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51
43
Jesus is historical Jesus is a popular myth
Debate Score:94
Arguments:52
Total Votes:121
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 Jesus is historical (29)
 
 Jesus is a popular myth (18)

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Beastt(43) pic



Did Jesus exist as a historical character?

Images of Jesus permeate many cultures and the story is so widely known that few ever investigate the claims.  But research has shown that with a very impressive collection of writings from the very time and region named in the Bible, there is not one mention of Jesus, or of any significant in the New Testament.  So is Jesus an actual part of history, or just a very popular myth?

Jesus is historical

Side Score: 51
VS.

Jesus is a popular myth

Side Score: 43
2 points

Historians tend to think so and wiki actually has a good piece on it , this is not to say that historians agree that Jesus was a miracle worker or the son of god but merely a human just like you or I .....

Virtually all New Testament scholars and Near East historians, applying the standard criteria of historical investigation, find that the historicity of Jesus is effectively certain[4][5][6][7][nb 1][nb 2][nb 3][nb 4] although they differ about the beliefs and teachings of Jesus as well as the accuracy of the details of his life that have been described in the gospels.[nb 5][13][nb 6][15]:168–173 While scholars have criticized Jesus scholarship for religious bias and lack of methodological soundness,[nb 7] with very few exceptions such critics generally do support the historicity of Jesus and reject the Christ myth theory that Jesus never existed.[17][nb 8][19][20][21]

The historicity of Jesus is distinct from the related study of the historical Jesus, which refers to scholarly reconstructions of the life of Jesus, based primarily on critical analysis of the gospel texts.[22][23][24] Historicity, by contrast as a subject of study different from history proper, is concerned with two different fundamental issues. Firstly, it is concerned with the systemic processes of social change, and, secondly, the social context and intentions of the authors of the sources by which we can establish the truth of historical events, separating mythic accounts from factual circumstances.[25]

Side: Jesus is historical
Quantumhead(733) Disputed
3 points

Virtually all New Testament scholars and Near East historians, applying the standard criteria of historical investigation, find that the historicity of Jesus is effectively certain

Utter bullshit.

Did historical Jesus really exist? The evidence just doesn't add up

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith. These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify. Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.

Also important are the sources we don’t have. There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased. Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within 100 years of his life. And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes (the manuscripts were preserved by Christians), the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died (they would thus have probably received this information from Christians), and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/12/18/did-historical-jesus-exist-the-traditional-evidence-doesnt-hold-up/?utm_term=.b3ad652ef1de

A Growing Number of Scholars Are Questioning the Historical Existence of Jesus

http://bigthink.com/philip-perry/a-growing-number-of-scholars-are-questioning-the-existence-of-jesus

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
2 points

Utter bullshit

What a deep and profound and well thought out response. Maybe your mum should wash that mouth out with soap and water. Or maybe you could rent a monkey to do it for her.

Side: Jesus is historical
Dermot(5461) Disputed
1 point

What a super argument .... utter bullshit .... how do you argue against that ?

My reply to your rant .... utter bullshit .... see how that works ?

Side: Jesus is historical
Beastt(43) Disputed
1 point

The problem is simply that if you look to the majority of historians, (certainly a minority think he's a myth), they tend to fail when it comes to producing evidence to support their finding. This leaves it more as a faith position than one of objective research. And the same problem is encountered when dealing with Bible scholars - while the VAST majority of them see Jesus as a historical character, none of them can produce the evidence to support that stance. It's more of a traditional belief than an objective conclusion.

The gospels aren't valid evidence. Not only are all of the authors anonymous, but two of them openly stated (Luke 1:1-4 and John 21:24), that they were not eye-witnesses. Paleographic examination agrees with modern textual criticism in showing that the gospel authors were merely people who had converted to Christianity, who thus believed the stories, and recorded them. We have no eye-witness accounts of Jesus at all.

And since we know that "Matthew" shows a very strong dependence on "Mark", as does "Luke", and "John" is the non-synoptic because it's approximately 90% original (and adds the clear claim that Jesus was God), yet still shows a reliance on "Mark", it's obvious that these gospels were chosen for their degree of agreement, from over 30 different gospels commonly read by Christians before the canon was adopted. But when the three latter authors all depended upon the first for much of their information, it makes sense that they would show some consistency in their stories. And this is typical of other myths as well.

A good number of researchers have come forward with the conclusion that Jesus is simply a very popular myth, including Dr. Richard Carrier who actually gathered all of the evidence from all sides of the issue, submitted it to Bayes Theorem, and the result was that the evidence is insufficient to support a finding of historicity.

