The Bible Thread: Help Fight Redundancy

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lord Bane, Apr 10, 2002.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Yada Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 1
    Oiy, vey

    The old BS about, "they made that up after the fact" is as ridiculous as it is redundant.

    The fact that the Babylonians as well as the Hebrews had it recorded in their historical texts should be sufficient proof.

    One, because the Hebrews considered it a stoneable offense to mess with the texts considered part of Holy Scripture, and would summarily dismiss from the planet anyone caught trying to change so much as one letter of what the prophets wrote; so it is hard to believe that no one objected, not the 50,000 that return to Israel nor the 450,000 that remained in Babylon. If someone were to try to fabricate scripture, their punishment would have been swift.

    Two, the Babylonians had nothing to gain by conspiring in a ruse for a God they did not believe in or worship, yet their own historians also write of it. Why?

    The trouble is, miracles have happened, and people who wish to dismiss the idea of God, a living God, who knows the future and tells His prophets about it, scares them. They have to explain things away, its a common ploy.

    Why did the Romans also write of Christ's life and death, because it did not happen? Same idea. Why would they deliberately help out the deception at the very self-same time they were killing all the Christians? Answer; they wouldn't. Their historians wrote factual accounts, not "stories" to help out the Hebrews or Gentiles who believed Jesus (God in the flesh) had come.

    Why did the Romans declare a census requiring Joseph and Mary to journey to Bethlehem were they conspiring to have Jesus born there to fulfill the scriptural prophecies? Or was that all written after the fact. The oldest Hebrew texts, still in existence are the Greek Septuagints, how is it that texts known to be around hundreds of years before Christ came also contain all the prophesies He fulfilled?
    and on, and on..yada yada

    The list I could give you is endless, but, without any desire to consider the truth, the facts will not profit you.

    When you study the writings of Herodotus, Josephus, and other ancient historians there becomes less and less doubt as to the authenticity of the accounts.

  2. sleazo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Actually there are many scholars who believe that josephus was a fraud.
  3. Wylding Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    josephus came after Christ. The texts that are referred to are prophecy that came many years before Christ and are fulfilled by his coming.

    Now, have any of you heard of this?

    "Publishing's new sensation: Dead Sea Scrolls
    Source material: The blockbuster papyrus that exposed Mary and shocked theologians - now available in 37 scholarly volumes
    By Catherine Pepinster
    25 November 2001
    Publication of the Dead Sea Scrolls ? 15,000 papyrus documents discovered in the desert that have changed scholars' views on the Bible ? is finally being completed, after more than half a century of bitter squabbling, censorship and academic controversy.

    Fifty-four years after the first of them was found in a cave in Qumran, on the north-western shore of the Dead Sea, publication of all the scrolls and fragments has been completed in 37 volumes. All but two have been published in scholarly editions, and those two are being edited.

    The scrolls are believed to have been written by a Jewish sect sometime between 200BC and early in the 1st century AD, and the first were rediscovered in a cave by a shepherd boy in 1947. The theory is that they were hidden there in 68AD during the Jewish revolt against the Romans. Others were found in nearby caves during the 1950s.

    The completion of publication is a landmark for academics and for Christians and Jews, whose most dearly held beliefs have been challenged by the scrolls ? including that of the Virgin birth of Christ, which arose from the use of the word for virgin in early Greek versions of the Bible. The scrolls reveal that this was a mistranslation: the original Hebrew word used simply meant young woman.

    Now the completion of the scrolls' publication coincides with an admission by the Vatican that it is to revise parts of the Bible accordingly, a task likely to take five years.

    Academics and historians also have to revise their views. For years academics fought one another for access, and until 1990 just eight volumes had been published. But in 1991, after the Antiquities Authority of Israel pledged to speed up publication, conservation and restoration of the scrolls, work on the rest began.

    Professor Geza Vermes, who has spent 50 years studying the scrolls, said that completion of their publication was very important. "These are the only texts of their kind which have survived in their original form and language and geographical setting.

    "They are texts which were written by the Jews for themselves, and without them we would have to rely on the Greek versions of the Old Testament. The originals had been lost. The Dead Sea Scrolls allow us to jump back another 1,000 years to the original documents."

    Professor Vermes, who has been director of Qumran research at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies since 1991, added that publication would not stop controversy but would lead to further debate about the Bible. "We will see even more interpretation and re-interpretation now."

