Author Topic: Did Jesus Exist?  (Read 7505 times)

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Offline Chris Lamb

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2007, 11:11:24 PM »
Well according to Dr Shermer there was a fellow named "Applonius" around that time and it's claimed he was the messiah, claimed he was the son of god, claimed he could heal the sick, raise the dead, walk through walls, brought to trial, crucified, ascended to heaven, and came back to his followers.

That's not similar to Jesus?
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Offline ChrisChris

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2007, 12:19:18 AM »
Rivals of Jesus (National Geographic documentary)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

I can't vouch for the accuracy of this documentary, but it is interesting nonetheless. Enjoy.
"What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence" -- Christopher Hitchens

Offline hastrong

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2007, 08:01:45 AM »
Quote from: "Chris_Lamb"
Well according to Dr Shermer there was a fellow named "Applonius" around that time and it's claimed he was the messiah, claimed he was the son of god, claimed he could heal the sick, raise the dead, walk through walls, brought to trial, crucified, ascended to heaven, and came back to his followers.

That's not similar to Jesus?


Except that Apollonius of Tyana was never crucified, and many of the other details are claims from embellished and legendary accounts.
"Do unto crackers and grape juice as thou wouldst do unto me" -- Some long-haired hippie-cannibal-type long, long ago, in a Palestine far, far away.

Offline Jonny_eh

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #18 on: March 26, 2007, 10:17:25 AM »
Quote from: "Chris_Lamb"
Well according to Dr Shermer there was a fellow named "Applonius" around that time and it's claimed he... [could] walk through walls...


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Offline sigmadog

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #19 on: March 26, 2007, 11:24:35 AM »
Quote from: "hastrong"
Except that Apollonius of Tyana was never crucified, and many of the other details are claims from embellished and legendary accounts.


As opposed to claims about Jesus, which of course happened just like in the Bible.  :wink:
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Offline Chris Lamb

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #20 on: March 26, 2007, 11:28:51 AM »
Quote from: "hastrong"

and many of the other details are claims from embellished and legendary accounts.


"Elvis didn't do no drugs."
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Offline amber

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #21 on: March 26, 2007, 05:51:14 PM »
The vatican has a tour you can take that runs under St. Peters, under the tombs of the popes.  It's an area that has recently been excavated.  You have to sign up for the tours and they only allow 10 people at a time through the area.

Anyway, it's basically an ancient pagan graveyard, pre-Chistian.  You see a mixture religious mausoleums with greek, roman and egyptian influence.  Interestingly, the mausoleums have Christian iconography the nearer you get to the present in time.  The guide said that the images of Christ were directly influenced by images of greek and roman gods of the time - I think she mentioned Apollo.  I guess my point is that this graveyard was such a jumble of beliefs, it would follow that religions of the time influenced each other in Roman urban centers including the early formation of Christianity.  I also agree with the previous poster that said that Christianity offered a lot to non-Roman citizens.  Maybe this supports Jesus as a myth?

Offline Incognito

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #22 on: March 26, 2007, 06:14:23 PM »
I think that there could have been a guy in history, named Jesus, that had a bunch of people following him as he walked around espousing his "system of beliefs".  Much in the same way we have cult leaders today, who have groups of people hanging on every word.  As I recall, Ayn Rand had a group of people who followed her and hung on her philosophy in a somewhat similar way.

Please note that I'm saying that there could have been a Jesus, not necissarily that there was.  To quote Nigel...

Quote
This historical figure could be nothing more than a common illusionist with a trick basket full of extra loaves, and a con-man. It could be based on a really sincere man of wise words that has been expanded beyond anything he may have imagined. This person could be a complete nut case who actually thought he could cast out demons. Who knows. We'll never know. It could all be made up.

