Skip to comments.Contemporary Scholarship and the Historical Evidence for the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
Posted on 10/13/2001 1:56:56 AM PDT by lockeliberty
click here to read article
There most certainly is. Frankly, I doubt you even read the article. If you had, you would have attacked the historical evidence instead of claiming there isn't any.
The evidence of Jesus' life is the fact that Chistianity got started. In Jerusalem at the time the movement started, there were many people who had either seen or not seen the events happen. The apostles would have been laughed at had there been no such person as Jesus. As noted in the article above, the earliest Jewish polemics presuppose Jesus' tomb was empty by saying that the disciples removed the body. That they say there was a body in the first place means that the earliest enemies of Christianity, who had seen the events themselves and cannot be accused of making stuff up to support the very people they were killing, say Jesus existed. Should I believe them, or you?
The article also explains why, not only did Jesus have to have lived, he had to be resurrected. I'll go further and add that He had to fit the requirements for the Messiah, several of which he could not have faked. They include his own execution.
Yet you made an argument as if the points in it had never been made. If you read it, you just made your standard reply.
The author attempts to build his case strictly on biblical sources
And there's nothing wrong with that.
none of the writers of the New Testament were even alive at the time that Jesus allegedly lived.
Any proof of that?
Certainly someone who had done as much as Jesus did would have earned at least a footnote in non-biblical sources besides the passing reference made by Josephus.
That's an unwarrented asumption.
Pagan resurrecting god/men were common mythical characters dating to Sumerian times. There is no "historical fact" known about Jesus Christ that was not a part of some previous pagan myth. All the miracles, parables, and important events of the gospels are from stories told of previous god/men.
The Christian sect of Judaism was the creation of educated Alexandrian Jews who were steeped in the culture of the Greeks. They melded a popular Pagan Resurrecting god/man myth with the Jewish Messiah concept. The Jews for the most part weren't interested because they wanted their Messiah to be a military conqueror not a spiritual savior. Instead, Christianity found its most enthusiastic followers from among the uneducated slaves and disenfranchised commoners of Rome. The rise of literalist scriptural Christianity was attended in large measure by roving mobs of ignorant fanatical zealots whose primary task was the practically complete destruction of Pagan civilization. They also destroyed Gnostic Christianity in the process. You may have recently noticed that this is the characteristic attitude of certain present day religious fanatics toward Western Civilization.
Lazarismus, as it is called today, is a disease resulting from the consumption of garbanzo beans as the principle ingredient in one's diet. The effect after some weeks of this diet is to render the victim almost completely paralyzed. This was not historically uncommon in the middle east and recently occurred to large numbers of people in P.O.W. camps in that part of the world during WWII. Lazarus' medical chart, had he been visited by a competent modern day physician, would probably indicate a pathological preference for humus.
At least four, and possibly up to nineteen (depending on whether or not they were all in on the entire plan) chose to die for a lie on 9/11. So much for that argument.
The reference by Josephus was a later addition to his writings by a Christian forger. This has been proven by comparing Josephus' writing style with the obviously anachronistic grammar used by the forger in the early copies where the forgery occurred. The earliest copies do not include the reference to Jesus. In addition the reference is out of place with respect to the narrative and was obviously inserted without much thought.
"Objective" meaning anti-Christian. Instead of simply refering me somewhere else, why don't you make the arguments yourself?
Relying exclusively on the self referential scriptures of any religion for the validation of its historical authenticity is commonplace among the believers.
Christianity obviously got started somewhere. You assert(with no proof whatsoever) that it was invented in Egypt. I could take that on faith, but I won't. The early Christians were often killed for their beliefs. Would you suffer and die for a belief you knew to be false because you invented it? If it were invented in Egypt, they'd have a problem: everyone in Jerusalem would know it was total bunk. Not only that, but some people, such as traveling merchants, would have been there at the time and been in Egypt when Christianity was invented. If it started too late for witnesses to confirm or deny, that in itself would be a problem, because if it were true there would already be Christians. The lack of Christians would ruin the whole thing.
If something like the story in the Gospel didn't happen, there'd be no Christians and thus no Scriptures.
The rise of literalist scriptural Christianity was attended in large measure by roving mobs of ignorant fanatical zealots whose primary task was the practically complete destruction of Pagan civilization.
You're projecting your image of modern fundamentalists, with coloration provided by Islamists, on to ancient Christians. It doesn't fit. Classical civilization was destroyed by geopolitical events, and such of it as did survive was saved by Christians. In the East it didn't fall at all, it simply evolved into a new form(which was destroyed by Turks).
Your argument's been raised already, and answered. You might die for a lie that you believe, but if you are yourself the liar, almost certainly you won't. There might be situations it could happen ("The judge said, 'Son, what is you alibi? If you were somewhere else then you won't have to die.' I said not a word, though it meant my life, for I had been in the arms of my best friend's wife." Long Black Veil, Dave Matthews Band) but not with so many people.