    Experts have studied the scrolls and discovered much about the way the Bible was written, including its discrepancies, contradictions and repetitions. The first five books ? Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy ? were ascribed to the same writer, Moses, but they have many inconsistencies. The scrolls include several different editions of the books of Exodus and Numbers, and the Psalms. They revealed that the Bible was not a rigidly fixed text, but was edited and adjusted to make the text more relevant to its audience.

    It was not only the religious significance of the work that the scrolls questioned but also their historical truth, for they revealed that the writers would have coloured their accounts with their prejudices too. "


  4. sleazo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    becasue the writers of the scrolls were gnostic jews who used a similar story as the birth of christ for their initiates.
  5. Yada Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 1
    sleazo, name one scholar that believes that of Josephus.

    besides which, there are many skin heads who say Hitler didn't kill millions of people...ever been to a concentration camp?

    even assuming you could disprove even one claim,(not likely), how do you explain all the fulfilled prophesies, are they all faked, did all those Christian die to deny something they had not seen??

    here are a few scriptures I've been compiling, the mathematical odds of one man fulfilling all of these and not being who He said He was are 10 to the 79 th power...

    that's 10 with seventy nine zero's behind it to one...let that number sink in, it is based on the statistical probability alone.

    Gen. 3:15.....He will bruise Satan's head.....Heb. 2:14, 1 Jn. 3:18
    Gen. 5:24....The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated....Mk. 6:19
    Gen. 9:26,27...The God of Shem will be the Son of Shem...Lu. 3:36
    Gen. 12:3...As Abraham's seed,will bless all nations...Acts. 3:25,26
    Gen. 12:7...The Promise made to Abraham's Seed...Gal. 3:16
    Gen. 14:18...A priest after Melchizedek...Heb. 6:20
    Gen. 14:18........A King also........Heb. 7:2
    Gen. 14:18...The Last Supper foreshadowed...Mt. 26:26-29
    Gen. 17:19.......The Seed of Isaac.......Rom. 9:7
    Gen. 22:8...The Lamb of God promised...Jn. 1:29
    Gen. 22:18...As Isaac's seed, will bless all nations...Gal. 3:16
    Gen.26:2-5..The Seed of Isaac promised as the Redeemer..Heb.11:18
    Gen. 49:10...The time of His coming...Lu. 2:1-7; Gal. 4:4
    Gen. 49:10.......The Seed of Judah.......Lu. 3:33
    Gen. 49:10......Called Shiloh or One Sent......Jn. 17:3
    Gen. 49:10...To come before Judah lost identity...Jn. 11:47-52
    Gen. 49:10...To Him shall the obedience of the people be...Jn. 10:16
    Ex. 3:13,14........The Great "I Am".......Jn. 4:26
    Ex. 12:5...A Lamb without blemish...1 Pet. 1:19
    Ex. 12:13...The blood of the Lamb saves from wrath...Rom. 5:8
    Ex. 12:21-27...Christ is our Passover...1 Cor. 5;7
    Ex. 12:46...Not a bone of the Lamb to be broken...Jn. 19:31-36
    Ex. 15:2...His exaltation predicted as Yeshua...Acts 7:55,56
    Ex. 15:11...His Character-Holiness...Luke 1:35; Acts 4:27
    Ex. 17:6...The Spiritual Rock of Israel...1 Cor. 10;4
    Ex. 33:19...His Character-Merciful...Lu. 1:72
    Lev.14:11..The leper cleansed-Sign to priesthood..Lu.5:12-14; Acts 6:7
    Lev.16:15-17...Prefigures Christ's once-for-all death...Heb. 9:7-14
    Lev.16:27...Suffering outside the Camp...Mt. 27:33; Heb. 13:11, 12
    Lev.17:11...The Blood-the life of the flesh...Mt. 26;28; Mk. 10:45
    Lev.17:11...It is the blood that makes atonement...1 Jn. 3:14-18
    Lev.23:36-37...The Drink-offering: "If any man thirst." ..Jn. 19:31-36
    Num. 9:12...Not a bone of Him broken...John 19:31-36
    Num. 21:9...The serpent on a pole-Christ lifted up...Jn. 3:14-18
    Num. 24:17...Time: "I shall see him, but not now."...Gal. 4:4
    Deut. 18:15..."This is of a truth that prophet."...Jn. 6:14
    Deut. 18:15-16..."Had ye believed Moses, ye would believe me."...Jn. 5:45-47
    Deut. 18:18...Sent by the Father to speak His word...Jn. 8:28, 29
    Deut. 18:19...Whoever will not hear must bear his sin...Jn. 12:15,
    Deut. 21:23...Cursed is he that hangs on a tree...Gal. 3:10-13
    Ruth 4:4-9...Christ, our kinsman, has redeemed us...Eph. 1:3-7
    1 Sam. 2:10...Shall be an anointed King to the Lord...Mt. 28:18; Jn. 12:15
    2 Sam. 7:12...David's Seed...Mt. 1:1
    2 Sam. 7:14a...The Son of God... Lu. 1:32
    2 Sam. 7:16...David's house established forever...Lu. 3:31; Rev. 22:16
    2 Ki. 2:11...The bodily ascension to heaven illustrated...Lu. 24:51
    1 Chr. 17:11...David's Seed...Mt. 1:1; 9:27
    1 Chr. 17:12, 13a...To reign on David's throne forever...Lu. 1:32, 33
    1 Chr. 17:13a..."I will be His Father, Son."...Heb. 1:5
    Job 19:23-27...The Resurrection predicted...Jn. 5:24-29
    Psa. 2:1-3...The enmity of kings foreordained...Acts 4:25-28
    Psa. 2:2...To own the title, Anointed (Christ)...Acts 2:36
    Ps. 2:6...His Character-Holiness...Jn. 8:46; Rev. 3:7
    Ps. 2:6...To own the title King...Mt. 2:2
    Ps. 2:7...Declared the Beloved Son...Mt. 3;17
    Psa. 2:7, 8...The
  6. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    That has also been heavily disputed-especially since most of the prophecies do not come from a prophetic book at all, but a book of Jewish songs about deliverance-the Psalms.