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
1 point

Taking aside the belief that Jesus was the son of God, or God (as some people believe), I think it is entirely possible that there was a man named Jesus who did amazing things. Perhaps in a time of superstition and supernatural what was actually simple science was taken to be a miracle.

As stated in another article there are two things that are universally accepted. A man named Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and a man named Jesus was crucified by the Romans.

An interesting article, and do take into consideration the source as it is a Christian one is

http://coldcasechristianity.com/2014/is-there-any-evidence-for-jesus-outside- the-bible/

where non-Christian sources spoke of a man named Jesus in accounts that weren't meant to further Christianity.

Side: Jesus is historical

Of course Jesus existed, it's an almost unanimously agreed upon fact by historians.

What is not agreed upon, and what can never be determined, is whether he really was the "son of God" and could perform miracles.

Personally, I believe in Jesus the "man", not Jesus the "God". A lot of the stories about Jesus in the Bible have certainly been exaggerated, or even completely fabricated. The one that comes to mind is Herod ordering for all the children in Bethlehem to be murdered. It's something that has never been recorded in any historical record whatsoever.

Side: Jesus is historical
Beastt(43) Disputed
1 point

The problem that seems to evade detection by some is that they're making appeals to authority. You claim that because it's accepted by most historians that Jesus was an actual historical character, then in all probability he was. But historicity isn't made on the basis of "a lot of historians think so". It MUST be supported by evidence. So upon what evidence are these historians making the claim? The historicity of Jesus is a long held tradition. It has been assumed to be the case, based on the popularity of the stories in the Bible. But the stories in the Bible are neither credible, eye-witness accounts, or even autographed. We still don't know who most of the people were. We do (apparently), know who Paul was, but Paul himself was working from hearsay in accepting the existence of Jesus.

You can't simply say "most historians agree", and settle the matter. That's a fallacious appeal to authority. Authorities must have an evidential basis for their conclusions, and in reading six different books centered on the topic of Jesus historicity alone, none of them have presented any such evidence. And the one who tried (Bart Ehrman) fell far short of the mark.

So before you consider the case has even been well-argued, you're going to need to put forth sufficient objective evidence to substantiate the claim. No one, to this point, has done that. It's all just making the fallacious "appeal to authority", and looking no further.

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
Dermot(5461) Disputed
1 point

You keep saying " they're making appeals to authority " I know of no one on C D who is a reputable historian who can hold forth on a subject some historians have spent a lifetime studying , of course people are going to cite their sources , why are you so upset over the that ?

The fact that most historians and scholars do agree and and some like me have read why they agree is convincing enough for me but obviously not for you .

You claim you've read all the evidence and you're not convinced by it outside Christianity the Talmud speaks in some detail of the conduct of criminal cases of Israel and gathered in one place from 200-500 C.E. "On the eve of the Passover Yeshua was hanged. For forty days before the execution took place, a herald went forth and cried, "He is going forth to be stoned because he has practised sorcery and enticed Israel to apostacy." The first date of the Sanhedrin judiciary council being recorded as functioning is 57 B.C.E.

The Baptism of Jesus and Crucifixion of Jesus are considered by almost all modern scholars to be historical facts.

Regarding the Pilate Stone from Caesarea Maritima, now at the Israel Museum John P. Meier views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that, based on the criterion of embarrassment, Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader. Meier states that a number of other criteria — the criterion of multiple attestation (i.e., confirmation by more than one source), the criterion of coherence (i.e., that it fits with other historical elements) and the criterion of rejection (i.e., that it is not disputed by ancient sources) — help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event. Eddy and Boyd state that it is now firmly established that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus – referring to the mentions in Josephus and Tacitus.

Most scholars in the third quest for the historical Jesus consider the crucifixion indisputable,as do Bart Ehrman,John Dominic Crossanand James Dunn.Although scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it, e.g. both E. P. Sanders and Paula Fredriksen support the historicity of the crucifixion, but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion, and that his prediction of the crucifixion is a Christian story.Geza Vermes also views the crucifixion as a historical event but believes this was due to Jesus’ challenging of Roman authority.

The existence of John the Baptist within the same time frame as Jesus, and his eventual execution by Herod Antipas is attested to by 1st-century historian Josephus and the overwhelming majority of modern scholars view Josephus' accounts of the activities of John the Baptist as authentic.One of the arguments in favor of the historicity of the Baptism of Jesus by John is the criterion of embarrassment, i.e. that it is a story which the early Christian Church would have never wanted to invent.Another argument used in favour of the historicity of the baptism is that multiple accounts refer to it, usually called the criterion of multiple attestation.Technically, multiple attestation does not guarantee authenticity, but only determines antiquity.However, for most scholars, together with the criterion of embarrassment it lends credibility to the baptism of Jesus by John being a historical event.

