Skip to comments.Jesus Christ the Man: Does the Physical Evidence Hold Up?
Posted on 04/17/2011 8:16:00 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Jesus Christ may be the most famous man who ever lived. But how do we know he did?
Most theological historians, Christian and non-Christian alike, believe that Jesus really did walk the Earth. They draw that conclusion from textual evidence in the Bible, however, rather than from the odd assortment of relics parading as physical evidence in churches all over Europe.
That's because, from fragments of text written on bits of parchment to overly abundant chips of wood allegedly salvaged from his crucifix, none of the physical evidence of Jesus' life and death hold up to scientific scrutiny. [Who Was Jesus, the Man?]
In a documentary called "The Nails of the Cross," set to air April 20 on the History Channel, filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici tells the story of two nails allegedly discovered in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Jerusalem. He presents circumstantial evidence that seems to suggest the rusty relics once nailed Jesus to the cross.
The tomb in which the nails were found is believed by some to be that of the Jewish high priest Caiaphas, who presides over the trial of Jesus in the New Testament.
"If you look at the whole story — historical, textual, archaeological — they all seem to point at these two nails being involved in a crucifixion," Jacobovici says in the film. "And since Caiaphas is only associated with Jesus' crucifixion, you put two and two together and they seem to imply that these are the nails."
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
As another poster said, and I am shamelessly stealing, “Either you have faith or you don’t.”
If people aren't going to choose to believe based on firsthand eyewitnessing of Jesus personally, then none of them will be convinced based on even credible reports of relics being found.
Who needs “physical evidence” when you have FAITH?
If the Bible says He did, that is plenty good enough for me.
Much better to live your life as though there is a God and be wrong, than to live your life as though there is no God and be wrong..........
No need for an of this. Just read the brilliant analysis provided by Benedict XVI (sometimes called a theological Einstein) in his Book. Volume II Jesus of Nazareth -Holy Week on the chapter on the Resurrection. The best analysis ever!!!! Nothing more is needed.
There is more evidence of the birth, life, death, burial & resurrection of Jesus than any event in ancient history.
As for the Shroud. I believe it is His.
Here’s my problem with the premises of the writer:
* She drew distinctions between scientific evidence and belief as if evidence requires no belief or assumption or interpretation. The belief of Christians in Jesus life comes from textual evidence in the Bible betraying a bias that textual evidence is less credible than scientific evidence.
* Her headline also implies that evidence must be physical. This rules out logical and textual evidence and eyewitness testimony.
* It also begs questions about whether other beliefs accepted by scientists are based on physical evidence alone.
* But dubious archaeological claims, frauds and forgeries have little to do with the question of whether Jesus really lived. But she gives weight to these.
* She seemed to indicate that non-canonical gospels have equal bearing with Matthew, Mark, Luke and John on the history of Jesus: There are still other Gospels, she said, without naming them.
* She did not mention that the Gospel of Judas was written much later by Gnostics, and that the Gospel of Thomas and others have long been considered spurious by early church fathers who lived closest in time to the writing of those documents. Nor did she explore the church fathers criteria for authenticity, the social dynamics of heretics and cults who might have reasons to write spurious accounts, nor the science of textual analysis, concerned with the authenticity of texts.
* She drew a middle ground on the historicity of Jesus, quoting Marcus Borg, a secular scholar at Oregon State: We do know some things about the historical Jesus less than some Christians think, but more than some skeptics think. That judgment, though, rests on what documents one takes as credible. Borg did not question the fact that Jesus lived, but from the textual evidence, presented a synopsis of Jesus life SANITIZED of the miraculous.
Articles like the above often appear when Good Friday looms.
During this time, Secularists will pick and choose the kinds of evidence they like, draw their conclusions based on that selected evidence, filter it through their materialistic biases, and proclaim to the world that science has shown the resurrection to be a myth, congratulating themselves that they have been neutral scientists and not biased dogmatists like the believers.
Faith is faith - agreed. However, I don’t think that the thinking should be entirely left out. And while not “physical evidence” - there is the account made by Josephus, a Jewish historian born about the time Christ was crucified.
What an idiotic argument. By that standard, we have no evidence Julius Caesar or Caligula ever lived.
The existence of Christ is about as well documented as can be expected. Whether he was indeed the Son of God is a question that science or history cannot answer, of course.
True God and True Man
It doesn’t matter what the scientiists believe.
Live by your faith.
Thank you! People who put even one cent of faith into man-made relics are often lost when it is discovered that those relics were phony.
Matthew 7:7-12 - Ask, seek, knock... and when Jesus answers... whoa.
Yep - I’ve read the eye witness accounts.
IIRC, to this date, no remnants of the second temple which could be called a part of a wall or even a walkway have been proved.
Laughable. They “debunk” claims that aren’t made, ignore the feature of the Dead Sea Scrolls which proves Jesus was the Christ (their version of the Old Testament is the same that we have, and therefore proves that dozens of detailed predictions about Him were made hundreds of years of years before his birth) and as far as the Shroud of Turin goes, take as undisputed fact things that are in dispute. Then, to close the article up, they take the Histry/Discovery Channel approach and find the most liberal Bible scholar they can get ahold of to say “Jesus was what I think he was, not what the Bible and contemporary documents say he was. Neener, neener, neener.”