    Here's a look at an argument against the prophecies:

  7. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5

    Many of the verses you cite have been retroactively interpreted to be prophecies of Christ, but many of those interpretations are questionable at best (as I've illustrated before). Your argument rests on the assumption that every one of those passages means exactly what you say it means.

    You mention the supposed Roman accounts of Christ's life and death, when in fact all that exists are passing references to a revolutionary named "Christus" or "Chrestus," never once called Jesus, never once called divine, and never once described in any detail.

    The passage from Josephus is highly suspect, for many reasons. Allow me to illustrate:

    Josephus was the most comprehensive historian of his day, devoting full pages to individual commoners, and as many as forty pages to individual kings. Jesus, "the Messiah" as the passage describes him, gets one single paragraph. Not only that, but the paragraph completely interrupts its context (the following paragraph begins, "But the Jews would soon face an even worse threat..."--Worse than Jesus?), strongly suggesting that it was wedged into the text long after the fact. Early Catholic scholars remarked that Josephus left no writings of Christ--why would they say so, if the passage was there the whole time?

    This brings us to an interesting question: How did Jesus go completely unnoticed by the historians of his own time? Some time ago, the JC's cydonia addressed this question with the following:

    "This was an extremely literate period in human history. Here is a list of Pagan writers who wrote at or within a century of the time Jesus is said to have lived:

    Dion Pruseus
    Pliny the Elder
    Theon of Smyrna
    Valerius Flaccus
    Florus Lucius
    Silius Italicus
    Aulus Gellius
    Dio Chrysostom
    Valerius Maximus

    The works of these writers would be enough to fill a library, but not one of them Refers to Jesus."

    JC member Kerr_Plunk goes into further detail on the authenticity of Josephus and the lack of other sources:

    "Philo, one of the most renowned writers the Jewish race has produced, was born before the beginning of the Christian Era, and lived for many years after the time at which Jesus is supposed to have died. His home was in or near Jerusalem, where Jesus is said to have preached, to have performed miracles, to have been crucified, and to have risen from the dead. Had Jesus done these things, the writings of Philo would certainly contain some record of his life. Yet this philosopher, who must have been familiar with Herod's massacre of the innocents, and with the preaching, miracles and death of Jesus, had these things occurred; who wrote an account of the Jews, covering this period, and discussed the very questions that are said to have been near to Christ's heart, never once mentioned the name of, or any deed connected with, the reputed Savior of the world.