For me having once believed Jesus to be a fictional character after several debates with Historians on the matter I was convinced that Jesus did in fact exist , my problem was the Jesus I was denying existed was the divine Jesus and miracle worker ; most historians are not arguing about or for a 'divine Jesus ' but merely a travelling preacher named Jesus who lived in them times .

You have reached your conclusions and would not even read the articles I sent stating the case for also you dismiss the agnostic Bart Ehrmam with a wave of the hand and elevate an unemployed blogger into your expert for your side , whys that ?

So I guess St Paul was not a real person either ?

So you believe the whole story is just a fabrication , whys that ?

Side: Jesus is historical
Beastt(43) Disputed
1 point

Another story which comes from the Bible but appears to have no valid source is among the most popular in all of the Bible - if not THE most popular. It's the "Pericope Adulterae" found at John 8:1-11 (Jesus and the woman taken in adultery). That story is not found in ANY biblical manuscript or any other writing from prior to the fourth century, nor is it found in any Bible commentary until the tenth century. It's as though it was known that the story was untrue and simply emerged out of imagination in the fourth century, but over time the information was slowly and passively suppressed.

But just stating that most historians agree that Jesus existed is NOT appropriate support for the debate. That's simply an appeal to authority. Authority means nothing. Either historians have the evidence to support that conclusion or they don't. And if they don't, then the conclusion is nothing more than a tradition (which seems likely).

So upon what evidence is this claim supported?

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
NicolasCage(506) Clarified
1 point

I should have been more specific with that.

There's historical documents which directly and indirectly mention Jesus, which is what historians use to evidence his existence.

The Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote an account in AD93 mentioning "Jesus, the so-called Christ".

We also have documents from Roman politicians which mention the execution of a man named Jesus, which took place during the reign of Emperor Tiberius and the administration of Pontius Pilate who was in charge of Judea. This can be cross-examined with the gospels and it matches the time frame.

Side: Jesus is historical
1 point

I ALWAYS considered Jesus as a historical character. I NEVER thought he didn't exist. I think he was real, he was charismatic, he was, in fact, sincere (IMHO). That doesn't make him the "Son of God", (again, IMHO).

I only wish, if he was as advertised, he wasn't killed by those who didn't care for the poor, the hungry, the sick! Those who had the money and the power. He would have given liberalism an even BETTER name and changed history for good! No conservatism, no fighting over health care for EVERYBODY, No fighting over which religion was better, no discontinuing of "Meals on Wheels" for the poor and sick, no need for a "defensive" assault weapon ... Yeah, had he lived he COULD have changed history even MORE! As President Trump would say ... "Good Guy"! I agree.

Side: Jesus is historical

Jesus was a real person, historians and archaeologists have figured out that much, but whether or not he is divine is a whole other matter entirely.

Side: Jesus is historical
Beastt(43) Disputed
1 point

That simply IS NOT true. It is a long-standing scholarly tradition that Jesus existed, as well as a long-standing historical tradition. But when you start looking for evidence, you run into some problems.

Firstly; no one seems to have sufficient evidence to support the conclusion. They just say, "well, historians agree, therefore, Jesus was historical". But if you read a few of the books which focus on the matter, you start to find that the evidence simply isn't in place.

Secondly, archaeological expeditions to Nazareth have concluded that the city wasn't occupied during the biblical time of Jesus. There is a distinct time gap in the artifacts, suggesting that Nazareth was abandoned from about the start of the first century, to around the middle of the first century. And that covers the time that "Jesus of Nazareth", was said to have lived.

You can't just simply wave off the fact that with writings from numerous historians of that very time and region - at least one of which only wrote about religious and political interests - NO ONE ever mentioned Jesus, or any significant event of the New Testament. If you are a historian, or a scholar, and you buck the trend on a major issue, you'd better start looking for other work. It's well known that you simply do not step far out of the camp of your peers. One need only look to the way Francesca Stavrakopoulou carefully steps around the question of Jesus historicity to see the need to avoid stepping on the toes of the majority in your field.

