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Old February 23rd, 2005, 03:19 PM
NapoleonXIV NapoleonXIV is offline
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WI Jesus debunked

WI some historical document (or series of same, it would probably take that much) were to be found that DID rather thoroughly and completely debunk Jesus. This is to a standard acceptable by any and all modern (and themselves credible) scholars. This would be, in other words, evidence proving conclusively that he either never existed or was completely and thoroughly a different and much less spiritually significant entity than has been depicted or surmised.

What would happen?
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 03:29 PM
Nicole Nicole is offline
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Devout Christians call it merely an incredibly clever fake. Atheists, Muslims, Jews, etc. try to convert Christians to their religion or lack thereof.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 03:39 PM
Dave Howery Dave Howery is offline
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well, the 'didn't exist' one is pretty unlikely, as it's pretty clear he did (lots of historical documents prove his existence). Only the second version ('less spiritual, ordinary guy') is really workable as a POD.... BTW, just when is this POD taking place? Medieval times? Colonial times? Now? It kind of makes a difference....
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 03:48 PM
Leo Caesius Leo Caesius is offline
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I remember reading a novel to this effect. An ossuary containing the bones of a "Yeshua bar Yaaqov" was discovered in a cave near Ramallah, along with the titulus (the placard above the cross on which was inscribed Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews in three languages). I wonder where I put it... I sold a bunch of trashy novels a few years back and that may have been one of them.

I think it's probably that most Christians would probably just ignore such a discovery and carry on with their lives as before. I'm reminded of all the millennarian cults that gave specific dates for the end of the world. Even though the various deadlines have passed, many of these groups are still in existence.
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 04:19 PM
Dave Howery Dave Howery is offline
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well, if it happened in medieval or colonial times, it's likely that the Christians of the time would burn such things as blasphemous and they'd never come to light. If it happened in the 20th century, the papers would likely survive to be discussed....
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 04:21 PM
Othniel Othniel is offline
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And if it happened during the 1st century....
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Old February 23rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
zoomar zoomar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo Caesius
I remember reading a novel to this effect. An ossuary containing the bones of a "Yeshua bar Yaaqov" was discovered in a cave near Ramallah, along with the titulus (the placard above the cross on which was inscribed Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews in three languages). I wonder where I put it... I sold a bunch of trashy novels a few years back and that may have been one of them.

I think it's probably that most Christians would probably just ignore such a discovery and carry on with their lives as before. I'm reminded of all the millennarian cults that gave specific dates for the end of the world. Even though the various deadlines have passed, many of these groups are still in existence.

I read that novel too. If I remember correctly, it was "Christian" fiction and the ossuary turned out to be an elaborate hoax so no Christological harm was done. It was pretty well-done, however.

Probably finding bones clearly those of Jesus (a tall order) is the only way to disprove the NT accounts of his divinity and resurrection. Of course you can't prove the non-existence of a person so that will never happen.

I basically agree with you about his bones. Already many more liberal denominations are gradually accepting the still heretical notion that Jesus's reappearance to his disciples and ascension may not have been an actual bodily one, so they would only be strengthened (and might even find it easier to attract skeptical, scientific-minded but vaguely spiritual people who are currently put off by dogma). Fundamentalists would simply ignore the evidence like they do with evolution. After an initial period of shock, I don't think the overall effect on Christianity would be all that great. Religion, after all, is about faith and emotion, not empirical reasoning. All those millions who actually believe they have had an encounter with Christ are not going to suddenly believe they were hallucinating.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 03:44 PM
Adamanteus Adamanteus is offline
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There's plenty of evidence that Jesus either wasn't the figure claimed of him in the Gospels, and some circumstantial evidence that he may not have existed at all, but was rather retroactively constructed after the religion ascribed to him had appeared, as a sort of founding father. The problem is that religion is not based on reason but faith, so that finding evidence against a particular belief will lead the believer either to deny the evidence or to rationalize it some way.

