.org/testimonium.htm

Of course this passage has been claimed by many to be a forgery.

No, it has been proven by many to be a forgery.

http://www.truthbeknown.com/josephus.htm

Excerpt from the above article:

 

Spoiler

 

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.

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."

 

 
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