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The actual Jesus probably didn't exist

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Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:57 am
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thatguy1944 says...



I don't believe that the man that is written about in the bible actually existed. I believe the bible was designed and written as a moral guidebook, where stories were written and added in to illustrate how to live life "righteously". Anyone who wrote the bible never actually met jesus, so how can we know that any account of him in the bible actually happened? The way I understand it there was a prophecy saying that a child named jesus would be born and that he would be the son of god and save us all from ourselves and all that fancy business, which is great and all but what is to stop someone or a group of devoted relgious folk from just making it all up? Everything in the bible was written years after his alleged death. I personally believe that part of what created religion was the desire to control people en masse.

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Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:19 am
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shiney1 says...



I think it's a stretch to say a person named Jesus never existed. Even Islam recognizes the existence of Jesus, but in their eyes he was just an early prophet before Mohammad.

Then again, the Bible is very complicated, and if you don't see it as a truth in the first place, it will be hard to grasp in many ways. The Bible is written to guide believers. Of course anyone can read it, but it was written especially for Christians. So if you don't believe in Christ and cannot grasp the concept or don't believe it to be true, then that's correct. You are not really required to understand it.

1 Corinthians 2:14

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (NIV)

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (KJV)


So, even the Bible warns Christians that nonbelievers will see the Bible as false or foolishness.

So it depends on if you even believe in God or not.
Last edited by shiney1 on Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:23 am
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Taxi says...



Jesus Christ's existence (as a normal man) is a historical fact. Whether you believe he was more than that is up to your faith.

thatguy1944 wrote:Anyone who wrote the bible never actually met jesus, so how can we know that any account of him in the bible actually happened?


Why exactly do you say that anyone who wrote the Bible never met Jesus? (as far as I know) That's not true.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:29 am
stargazer9927 says...



It's true. We learned about him in my world religions class (apart from my church) and my teacher said they had no proof the guy who founded Buddha lived, but there was fact that Jesus did in fact live, even if some people didn't believe him to be a prophet.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:35 am
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shiney1 says...



A more important note:

Anyone who wrote the bible never actually met jesus, so how can we know that any account of him in the bible actually happened?


This statement is very false.

John, one of Jesus' own disciples, wrote the book of Revelations.
Peter, another disciple, wrote 1st and 2nd Peter.

So I have no idea where you got this notion from.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:56 am
Snoink says...



My first thought:

Image

Haven't we heard this argument before?

XD

In any case, that question is dealt with... here!





...and it continues on for much, much longer and if you don't like nudity, you should probably not watch the whole thing (although these clips are fine), but I can assure you that it's very tastefully done. :)

Also:

Spoiler! :
Image

CAT IS SWINGING FROM A CHANDELIER. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID.


Okay, okay... I'll stop geeking out about excellent Russian literature. But... um... if you want to read something awesome, Master and Margarita is the book to read. :)
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:18 am
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skwmusic says...



Something I find funny is this book called The Case for Christ. It's basically Lee Strobel's journey going from atheist to believer. I put the book down on the first chapter because of the unbelievable stupidity the pages radiated into my brain. Lee talks with a biblical scholar and the biblical scholar talks about how the people in the bible didn't write that stuff 300 or 400 years after the death of christ as many heathens claimed, it was only 30 years! And after 30 years everything is still fresh in your mind! However he never asked the key question of "What is the probability that the book is made up?", which to me almost displays that he either is a) pretending to be a bad detective, or b) a bad detective.

So instead I'll investigate the question. Why is the bible the only source that cites Jesus's resurrection?

My friend makes the argument that most people were illiterate back then, which I don't think is a terrible argument. In fact it's a pretty good argument, if you're willing to ignore the Romans. You know, took over like all of present-day Eastern Europe. No big deal. The Romans had extremely efficient communications for the time. They would have horse posts where a runner would carry a message, ride a horse, stop at one of these posts, and get a fresh horse to keep riding. News of Jesus's resurrection would've reached Rome faster than they built the crosses for his crucifixion (analogy for those of you who can't tell). Also, if the stories about Pilot being a total asshole to Jesus were true, would've they appeared in maybe one or two Roman documents? Maybe a few letters sent back and forth between colleagues. A speech or two. Wouldn't Jesus's death have been mentioned in the logs they kept? They kept logs on taxes according to apologists, which is their explanation for why the bible says Jesus is from both Nazareth and Bethlehem, why not capital punishment?

This is why I am skeptical of Jesus's actual existence. Also you have to take into account the Old Testament's historical record. A garden that never existed, a man who lived way too long, a flood that could never have happened (and didn't), slaves where slaves were naught- if you want to use the Bible as a moral guide or to learn about god's nature that's fine but don't come telling me that it has a good track record in terms of historical events.

And Buddha? He definitely existed. Siddhartha Gautama was an Indian prince who abandoned his ways for a more ascetic lifestyle. He then came to enlightenment and preached under the name "Buddha".