As an example, I point to Mormonism. There's an enormous amount of evidence that Mormonism is essentially a con game played up by Joseph Smith, with all his Egyptian hieroglyphs and such. But, you still have plenty of Mormons around who still believe it anyway.

Then there's Scientology. Some records have surfaced from that organization, in the past few years, that reveal that it's just a money making scheme. Scientology has aggressively tried to prevent this evidence from being revealed to the public, using legal and not-so-legal means to suppress it. Of course, it's too little too late. Nevertheless, Scientology is still going strong because a true believer (tm) doesn't care about evidence to the contrary.
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Old February 24th, 2005, 10:57 PM
Nik Nik is offline
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Dead Seas Scrolls & Turin Shroud.

The sect that collected what we know as the Dead Sea Scrolls seems to have been so wildly 'Extremist' that digesting the implications will take many more years.

Turin Shroud may be a medieval fake, or a medieval composite, or a palimpset beyond today's unravelling. It may have been 'restored' in antiquity and/or pre-date the Christian era...

One thing we do know: when Christianity became the official Roman religion, its teachings and its sources were sanitised.
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Old February 26th, 2005, 10:54 PM
AMBOMB AMBOMB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Howery
well, the 'didn't exist' one is pretty unlikely, as it's pretty clear he did (lots of historical documents prove his existence).
Bullshit. No historical documents prove his existence. There are no Roman government records that mention him. The only historian who mentions Jesus is Tacitus and he clearly wasn't using government records as a source because he misidentifies Pontius Pilate as a procurator when he was, in fact, a prefect. You may be thinking "What about Josephus?" The passage in his writings that mentions Jesus isn't genuine. It was written in a different style and interrupts an argument. Furthermore, Josephus was a pro-Roman Jew who proclaimed a Roman Emperor "the messiah". Click on this link: http://medmalexperts.com/POCM .
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Old February 26th, 2005, 10:59 PM
Grey Wolf Grey Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMBOMB
Bullshit. No historical documents prove his existence. There are no Roman government records that mention him. The only historian who mentions Jesus is Tacitus and he clearly wasn't using government records as a source because he misidentifies Pontius Pilate as a procurator when he was, in fact, a prefect. You may be thinking "What about Josephus?" The passage in his writings that mentions Jesus isn't genuine. It was written in a different style and interrupts an argument. Furthermore, Josephus was a pro-Roman Jew who proclaimed a Roman Emperor "the messiah". Click on this link: http://medmalexperts.com/POCM .
Apart from the fact that you usually talk shit, why would a government source be more reliable than a historian's ???!!!??

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Old February 26th, 2005, 11:41 PM
Leo Caesius Leo Caesius is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AMBOMB
Bullshit. No historical documents prove his existence. There are no Roman government records that mention him. The only historian who mentions Jesus is Tacitus and he clearly wasn't using government records as a source because he misidentifies Pontius Pilate as a procurator when he was, in fact, a prefect. You may be thinking "What about Josephus?" The passage in his writings that mentions Jesus isn't genuine. It was written in a different style and interrupts an argument. Furthermore, Josephus was a pro-Roman Jew who proclaimed a Roman Emperor "the messiah".
Aiiyyoh. Once again, if it is an interpolation (and I'm not saying it isn't), it must have been nearly contemporaneous with the original manuscript because it is in all of the earliest manuscripts and manuscript traditions. At any rate, there are plenty of historical documents attesting to his existence ("proving" his existence is a moving target, since proof can obviously be faked) even if there are no contemporaneous ones. Or is that what you mean?

Furthermore, you and your sources (Freke and Gandy, and Reitzenstein, Frazier, and the rest before them) have yet to advance a credible theory to explain this phenomenon. Dubious academic constructs like your "pagan mangina" theory or the Iranian "redeemed redeemer" myth don't stand to serious inquiry. It's as if you were arguing that Osama bin Laden wasn't responsible for 9/11, but when pressed upon your theory, you claimed "I dunno... I read in a book somewhere that someone else did it." Mere iconoclasm (such as The Jesus Mysteries) should never be mistaken for serious scholarship.
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