    In the closing years of the first century, Josephus, the celebrated Jewish historian, wrote his famous work on "The Antiquities of the Jews." In this work, the historian made no mention of Christ, and for two hundred years after the death of Josephus, the name of Christ did not appear in his history. There were no printing presses in those days. Books were multiplied by being copied. It was, therefore, easy to add to or change what an author had written. The church felt that Josephus ought to recognize Christ, and the dead historian was made to do it. In the fourth century, a copy of "The Antiquities of the Jews" appeared, in which occurred this passage: "Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works; a teacher of such men as received the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had conde
  8. Wylding Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Interesting to note that all of those writers by your own admission are PAGAN.

    They would have a vested interest in NOT writing about Christ...for obvious reasons.

    Therefore, one commits an error of logic by drawing the conclusion that because they don't mention him he didn't exist.
  9. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    "Interesting to note that all of those writers by your own admission are PAGAN."

    Yes, as there were very few Christians at the time.

    Are you arguing that only Christians would have mentioned Jesus? By that logic, any Roman record of Jesus you could possibly find is false. Any Egyptian account of the Jews is false. And so on.

    It doesn't work that way.

    Events happen, or fail to happen, regardless of their witnesses' religions. Now if you'd devoted yourself to recording history, and a man with obvious powers performed epic-scale miracles in front of thousands of followers right down the street, how could you miss it?

    How did Philo miss it? Go back up and read the fourth paragraph from the bottom. Explain why he didn't mention the Messiah.
  10. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Actually, a lot of the early Christians were converted pagans...such as the group at Mars Hill.
  11. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    <One, because the Hebrews considered it a stoneable offense to mess with the texts considered part of Holy Scripture, and would summarily dismiss from the planet anyone caught trying to change so much as one letter of what the prophets wrote; so it is hard to believe that no one objected, not the 50,000 that return to Israel nor the 450,000 that remained in Babylon. If someone were to try to fabricate scripture, their punishment would have been swift.>

    What about the writers who wrote texts like Enoch,Sirach, Judith, Odes, Bel and the Dragon etc. which were included in the original canon of the Old Testament(For instance, Enoch was found with the DSS-it's not a fabrication as was suggested prior to the DSS) But zapped out of the bible later by the RCC?

  12. Wylding Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5
    Interesting to note that all of those writers by your own admission are PAGAN.

    They would have a vested interest in NOT writing about Christ...for obvious reasons.

    Therefore, one commits an error of logic by drawing the conclusion that because they don't mention him he didn't exist.

    Also, it's important to remember that history is written by those who have political power, the success stories of the world. Christianity for centuries was a persecuted religion. It would make sense that historians of that era, not wishing to lose their heads, wouldn't write of a Christ.

    Also, Christ himself didn't come to make an impact on historians. His goal was a spiritual goal not a worldly one. Indeed by the world's standards Christ was a failure:

    "By current standards of success, Jesus might be considered a failure. Let?s look at how Jesus measured up to these standards: Was he popular? No. He was not well liked. In fact, after one of his sermons, all of his followers deserted him, except for the Twelve Apostles. Did he have political power? No. He was a political failure. All levels of government first rejected him. Then they conspired to kill him. Did he have lots of friends? No. His friends often hurt him, eventually abandoned him, and one of them betrayed him to death. Did he have money and possessions? No. No house, no "wheels", no world headquarters, and no Christian amusement park. Did his peers respect him? No. His professional peers (Pharisees) rejected his work. "

    The true miracle of Christ was amazingly similar to Obi-Wan. Once struck down, he became more powerful than I or anyone else can imagine.

    Listen to what Napolean had to say about him:

    "I know men; and I tell you that Jesus Christ is not a man. Superficial minds see a resemblance between Christ and the founders of empires, and the gods of other religions. That resemblance does not exist. There is between Christianity and whatever other religions the distance of infinity.... Everything in Christ astonishes me. His spirit overawes me, and His will confounds me. Between him and whoever else in the world, there is no possible term of comparison. He is truly a being by Himself. His ideas and sentiments, the truth that he announces, His manner of convincing, are not explained either by human organization or by the nature of things.... The nearer I approach, the more carefully I examine, everything is above me?everything remains grand, of a grandeur that overpowers. His religion is a revelation from an intelligence that certainly is not that of man.... One can absolutely find nowhere, but in Him alone, the imitation or the example of His life.... I search in vain in history to find the similar to Jesus Christ or anything that can approach the gospel. Neither history, nor humanity, nor the ages, nor nature offer me anything with which I am able to compare it or to explain it. Here everything is extraordinary."