1 Corinthians 2:14

The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. (NIV)

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. (KJV)


That's a self-fulfilling prophecy. Of course people are going to disagree with the bible. People have something called THOUGHTS. And sometimes people have DIFFERENT thoughts. And sometimes those different thoughts CONTRADICT other thoughts. That's like if I said, "Those who do not accept liberalism are politically discerned. And they will read the holy texts of Noam Chomsky and think 'I REJECT YOUR ARGUMENT'". Oooh look at me I made a prediction that those who do not believe in liberalism won't fully appreciate liberal texts.

It's true. We learned about him in my world religions class (apart from my church) and my teacher said they had no proof the guy who founded Buddha lived, but there was fact that Jesus did in fact live, even if some people didn't believe him to be a prophet.


Guess what, your world religions teacher is wrong.

The primary sources for the life of Siddhārtha Gautama are in a variety of different and sometimes conflicting traditional biographies. These include the Buddhacarita, Lalitavistara Sūtra, Mahāvastu, and the Nidānakathā.[15] Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa, and dating around the beginning of the 2nd century CE

-Wikipedia


And google saves the day.

I advise you get a new world religions teacher. Someone who does not know basic religious history should not be teaching a class called world religions, just like I cannot walk in to a European History class and say the existence of Hannibal isn't necessarily set in stone.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:33 am
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stargazer9927 says...



skwmusic, you're getting WAY to defensive here. You're right, we all have different opinions, so why are you freaking out so much?

What you just quoted was what he taught us and what Buddha's believe, but as far as actual proof and fact he existed, we're not for sure. How old are you might I ask? I'm not a highschooler.

The earth has been around for millions of years, and humans have been around for thousands. What makes you so sure a flood never happened or a garden never existed? How would you know? Land changes, and where I live was once covered in water, but it's not anymore. You probably couldn't even tell except for the millions of rocks you dig up.

People in those days had different, newer bodies than we do today. They could marry their cousins, while we can't now. And why is that? It's because the more generations pass, our bodies get different. We can't marry our cousins anymore without problems. It's very possible he lived that long.

The bible isn't perfect, and if you try to find its flaws you'll find a lot of them, but that doesn't mean it's not true. It was translated over and over again, so of course it's not going to be perfect, but it's still his word.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 6:51 am
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Snoink says...



Lee talks with a biblical scholar and the biblical scholar talks about how the people in the bible didn't write that stuff 300 or 400 years after the death of christ as many heathens claimed, it was only 30 years! And after 30 years everything is still fresh in your mind!


Okay, so thirty years is a long time. It would be like my parents telling me about their college days. Yeah, it's not completely reliable.

But still, I am amused because, according to Wikipedia:

The time of Gautama's birth and death are uncertain: most early 20th-century historians dated his lifetime as c. 563 BCE to 483 BCE,[3] but more recent opinion dates his death to between 486 and 483 BCE or, according to some, between 411 and 400 BCE.


Of these, the Buddhacarita is the earliest full biography, an epic poem written by the poet Aśvaghoṣa, and dating around the beginning of the 2nd century CE


WHICH MEANS, according to Wikipedia:

Various collections of teachings attributed to him were passed down by oral tradition, and first committed to writing about 400 years later.


So. You are protesting the time span of 30 years and saying that Jesus couldn't have possibly existed because by then it was just some fabrication, but then you point to his teachings, written 400 years after his death and his biography, written at minimum 600 years after his death and cite that as proof of Buddha's existence? XD

Okay. Gotcha. ;)

EDIT:

Also, just as an FYI, the Christian tradition was originally carried out as an oral tradition. Romans were kind of... um... killing Christians at first? The religion was totally an underground religion, lol. Until about 300, when you have the first Roman Christian Emperor come around. And that's basically when the Roman Catholic Church officially started up and started producing these documents.

Some Christians forget this, of course, because they hate the Roman Catholic Church, and it's painful for them to think of the existence of the Church. So, don't blame them too harshly. XD

EDIT: EDIT:

Also! If you say that oral traditions don't count, yet insist on Buddha being accurate, then I swear, I am probably going to wet myself laughing. XD
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 8:08 am
inkwell says...



You've just set foot on the road to critical thinking! :D
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:13 am
Snoink says...



This is relevant: The Historicity of Jesus. For those who don't know, historicity is asking whether the history is true and analyzing the sources behind the history.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:27 am
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Kit says...



As a Christian, I honestly don't care if there was a specific Jesus, or if he was born of a virgin, or if he literally rose from the dead. Turning the other cheek, loving your enemy, that is powerful stuff, no matter where it comes from. It was thousands of years ago, everyone who was alive thousands of years ago are stories now, if their lucky. And we're writers, who's to say stories mean less, if they affect people? I think it is impressive to hear such things from someone whose enemies literally want to kill him in awful ways, but it wouldn't have been less right if it wasn't.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:58 pm
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Cole says...



You are treading on thin ice, my friends. This is a very sensitive topic for many people.

Skwmusic, The Case for Christ is extremely valuable. Strobel did not question if the Bible was made up because that is not a possibility. If you had read the entire book, you would have found a great amount of reliable evidence to support the historical accuracy of the New Testament and of the life of Christ. One of his secondary books, The Case for the Real Jesus, delves into these kinds of questions even further.