Offline cosmicvagabond

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #23 on: March 27, 2007, 12:38:51 AM »
We should get Bart Ehrman on the show to discuss this topic.
Bold ideas, unjustified anticipations, and speculative thoughts are our only means for interpreting nature... Those among us who are unwilling to expose their ideas to the hazard of refutation do not take part in the scientific game.    ---Karl Popper, "The Logic of Scientific Discovery"

Offline HarmLess168

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2007, 04:36:16 AM »
Quote from: "hastrong"
Quote from: "Chris_Lamb"
Well according to Dr Shermer there was a fellow named "Applonius" around that time and it's claimed he was the messiah, claimed he was the son of god, claimed he could heal the sick, raise the dead, walk through walls, brought to trial, crucified, ascended to heaven, and came back to his followers.

That's not similar to Jesus?


Except that Apollonius of Tyana was never crucified, and many of the other details are claims from embellished and legendary accounts.


LMAOat this one...

Offline hastrong

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #25 on: March 27, 2007, 07:57:01 AM »
Quote from: "HarmLess168"
Quote from: "hastrong"
Quote from: "Chris_Lamb"
Well according to Dr Shermer there was a fellow named "Applonius" around that time and it's claimed he was the messiah, claimed he was the son of god, claimed he could heal the sick, raise the dead, walk through walls, brought to trial, crucified, ascended to heaven, and came back to his followers.

That's not similar to Jesus?


Except that Apollonius of Tyana was never crucified, and many of the other details are claims from embellished and legendary accounts.


LMAOat this one...


Let me put it another way:
Historical Apollonius : Probably some sort of traveling healer/magician and philosopher.  But not crucified.
Appolonius of local legend and Philostratus: "Jesus Lite", but still not crucified.

I haven't watched all the NatGeo clips yet, but I believe that one claim made early on can't be true.  The Appolonius of legend is very unlikely to be based on,  or set up in opposition to, Jesus.  Philostratus never mentions Jesus, and the stories he tells in the Life of Appolonius of Tyana aren't borrowings from known Christian works,  they're independent legends.  If  Jesus and Appolonius are similar, it's because they share a common cultural background.

The borrowing is unlikely to have gone the other way, either.  If that had happened, we should have story borrowings or even a John the Baptist-style co-option attempt.
"Do unto crackers and grape juice as thou wouldst do unto me" -- Some long-haired hippie-cannibal-type long, long ago, in a Palestine far, far away.

Offline Chris Lamb

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #26 on: March 27, 2007, 01:26:59 PM »
I wasn't actually suggesting Appolonius was inspired by Jesus. I was simply suggesting it was a popular time for myth and legends to be built up around people.
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Offline sketchy

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2007, 01:21:27 PM »
I don't see a problem with an actual Jesus existing. He didn't have super powers, but he could have easily started a Jewish cult.  He gathered a few members, and it grew from there.

Look at Ron L Hubbard.  If he existed 2000 years ago and started the cult, it could easily be manipulated to fit some prophecy.  And with the progression of time, the story can be embellished to make it grandiose.

Offline SkepThickHeaded

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Did Jesus Exist?
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2007, 02:18:33 PM »
Quote from: "sketchy"
I don't see a problem with an actual Jesus existing. He didn't have super powers, but he could have easily started a Jewish cult.  He gathered a few members, and it grew from there.


Sure, why not.  But there's as much evidence for that as there is for the Jesus mythology being made up from whole cloth, or evolving from other god myths.

Once you remove the tautology of the bible as "evidence", nothing remains to base "Jesus as history" on.  In fact, the suspicious LACK of historical evidence  and references in a time/place where records really DO exist is a compelling mark against the theory.
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Offline LARDT

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« Reply #29 on: March 30, 2007, 02:48:04 PM »
Yes of course, Jesus Christ existed in the deranged mind of Paul of Tarso.

He invented the myth that shapes the Jesus of Christianity.

That does not rule out that a Yeshua ben Yoseph, probably a Rabbi, existed as a real person, and perhaps had a problem with roman authorities.

If you want to read about this issue I would recommend visiting RICHARD CARRIER's web site. He has evolved his position to mythicism, which defends that Christ did not existed as a real person. His whole life is a myth developed over a corpus of metaphors that try to convey the theological message.
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