Lord, please just come back and end the stupidity.
You have to admit Jesus Christ’s birth is way better documented than Obama’s.
our current messiah doesn’t have a birth certificate either.
Yes, and whether she realized it or not, she was ignoring this (or ignorant of it) precisely because the textual evidence is ironclad. Tens of thousands of contemporary manuscripts, agreeing in amazing harmony, and first circulated at a time when, if their claims were false, there would be hundreds of eyewitnesses ready to debunk them.
Saying He didn't exist, or een that we don't have clear evidence He rose from the dead, is like saying that I'm not sure a battle was ever fought at Lexington, Massachusetts.
“An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah; for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”
Matthew 12: 39-40
“You have to admit Jesus Christs birth is way better documented than Obamas.”
Though skeptics might point out that JC lacks a long form BC.
Matthew 24 is an interesting read. Jesus predicted the temple would be destroyed, which did happen. The rest of Matthew 24 has still not happened. So, what? - did the author just write one fulfilled prophecy? No, I believe the temple had not been destroyed yet. Just as Jesus predicted the destruction of the temple, which was definitely destroyed in 70 AD, the rest will come pass.
No, it is not. Some texts do have inserts that say more than Joesephus intended, but the basic text is consistent with the rest of his writing. IAC, to reject the Gospels as evidence of his existence is disingenuous to say the least.
So does Julius Caesar.
If that is not enough there is plenty of moral historical evidence for Christ:
I think every single year during Easter season there’s an article on this issue. Usually in Time or Newsweek, whose existences—either physical or virtual—are questionable.
Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.
But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:2-4:7
Thomas had a similar problem. He faced it.
I place dis/non-believers in the same grouping as those who think Pete Rose should not be in the Hall of Fame.
I guess you haven't read much Josephus. I doubt there is a secular scholar anywhere who thinks the two passages that refer to Jesus are actually from Josephus. These are short passages inserted into the text almost as non-sequiturs. Josepehus was extremely long-winded. To think that he might only have given a few sentences to someone as import as Jesus is absurd.
You got it. FAITH is what is important.
Documentation clearer than barry´s....
I know what the text says. Obviously John the Baptist was to him the better known and significanrt figure. Accoding to Luke, the scion of a priestly family to whom Mary was related.The reference to Jesus is almost an aside. Even in the Gospels, we read that Herod knew him only in connection with John. We can speculate and say that Joseph knew of his family. The whole message of the gospel is the relative obscurity of Jesus, and his sudden appearence in Jerusalem ,dramatic confrontation with the powers that be, his brutal death at the hands of the authority, and the reports of his resurrection. The God of Israel incognito, disappearing almost as suddenly as he came, and leaving behind followers at first stupified by events and then emerging with quiet violence to evangelize the world.
But I do not argue.
Here’s the clincher: It’s called the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Remember, the Christ had to go away or the Comforter would not come. (John 15:7)
“And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he” (the Father) “may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the WORLD CANNOT receive, because it SEETH HIM NOT, neither KNOWETH him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth WITH YOU, and shall be IN YOU. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more, but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also......AT THAT DAY YE SHALL KNOW that I am in my FATHER, and YE in ME, and I in YOU.” John 14:16-20
That’s why when someone is filled with the Holy Ghost they glorify God in a language that they had previously not known. The experience is so amazing that Simon the sorcerer offered money for that power.
The ‘shroud’, nomatter who was covered by it, portrays a dead man; the Holy Ghost baptism testifies of one that was dead, but is alive forevermore!
"The Second Temple was completed and dedicated in around 19 BCE Herod the Great began a massive expansion project on the Temple Mount. He artificially expanded the area which resulted in an enlarged platform. Today's Western Wall formed part of the retaining perimeter wall of this platform. Herod's Temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire, along with the rest of Jerusalem, in 70 CE during the First Jewish-Roman War."
Thanks for posting. Many people, including myself at one time, think that the Wailing Wall was part of the Temple. It was actually a part of the Temple Mount retaining wall, said to have been built when the Temple Mount area was enlarged. To this date and to my knowledge, no part of the actual Temple (walls, floor, walkways) have been found, or any ruins proved to have been part of the Second Temple.
So, not only did Jesus predict the destruction (in itself significant), he also said, Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.
As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings! - Mark 13:1
Nothing now exists of these massive buildings, though scholars agree they did exist. If massive buildings can disappear, why must we have "physical" evidence before we can believe Jesus walked among these same buildings?
We have the words of Jesus, "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away." - Matthew 24:35
Contrast the total obliberation of the Jewish temple, as predicted by Jesus, with the ruins of Egypt, Greece, Rome, Babylon, Mayans, Stonehenge, ...
It doesn't take a rocket scientist, only someone willing to open their eyes.
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