Yes, Strobel reached out to Biblical scholars... who else would know the Bible better? They are experts. The fact that they had so much evidence to back up their own claims was remarkable.

There is plenty of historical evidence that supports the existence of Christ, and evidence that verifies the New Testament.

Most of the aspects in the New Testament can be backed up by outside historical texts and sources, including the life of Jesus. In most historical texts, such as the Sanhedrin records, you can find information about the life of Jesus (It would appear as "Yeshua" or "Yeshu"), His ministry, and His death under Pontius Pilatus.

The Manuscripts:

Though we don’t have hardly any surviving originals of the New Testament, there is an unprecedented amount of manuscripts (copies of the originals) in existence today, even in the original Greek and dating back to as early as the first century. Quotes from the scriptures are scattered throughout early sermons and letters, as well. Of the Greek manuscripts, there are 5000 in existence today that are cataloged. Compared to other ancient documents, this is a phenomenal amount of preservation. In all, there are 24,000 historical manuscripts of the New Testament.

Authors:

There were four authors of the biographies of Jesus: Matthew (called Levi), John the Apostle, John Mark, and Luke. Two of them had actually been companions of Jesus (Matthew and John, two of the twelve disciples), but the other two compiled their information from the reports of the many eyewitnesses who had seen Jesus and were still alive. Luke was a physician, an acknowledged historian, and a follower of Paul.

The Gospels (and New Testament) also show no hint of bias. There are many aspects in the New Testament that reveal the authors tried their best to preserve the truth without tainting it with bias. They paint themselves in very human lights, exposing all of their faults, wrongdoings, and sins. they even make themselves look stupid sometimes. They don’t attempt to better their images in the texts. One of the biggest examples of unbias is the fact that Mary Magdalene was said to be the most beloved disciple and was the first to witness the resurrected Christ. She was a woman! This was a HUGE deal for this time period. The fact the authors recognized Mary Magdalene as one of the founders of the church and the first to see the risen Lord... this is monumental.

Finally, the sincerity of the message of Jesus’ followers is hard to question in the light of the many that died in martyrdom. Ten of the eleven remaining disciples died horrible deaths. If they were lying, they probably would not have died for it. Even those who believed in Jesus after his death and resurrection, like James (Jesus’ brother), Paul, and Stephen, were willing to die for their beliefs.

Time:

Another important thing to consider when looking at the reliability of a document is the amount of time that elapsed between the actual event and its first written account. The New Testament is first in line, and then it is Homer’s Iliad. The Iliad's first manuscript was written about 900 to 1000 years after the epic’s composition and other ancient documents fall way behind. But this pales in comparison to the New Testament. John Mark’s gospel was written around AD 55 to 60. Matthew in AD 60 to 65 and Luke’s writings were written around AD 50 to 60 (including the Book of Acts, which is a history of how Christianity was founded and how the early church was organized). John’s is the latest, having been written in the AD 80’s, yet, still in the lifetime of many eyewitnesses. All of these texts were written only a few decades after Christ’s death.

However, there is reason to believe that some of the New Testament might have been compiled even earlier. It is likely that these Gospels can be traced back to Jesus’ death, directly to the year AD 33 through oral tradition. The Jewish culture relied on oral tradition and was accustomed to memorizing long texts (many priests back in this time were required to memorize the entire Septuagint—the Hebrew Bible).

Lee Strobe, along with many other authors, explain all of this much better than I have. However, the point is that Jesus did actually live and the Gospels (and the New Testament as a whole) can be verified and backed up with a staggering amount of evidence.
Last edited by Cole on Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:16 pm
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Cole says...



And about Buddha, sources for his life did not appear in written form until more than five centuries after his death. There is more accurate information supporting the life of Yeshua of Nazareth than of Prince Siddhartha Gautama. (Not sure if you specifically mentioned that, Snoink)

EDIT:

There are both pagan and Jewish sources that validate the Gospel accounts about Jesus. Also, if liberal scholars applied the same standard of rejection of the historical evidence for Christ to other ancient historical personages, such as Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great, those two would be rejected as myth as well.

EDIT II:

thatguy1944 wrote:Anyone who wrote the bible never actually met jesus, so how can we know that any account of him in the bible actually happened?


I mentioned this before, but let me be specific. John (The Gospel of John) and Matthew (The Gospel of Matthew) personally knew Jesus for several years, followed Him during His ministry, and witnessed His death (and supposed resurrection). Your claim is completely false.
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Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:41 am
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PenguinAttack says...



I think it's incredibly difficult to believe in a person who purportedly committed miracles. For those who don't believe in Jesus as God and such, it's probably even more difficult, considering the presence of the incredible and all.

I think it's easier to believe a man existed who was probably called Jesus - I don't think it's an uncommon name in any regard. I could imagine the concept of Jesus being invented to instill concepts of ethics and morality to a culture. The Bible itself should be taken with a grain of salt, regardless of who wrote it and where it came from - people are naturally biased, even theologians and historiographers.
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