T Nation

Who is Jesus?

He’s a completely mythical character.

What say you?

I think there is enough evidence to say that he did exist in one form or another. A large portion of the planet believes he did. Then again, didn?t Hitler say the bigger the lie the easier it is to get the public to believe it.

If you are talking about the Biblical version many of the events are provably historically accurate, but an individual man is rather hard to prove one way or the other.

I’m sure he existed. Probably a pretty good guy.

If you want to see an interesting perspective watch “The Man from Earth.”

I think he was probably a real person, just like Muhammad was a real person, but that his purpose and message were modified by politicians and priests over the ensuing centuries.

As a side note, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, Muhammad is “the only founder of a major world religion who lived in the full light of history and about whom there are numerous records in historical texts, although like other pre-modern historical figures not every detail of his life is known”.

[quote]forlife wrote:
I think he was probably a real person, just like Muhammad was a real person, but that his purpose and message were modified by politicians and priests over the ensuing centuries.

As a side note, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, Muhammad is “the only founder of a major world religion who lived in the full light of history and about whom there are numerous records in historical texts, although like other pre-modern historical figures not every detail of his life is known”.[/quote]

Actually there is some question as to his historical existence too.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122633888141714211.html

I think he probably existed. I highly doubt he was a god.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
He’s a completely mythical character.

What say you?[/quote]

This thread goes nowhere. It’s too predictable

Christians will say he was real, and the Christ.

Non-Christians will say he was just a man. Or, that he never even existed.

Or, maybe you’re asking about someone with a seemingly common hispanic name…

Other than in the Bible where else has this man been referenced? How come there are no historical accounts of Jesus before the Bible is written if he indeed was of significant personage? Why is our only knowledge of him from one resource (often with conflicting accounts of his personality depending on the Apostle writing about him, etc)?

Can we accept such limited knowledge of this person our “Lord and Savior”?

And anyway, why Christ? Why not Apollo or any of the other Roman or Greek demigods?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
forlife wrote:
I think he was probably a real person, just like Muhammad was a real person, but that his purpose and message were modified by politicians and priests over the ensuing centuries.

As a side note, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, Muhammad is “the only founder of a major world religion who lived in the full light of history and about whom there are numerous records in historical texts, although like other pre-modern historical figures not every detail of his life is known”.

Actually there is some question as to his historical existence too.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122633888141714211.html[/quote]

There is “some question as to” the verifiability of lots of things.

http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/

You won’t find Encyclopædia Britannica questioning that the Earth is spherical though.

With all the historical record, if you doubt Mohammed was a real person, you might as well go ahead and doubt Charles the Fat was king of France.

Lifticvs,

I’m no biblical scholar, but it was my impression that the Bible never was just one account. It was many accounts, all gathered together. Some denominations even have a different number of books in their bible. It is far from being one singular historical account.

As if we took all of the books that referenced Ghandi and put them all together into one volume, and published it that way for the next 1000 years, and then people asked “How come Ghandi is only referenced in one book??”

At least, this is how I understand it.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Other than in the Bible where else has this man been referenced? How come there are no historical accounts of Jesus before the Bible is written if he indeed was of significant personage? Why is our only knowledge of him from one resource (often with conflicting accounts of his personality depending on the Apostle writing about him, etc)?

Can we accept such limited knowledge of this person our “Lord and Savior”?

And anyway, why Christ? Why not Apollo or any of the other Roman or Greek demigods?[/quote]

There are references to him outside of the bible. Josephus mentions him, though the credibility is questionable (it could have been added, and was almost certainly at least “adjusted”). Let us also not forget Islam also holds belief in him and in their scriptures.

The earliest documented biblical accounts of Jesus are approximately 30 years after his death, so I’m not sure how much earlier of documentation you are looking for.

I think that the fact he was just a carpenter and a Rabbi in his life would make it pretty probably there would be no or few secular sources mentioning him. How many blaspheming Jewish rabbis that got crucified did Roman sources ever write about?

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
forlife wrote:
I think he was probably a real person, just like Muhammad was a real person, but that his purpose and message were modified by politicians and priests over the ensuing centuries.

As a side note, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, Muhammad is “the only founder of a major world religion who lived in the full light of history and about whom there are numerous records in historical texts, although like other pre-modern historical figures not every detail of his life is known”.

Actually there is some question as to his historical existence too.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122633888141714211.html [/quote]

You can’t ignore the fact that Mohammad was born about 600 years after the death of Christ. I’m sure this a factor in history/record keeping.

[quote]suruppak wrote:
As if we took all of the books that referenced Ghandi and put them all together into one volume, and published it that way for the next 1000 years, and then people asked “How come Ghandi is only referenced in one book??”
[/quote]

But those other texts would no doubt remain apart of some other larger record, don’t you think? (And in the digital information age it will probably happen much more abstractly than that. Information gets broken out and disseminated in its own little bits and pieces, however it might be relevant to the particular user.)