So much for that.
If I were a Calvinist, that wouln't be a problem. Since I'm not, it is, but not a hard one. As your ally Vercingetorix notes, the Jews were expecting a military leader, not a sacrificed Lamb. The religious leaders of the day had been attacked by Jesus and put him to death, and they led the people against Christianity. The people had called for Barnabas to be saved, not Jesus. But this predisposition against Christianity is nothing next to what would exist if there were no such person as Jesus. If that had been the case, no one could have taken Christianity seriously, let alone converted to it, let alone died for it.
The problem for these other theory's is the Roman soldiers would have been killed themselves if Jesus would have been let off the cross alive, therefore they thrust a spear into His side to insure death. This also had to be done to fullfil several prophecies. They pierced Him, He was dead, no doubt about that. He was seen walking around for 40 days after His resurection by many. You also must remember He had been beaten so much that it marred His visage, according to Isaiah, so some may not have recognised Him right away. The Bible has proven to me to be trustworthy and historicaly true. To my knowledge, it has never been proven wrong.
If you keep your eye on the big picture, Jesus was sent here to die and purchase His Bride. The miracles, The speeches, and all the extras were just to fullfil prophesy and prove who He was. We either accept His gift or not. A human heart is dark beyond explaination. I believe Jesus could come and preach at any church today in the flesh and some would throw Him out. My job is to testify, the Holy Spirit brings belief. Without the Holy Spirit, a person can't belive even with the proof right in front of them.
I chose that particular reference because the authors are Christians. A Christian who really wants to know how Christianity originated is an exceedingly rare person. Freake and Gandy were students of Arnold Toynbee. They spent years in search of the historical Jesus. They never found him. What they found instead is in their book.
"Christianity obviously got started somewhere. You assert(with no proof whatsoever) that it was invented in Egypt. I could take that on faith, but I won't." -- A.J.
Don't take it on faith. Undertake the search yourself. While you are at it you might see what you can find out about the origins of Judaism. The original god of the Jews was the tribal genie of the Bedouin Khabiru who occupied and activated a volcano in northwest Arabia. The Hebrews learned of monotheism during the Babylonian Captivity -- another case of cross-cultural insemination leading to the birth of a novel religious form.
"The early Christians were often killed for their beliefs." -- A.J.
Some were. Far more Pagans and Gnostics were killed by the Literalist Roman Church though. The persecutions were in reality very mild and generally done as a last resort effort to quell the rising disruption brought on by the unruly mobs of Christians many of whom demanded martyrdom in order to go quickly to their eternal reward. Often, the Roman official who refused to grant such a request was himself put to death by the Christian mob. These little anecdotes from the early days of the Church do not often make their way into the children's catechism. Remember that the victor writes history to suit himself. The literalist Roman Church was victorious and most of the more sordid references to its early days have been removed from the popular histories or they would never have been published. You have to dig a little deeper if you want the whole story.
"If something like the story in the Gospel didn't happen, there'd be no Christians and thus no Scriptures." -- A.J.
It is the other way around. The stories came first. The Mystery Cults of Dionysus, the temple at Eleusis, the symbolic resurrections of 30,000 followers at a single event, were well known to most people of that time. Christianity is just one such cult with many variants. The variant that became the literalist Roman Church destroyed the others because of its ruthless nature and the reliance on dogma and literal historicity. For followers of the other resurrecting god/man cults the lessons of the religion were entirely spiritual and allegorical. No historical factuality was assumed or necessary once the follower had been initiated into the "Mystery."
"You're projecting your image of modern fundamentalists, with coloration provided by Islamists, on to ancient Christians. It doesn't fit." -- A.J.
I beg to differ. By their acts you shall know them. Wholesale destruction of anything and everything written was responsible for the demise of Pagan Civilization. Even owning written material could result in death at the hands of the Christian Mobs. The Taliban are well mannered and thoughtful preservers of alternative creeds by comparison with the early Christians who even destroyed what was best and truest in their own tradition in favor of a few paltry texts that were largely copies of each other or later forgeries that supported the political motivations of the orthodox hierarchy of Rome.
the tin foil hats shielding us from the Blood of Jesus?
Evidently you've never experienced much of the reality of that Precious, priceless Blood. Perhaps you will. There's nothing more powerful in the univers . . . unless maybe it's His Love . . . but then that's what caused His Blood to be shed.
No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. - John 6:44
Christianity is not an intellectual pursuit (though it is not to be considered intellectual suicide!), rather it is the drawing by Christ to Himself of His elect, foreordained according to the Father's purpose. Praise God, "Salvation is of the LORD".
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