    There is no logic to explain it. Christians know it in their hearts that he exists, because that is where he chooses to reveal himself now.
  13. Darth Geist Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 1999
    star 5
    Well, I may not neccessarily agree with you, but I understand where you're coming from.

  14. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Although this has been brought up before, there is a controversy over Jesus's relationship to other Gods around the same time:

    Osiris(Egypt) God who was 'ressurected' after three days.

    Mithras(Rome): Said that people would gain eternal lifes after death by partaking in the eating of his symbolic flesh.

    Bacchus/Dionysus(Greece, Rome)-Worshipped in "Eucharist" involving drinking of wine.

    Zoroastra(Persia)-Wise man who was tempted in the wilderness by an evil entity..

    Krishna(India):perhaps the most similar to Jesus, this god stressed repentence from sin and stated he was the only way to God.

    Some other arguments against the bible:

    -The creation account is almost identical to the Babylonian Creation story.
    -Same with the flood.
    -Babel as well.
    -The early history of Israel, as documented in the second half of Genesis and Exodus, seems very similar to Egyptian stories, namely the tale of two brothers and the story of Sinuhe. The story of Sinuhe is also nearly identical to that of the early days of King David.
    -The Ten Commandments and mosaic law are similar to the Negative confessions(Egypt) and the Code of Hammurabi(Babylon). In fact, it is stated Hammurabi received the code from a God on a mountaintop, exactly like Moses.
    -Apparentally the Jews were in Egypt, but according to Egyptian records, the situation was reversed. The "Sheperd Kings" as they were called by the Egyptians, actually conquered Egypt until they were forced out later on. They mixed Egyptian monotheism with cults in the middle east and formed Judaism.


    Not saying all this is 100% accurate, it's just what I've read...
  15. Yada Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 1
    You still have to explain how come the jews, for thousand of years before the Roman cross was invented did many strange things all prophetic of Christ (which they were unaware of)

    things such as,

    they camped in the desert in the shape of a cross. Jews did that?

    they sacrificed their lambs tied to a cross, arms spread, feet together, face looking down into the fire. (lamb of God=Jesus 1500 years after they began this practice.

    same with their doves, they also, tied to cedar wood, wings spread, feet together.
    Red cloth present (signifying blood sacrificed, running water present (signifying the taking away, washing away of sin)(as Christs death on the cross achieved, again, 1500 years later...

    dozens of examples of the fingerprint of the Redeemer in the rituals exist, all pointing to Christ.

    Why would people do this (to obey the prophet of God) and then reject Him when He came?

    answer, not all did, but some did, as was also prophesied, so that the "beleivers" would be spread throughout the world, which indeed the persecutions (which Jesus predicted) did cause, so that the whole world would learn of the truth (about Him).

    why would people consire for hundreds of years to point to a Man, whose arrival they then rejected?

    answer: they wouldn't.

    they performed the ritual to obey God, not having "eyes to see" the spiritual signifigance. To see spiritual things, you need a spiritual set of eyes.

    When Jesus did not want to set up an earthly kingdom, and route the Romans, they rejected Him. They did not understand His Kingdom was a spiritual (and far more powerful) one.
    Many still do not understand it.
  16. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    How come the Epistles depict a totally different death for Jesus? That he was 'hung on a tree'(Like Judas) instead of crucified?
    Also, if Christ's kingdom is not earthly, then why does REVELATION hint that he rules the Earth? When Jesus stated that his kingdom was not of this world, a more correct translation would probably be "Age".

    Also, it should be mentioned that the cross-or a cross-like object-was present in many other religions as well. Gods have been shown dead pinned to birds(Which sort of have a cross formation with their wings spread) Ankhs, and Anchors in pre-Christian artwork. Perhaps the Romans were inspired by this? Or could it be SATAN?

    Please read the following sites to see where this is coming from:

  17. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    "Or could it be SATAN?"

    Well isn't that special?
  18. phantom31415 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jan 3, 2002
    star 1
    There are a number of other references to Jesus in secular ancient literature other than Josephus. (Tacitus, ect.).

