Did Jesus exist?
There are a lot of people that leap at the idea that he was completely made up and never existed. The scholar Bart Ehrman who has written a number of critical books on modern christian ideas and biblical interpretations into a scholarly context of history says people who suggest that Jesus never existed "Just make themselves look silly." But then he also said he is the same guy who said “The Christians did not invent Jesus. They invented the idea that the messiah had to be crucified.”
He wrote the book "Did Jesus Exist?" in which he wrote:
- “The problem then with Jesus is that he cannot be removed from his time and transplanted into our own without simply creating him anew.”
The real problem is the more doctrines Christians invent the less they seem to know about the real Jesus and the less they know about the real Jesus the more they give the real Jesus a bad name.
Religious movements with no grounding in reality whatsoever are almost none existent. Yet thousands of people are dying and being persecuted, having their property seize and their bodies dismembered and even set on fire. That is a lot to expect from followers who had no Bible, no Churches and a supposedly made up founder.
Did any independent historian talk about Jesus?
Of course, Paul has two brief meetings with Jesus’ brother James. Since James’ existence could have been verified to the readers of Paul it would have been foolish to make him up.
Josephus was a Roman-Jewish historian who supposedly wrote the Testimonium Flavianum—an ‘early’ reference to Christ. Some, however, think it is fake. But Josephus’s works also include a much less known passage that is not disputed.
In Book 20 of his Antiquities of the Jews there is a clear reference to the execution of “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James”.
Publius Cornelius Tacitus was a senator and a historian of the Roman Empire. The Great Fire of Rome was talked about extensively by Tacitus who reported suspicions that the fire was set and then blamed on others who were already not very popular with Romans. He wrote: “Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus.”
Was there archaeological evidence that Christ existed?
What is the meaning of archaeological evidence?
The archaeological record is the body of physical (i.e. not written) evidence about the past. It is one of the core concepts in archaeology, the academic discipline concerned with documenting and interpreting the archaeological record.
What we usually call archaeological record are usually found in the ground. What would you expect to find as an archaeological record of Jesus?
We know that James was Jesus brother and that he lived and we appear to have found his bone box. The Ossuary or bone box immediately came into question and the Israeli police arrested the collector who found Ossuary on suspicion of forgery. But the case was thrown because those experts who were making these accusations were evidently lying and the inscriptions appear to be authentic.
The Ossuary or bone box of Caiaphas the high priest was also found containing bones and for some unknown reason also contained three spikes that could have been used in a crucifixion.
There are discrepancies in the Bible but these do not affect the message of the Gospel. The ancient prophecy saying the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem begs why was he from Nazareth in Mark and only later from Bethlehem in Luke and Matthew.
Jesus's Mom having stayed in Bethlehem during the birth may make Jesus a prophetic anchor baby but he would still be from Nazareth. Even Herod Antipas' Mom went to Bethlehem to give birth to little Herod just so he could improve his claim to the throne.
Piso and the Flavian Myth
Caesar's Messiah is a 2006 book of speculative non-fiction by Joseph Atwill, which argues that the New Testament Gospels were written as wartime propaganda by scholars connected to the Roman imperial court of the Flavian emperors: Vespasian, Titus and Domitian.
The Joseph Atwill's Piso/Flavian theory falls apart as soon as you find out what the character and mission of men like Moses and Jesus really was. They agreed with each other but the Pharisees did not agree with Jesus because they did not know him.
Most of the early Church were actually Jews. Like the Church in the wilderness they were actually performing services for the people cast out of the Corban of Judea which Jesus had strongly objected to.
Or why would they write that James said "But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and [your] nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation." James 5:12
These prohibitions against oaths and swearing would not be a part of the Flavian policies since an "Oath of Fidelity" was required by Vespasian, Titus and Domitian.
During the Second Persecution, under Domitian, A.D. 81, persecutions among the Christians would bring death by order of their magistrates who commonly were addressed as gods required a "test oath" to prove innocents. Modern Christians do not know why they called these men gods. Likewise, modern Christians don't understand who their actual gods are today.
It is only a lack of understanding of Jesus and The Way that allows anyone to accept Atwill's premise of a Flavian authorship. If Modern Christians would fully repent and seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness with their whole heart, mind and soul they could not be seduced by the falsehoods and misdirection of Atwill and others.
Joseph Atwill also claims that there are dozens of parallels between the Gospels and the history of Titus and his military. This requires a huge stretch of imagination. They prove nothing but the desperate hope of selling more books.
Atwill and his followers mix facts and ignore others. They fail to explain the well-documented activities of early Christians who were well known Historical characters and what they were doing. They mislead people about the persecutions of Christians and seem ignorant of the court issue that got peaceful people executed by the tens of thousands.
The makers of the film Zeitgeist try to make comparisons with many other characters of ancient history to prove Jesus was a fictional character but the sources and information they present as fact are more often incorrect or entirely fictional.
Many people are quick to jump on board their thesis for a variety of reasons but the whole truth reveals they are confused and dependent upon speculation and leaps of logic.
“Sometimes the best way to learn a lesson isn't just hearing the words, but putting it into practice by experimenting with it and finding its truth for yourself instead of taking someone else’s word for it.” ― A.J. Darkholme, Rise of the Morningstar
They are right that pagan ideas crept into what began posing as Christianity after Flavius Salerus Constantinus's First Council of Nicaea that attracted only a small number of Bishops who convened in Nicaea in Bithynia.
The people advocating that the Flavians created Christianity are mixing the creation of the Church of Flavius Salerus Constantinus with real Christians.
A thousand years later during centuries of inquisitions the Church created by Constantinus would murder millions of real Christians who were a living Church practicing Pure Religion. If people had been taught the truth about the Gospel of the Kingdom and the reason for the Christian conflict Atwill's suggestion that rebellious and violent Christians were persecuted would be seen as patently false.
Early Christians were practicing Private welfare instead of Public religion. It was the Public religion which involves the Covetous Practices that made men Merchandise and curses their children with debt.
"Fortunately for serious minds, a bias recognized is a bias sterilized." Benjamin Haydon
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." (John 8:32)
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- Bart D. Ehrman, Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
- Matthew 5:34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: city of the great King. 36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black. 37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.