It comes down to this; either you have the evidence to support Jesus historicity, or you don't. And so far, all I'm seeing from the historical side of the debate are appeals to authority, with little to no evidence to support it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q46tjUQatgI&t;=22s

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
1 point

Jesus is historical. jesus is not a mYth like what the heck

Side: Jesus is historical
Beastt(43) Disputed
1 point

What you have offered is a claim. That's fine. That's where a debate starts, not where it ends. Now show us the evidence which supports that claim. I've read a half dozen books specifically targeting this issue, and none of them have been able to provide such evidence. So can you provide the evidence that scholars, theologians, historians, and researchers have failed to produce?

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
Dermot(5461) Disputed
1 point

So you've found zero evidence to support the issue ?

So why are you posting a debate topic on it ?

If none of the experts can convince you yet someone like Carrier can well that speaks volumes , you claimed you've studied the topic intensely yet hadn't a clue that Richard Carrier was an unemployed blogger and that's your main source ?

So tell me if you've found nothing from expert theologians , Historians and scholars in the field why do you think you will find the evidence that will satisfy you on C D ?

Your mind is made up , this debate is just you wanting to tell everyone you're right and everyone else is wrong .

Side: Jesus is historical
1 point

I do not care if you are a theist or atheist Jesus was the most influential historical character and furthered women's and slave's rights.

this letter is being written in not B.C. (before Christ), but A.D.(anno domini, translated to in the year of our lord) he seemed to leave a pretty big mark for only a fairy tail, wouldn't you say.

Side: Jesus is historical
1 point

I'd say that he likely did exist, but due to the simple fact that outside of the bible, there's so little even vaguely referring to him, I don't see him as having been such a big deal within his lifetime. There would simply be more written about him.

There is even doubt that Socrates was a real person, due to the scarcity of writings outside of Plato's. Jesus would likely, then, have made less of an impact within his lifetime.

Side: Jesus is historical
5 points

Jesus is a myth.

It simply isn't rational to suggest that Jesus existed, gained a huge following of people, created a political uproar, performed miracles, and rose from the dead, and yet; from the collection of writings from that time and region, it appears no one ever heard of him. Everything we have that refers to Jesus - from both Christian and non-Christian sources - came from at least two decades after the supposed time of his existence.

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
Mint_tea(3644) Clarified
1 point

Lol, why not?

Elvis did all that and people to this day think he's still alive, with various eye-witness accounts.

Side: Jesus is historical
Beastt(43) Disputed
1 point

We have more than sufficient evidence to suggest that Elvis is alive, and virtually no evidence to suggest Jesus ever lived.

Side: Jesus is historical
Quantumhead(733) Disputed
1 point

Elvis did all that and people to this day think he's still alive, with various eye-witness accounts.

The obvious difference is that we have a wide range of evidence proving Elvis lived in the first place, and isn't just a mythical figure invented to indoctrinate others into a cult.

Side: Jesus is historical
jeffreyone(1294) Disputed
1 point

I did not know there is someone on CD with such a degree of illiteracy........。。。。。。。。

Marvel

Side: Jesus is historical
Dermot(5461) Disputed
1 point

Who said anything about performing miracles , rising from the dead ?

This happens all the time with this argument, most Historians are arguing the case purely of Jesus the man and not Jesus the divine miracle worker .

I too argued the Historicity of Jesus in the past going on the assumption my opponent was arguing for Jesus as in a miracle worker , my opponent was doing no such thing he was arguing that a preacher named Jesus a mere mortal like you and I existed .

A lot of Historians arguing the case for are agnostic or atheist

Side: Jesus is historical
Quantumhead(733) Disputed
1 point

This happens all the time with this argument, most Historians are arguing the case purely of Jesus the man and not Jesus the divine miracle worker .

You keep saying "most historians" think this or that, as if you had somehow performed a global census on the matter, collected results and analysed them. Please do others the courtesy of separating your opinion from what is factual.

History is an academic discipline and historians deal in evidence. The very fact that you keep insisting what the opinion of "the majority of historians" is proves that there is insufficient evidence to conclude Jesus existed. Rhetoric and opinion have no place in academia.

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
1 point

The character of 'Jesus of Nazareth', and I purposely use the word character, is exactly that. He is a made up person who carries a heavy bundle of made up stories, tales and hearsay squarely on his imaginary shoulders. The character is the same as 'Robin Hood', and is a way of writing all of these stories in one smartly bound edition of fairy tales. There has never been any convincing evidence that this character was ever a real person, or that any of the stories were ever proved to have happened.

None of this ever really happened, and added to that that there is not even any proof that the so-called writers of these tales ever existed either.

Side: Jesus is a popular myth
1 point

Many scholars think that Jesus is an amalgamation of various religious prophets from those times (30-33ad). Christianity as it is today was most likely started by Paul of Tarse (Saint Paul)

Side: Jesus is a popular myth