    Or, one might wonder why the first century Christians willingly died for a religion based on a man who did not exist, when ample means existed to determine the truth. (i.e., Ask someone who was there)

    Very few secular or even anti-religious scholars question the historical existance of a man named Jesus who founded Christianity.
  19. Yada Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2002
    star 1
    Christ does rule now, in the hearts and minds of those that have received Him.
    He will one day rule once again the entire planet, and every knee will bow, and every tounge will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the Glory of God.

    Meanwhile, back at the factory, that day will not come until the day He returns physically, just as He left, just as He said He will; until then men (not all men) will continue to spin out and do their own thing because they love quasi-religion more than truth, and prefer themselves upon the throne, not the meek and loving Savior.

    as to the rest of the arguments,
    to see how something applies in the spirit requires wisdom. Christ applied many texts to Himself, saying He was fulfilling certain portions of the Old Testament as He did certain things. He asked them, how is it you do not understand these things, for it is written...etc.etc.

    this is why Jesus also said of some, having eyes to see, yet they refuse to see, and ears to hear yet they will not hear.

    so the question is always, can you see?
    can you hear? maybe...or maybe not...your choice.
  20. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    "prefer themselves upon the throne, not the meek and loving Savior"

    If he's so meek, why does he care for a throne?
  21. sleazo Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    Also, it's important to remember that history is written by those who have political power, the success stories of the world. Christianity for centuries was a persecuted religion. It would make sense that historians of that era, not wishing to lose their heads, wouldn't write of a Christ.

    Oh so that is why the account of a historical Jesus only pop up when the church has power.

  22. Wylding Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2000
    star 5

    Well, there are historical accounts to Jesus having existed, but to those who don't believe <shrugs> they'll always make an excuse or try to explain things away. I was once told by a friend of mine that if you were to throw them across the room and pin them to the cieling with the glory of God, they still wouldn't believe.

    Oh for the moment it would be undeniable, but after the excitement of the moment left...they'd revert to their old habits.

    Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources
    Michael Gleghorn


    Evidence from Tacitus
    Although there is overwhelming evidence that the New Testament is an accurate and trustworthy historical document, many people are still reluctant to believe what it says unless there is also some independent, non-biblical testimony that corroborates its statements. In the introduction to one of his books, F.F. Bruce tells about a Christian correspondent who was told by an agnostic friend that "apart from obscure references in Josephus and the like," there was no historical evidence for the life of Jesus outside the Bible.{1} This, he wrote to Bruce, had caused him "great concern and some little upset in [his] spiritual life."{2} He concludes his letter by asking, "Is such collateral proof available, and if not, are there reasons for the lack of it?"{3} The answer to this question is, "Yes, such collateral proof is available," and we will be looking at some of it in this article.

    Let's begin our inquiry with a passage that historian Edwin Yamauchi calls "probably the most important reference to Jesus outside the New Testament."{4} Reporting on Emperor Nero's decision to blame the Christians for the fire that had destroyed Rome in A.D. 64, the Roman historian Tacitus wrote:

    Nero fastened the guilt . . . on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of . . . Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome. . . .{5}

    What all can we learn from this ancient (and rather unsympathetic) reference to Jesus and the early Christians? Notice, first, that Tacitus reports Christians derived their name from a historical person called Christus (from the Latin), or Christ. He is said to have "suffered the extreme penalty," obviously alluding to the Roman method of execution known as crucifixion. This is said to have occurred during the reign of Tiberius and by the sentence of Pontius Pilatus. This confirms much of what the Gospels tell us about the death of Jesus.

    But what are we to make of Tacitus' rather enigmatic statement that Christ's death briefly checked "a most mischievous superstition," which subsequently arose not only in Judaea, but also in Rome? One historian suggests that Tacitus is here "bearing indirect . . . testimony to the conviction of the early church that the Christ who had been crucified had risen from the grave."{6} While this interpretation is admittedly speculative, it does help explain the otherwise bizarre occurrence of a rapidly growing religion based on the worship of a man who had been crucified as a criminal.{7} How else might one explain that?