I would expect that the historical figure of Jesus would also have such a “paper trail” if this were the case.

[quote]DoubleDuce wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Other than in the Bible where else has this man been referenced? How come there are no historical accounts of Jesus before the Bible is written if he indeed was of significant personage? Why is our only knowledge of him from one resource (often with conflicting accounts of his personality depending on the Apostle writing about him, etc)?

Can we accept such limited knowledge of this person our “Lord and Savior”?

And anyway, why Christ? Why not Apollo or any of the other Roman or Greek demigods?

There are references to him outside of the bible. Josephus mentions him, though the credibility is questionable (it could have been added, and was almost certainly at least “adjusted”). Let us also not forget Islam also holds belief in him and in their scriptures.

The earliest documented biblical accounts of Jesus are approximately 30 years after his death, so I’m not sure how much earlier of documentation you are looking for.

I think that the fact he was just a carpenter and a Rabbi in his life would make it pretty probably there would be no or few secular sources mentioning him. How many blaspheming Jewish rabbis that got crucified did Roman sources ever write about?[/quote]

How would any person undertake an historical account of Jesus with out a record of his birth? If these are all just first hand accounts no one took notes and it is all from “memory”. This is highly suspect to me.

[quote]lixy wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
forlife wrote:
I think he was probably a real person, just like Muhammad was a real person, but that his purpose and message were modified by politicians and priests over the ensuing centuries.

As a side note, according to Encyclopædia Britannica, Muhammad is “the only founder of a major world religion who lived in the full light of history and about whom there are numerous records in historical texts, although like other pre-modern historical figures not every detail of his life is known”.

Actually there is some question as to his historical existence too.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122633888141714211.html

There is “some question as to” the verifiability of lots of things.

http://www.theflatearthsociety.org/

You won’t find Encyclopædia Britannica questioning that the Earth is spherical though.

With all the historical record, if you doubt Mohammed was a real person, you might as well go ahead and doubt Charles the Fat was king of France.[/quote]

That wasn’t my point, don’t get so defensive. My point is that no matter how much of a historical case you can build up about a person there will always be people, even ?experts? that will deny the evidence.

[quote]LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
DoubleDuce wrote:
LIFTICVSMAXIMVS wrote:
Other than in the Bible where else has this man been referenced? How come there are no historical accounts of Jesus before the Bible is written if he indeed was of significant personage? Why is our only knowledge of him from one resource (often with conflicting accounts of his personality depending on the Apostle writing about him, etc)?

Can we accept such limited knowledge of this person our “Lord and Savior”?

And anyway, why Christ? Why not Apollo or any of the other Roman or Greek demigods?

There are references to him outside of the bible. Josephus mentions him, though the credibility is questionable (it could have been added, and was almost certainly at least “adjusted”). Let us also not forget Islam also holds belief in him and in their scriptures.

The earliest documented biblical accounts of Jesus are approximately 30 years after his death, so I’m not sure how much earlier of documentation you are looking for.

I think that the fact he was just a carpenter and a Rabbi in his life would make it pretty probably there would be no or few secular sources mentioning him. How many blaspheming Jewish rabbis that got crucified did Roman sources ever write about?

How would any person undertake an historical account of Jesus with out a record of his birth? If these are all just first hand accounts no one took notes and it is all from “memory”. This is highly suspect to me.[/quote]

Then you should be suspect of most of history. It’s a valid stance though.

If I recall correctly, not a single new testament record exists that dates back to the time of Jesus. The earliest document (the Rylands Papyrus) is dated 130 A.D., and contains a snippet of text from John.

Many people don’t even realize the “bible” is nothing but an arbitrary collection of writings, which excludes a large number of other writings dated around the same time period, but which didn’t nicely fit into the theological biases of the Pope during the 4th century A.D.

If you accept that there were numerous prophecies in the Old Testament that were
literally fulfilled in the life and death of Jesus, then there was quite a bit of mention of Him prior to the writing of the
New Testament. As a former math teacher
I can tell you the odds of one person fulfilling so many diverse prophecies that had been written by so many other men from various walks of life over numerous centuries are astronomical.

If you accept historical accounts of the deaths of those followers of His, then it
seems they would have recanted their statements about Him rising from the dead
to save themselves.

If you don’t accept those prophecies and
records of the deaths of His followers, then
the question of who He is becomes more difficult to answer.

If He really did exist and fulfill all those prophecies including rising from the dead then I believe we would have to agree that He was the most unique individual ever to grace this planet.

I wouldn’t expect him to have much of a paper trail at all given the time period. I wouldn’t expect to find a birth certificate, and I wouldn’t expect to find remnants of a larger record, given the amount of information available to anyone at that time.

Every now and then something surfaces that may or may not be considered part of a larger record, however, like the Gospel of Thomas.