    Evidence from Pliny the Younger

    Another important source of evidence about Jesus and early Christianity can be found in the letters of Pliny the Younger to Emperor Trajan. Pliny was the Roman governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor. In one of his letters, dated around A.D. 112, he asks Trajan's advice about the appropriate way to conduct legal proceedings against those accused of being Christians.{8} Pliny says that he needed to consult the emperor about this issue because a great multitude of every age, class, and sex stood accused of Christianity.{9}

    At one point in his letter, Pliny relates some of the information he has learned
  23. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Also, about people dying for their faith-Muslims, Buddhists, Krishnans, Hindus and others have also martyred themselves for their faith. Almost all faiths have martyrs.

    As for the sources; most of these refer mainly to Christians themselves; and none really point to supernatural nature. One of the theories many skeptics and athiests believe is that Jesus was just a regular Jewish teacher, who eventually got mythologized. There is actually evidence for a true Gilgamesh, a true Imhotep and a true Hercules, for instance--but obviously not the same as presented in legends.

    Let's take Imhotep for example. Imhotep was a famous architect and high priests who built the first step period for Djoser. Shortly after his death, Imhotep became revered as a God--and his cult lasted for quite a long time, until Christian and Muslin influence destroyed Egyptian polytheism.

    I'm not saying Christ isn't true--just that lately there has been reason to doubt.
  24. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
    Also, here's an interesting article-any thoughts? Truth or athiest lies? I'm not trying to challenge Christianity myself--I just want to make sure I'm following the right thing:

    The Origins of Christianity and
    the Quest for the Historical Jesus Christ
    by Acharya S
    Around the world over the centuries, much has been written about religion, its meaning, its relevance and contribution to humanity. In the West particularly, sizable tomes have been composed speculating upon the nature and historical background of the main character of Western religions, Jesus Christ. Many have tried to dig into the precious few clues as to Jesus's identity and come up with a biographical sketch that either bolsters faith or reveals a more human side of this godman to which we can all relate. Obviously, considering the time and energy spent on them, the subjects of Christianity and its legendary founder are very important to the Western mind and culture.

    The Controversy
    Despite all of this literature continuously being cranked out and the significance of the issue, in the public at large there is a serious lack of formal and broad education regarding religion and mythology, and most individuals are highly uninformed in this area. Concerning the issue of Christianity, for example, the majority of people are taught in most schools and churches that Jesus Christ was an actual historical figure and that the only controversy regarding him is that some people accept him as the Son of God and the Messiah, while others do not. However, whereas this is the raging debate most evident in this field today, it is not the most important. Shocking as it may seem to the general populace, the most enduring and profound controversy in this subject is whether or not a person named Jesus Christ ever really existed.

    Although this debate may not be evident from publications readily found in popular bookstores1, when one examines this issue closely, one will find a tremendous volume of literature that demonstrates, logically and intelligently, time and again that Jesus Christ is a mythological character along the same lines as the Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Sumerian, Phoenician, Indian or other godmen, who are all presently accepted as myths rather than historical figures2. Delving deeply into this large body of work, one uncovers evidence that the Jesus character is based upon much older myths and heroes from around the globe. One discovers that this story is not, therefore, a historical representation of a Jewish rebel carpenter who had physical incarnation in the Levant 2,000 years ago. In other words, it has been demonstrated continually for centuries that this character, Jesus Christ, was invented and did not depict a real person who was either the "son of God" or was "evemeristically" made into a superhuman by enthusiastic followers3.

    History and Positions of the Debate
    This controversy has existed from the very beginning, and the writings of the "Church Fathers" themselves reveal that they were constantly forced by the pagan intelligentsia to defend what the non-Christians and other Christians ("heretics")4 alike saw as a preposterous and fabricated yarn with absolutely no evidence of it ever having taken place in history. As Rev. Robert Taylor says, "And from the apostolic age downwards, in a never interrupted succession, but never so strongly and emphatically as in the most primitive times, was the existence of Christ as a man most strenuously denied."5 Emperor Julian, who, coming after the reign of the fanatical and murderous "good Christian" Constantine, returned rights to pagan worshippers, stated, "If anyone should wish to know the truth with respect to you Christians, he will find your impiety to be made up partly of the Jewish audacity, and partly of the indifference and confusion of the Gentiles, and that you have put together not the best, but the worst characteristics of them both."6 According to these learned dissenters, the New Testament could rightly be called, "Gospel Fictions."7

    A century ago, mythicist Albert
  25. Chris2 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 1998
    star 4
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.