I am really sorry if this has been posted before.
If you knew me in person, you would know I love getting into discussions with people about religion. One of the questions that seems to keep coming into the discussion loop is Jesus.
So I was at a social gathering the other night at a restaurant and I dropped my silverware and out of habit I said "Jesus Christ!" And a random girl that was a friend of a friend said, "Don't use the Lords name in vain."
So obviously we got into a debate.
I brought up the point in the discussion that Jesus never existed. Well everyone looked at me like i was off the wall insane...
At that point the discussion just turned into incoherent ramblings and Grrrr... So frustrating that people base their whole life on hearsay! Simply dumbfounding!!!
Help me feel better... seriously.
On the Hovind/Starfati note, it is important to realize that they are not biologists of experts in the field of biology of specifically, evolutionary research. You wouldn't use George Bizet as an credible source for why rock and roll is the 'best' musical genre. Or Paul McCartney, for a paper on the 'dangers of vegetarianism'. Experts within the field or subset are important, but are still refutable should evidence counter their claims.
With an encyclopedia and the like, you have a broad list of topics and specialties. Does each subject get subcontracted out to the respective athoraties? I should certainly hope so, but can't say for certain. At the very least, I think that the ample research was done to garner fairly accurate texts.
But I seem to have gone on a tangent so I think I'll defer from carrying on further. :)
A preliminary count to the original question: "How many of you think that a historical Jesus never existed?"
5 Yea, 5 Nay, 8 Abstain.
Conclusion: this matter isn't going to be settled democratically.
You don't need a vote to settle once and far all whether or not Jesus existed. That's not how it works. You examine all the evidence and then you decide whether or not he actually existed or whether or not there is enough proof to actually determine if he existed. The proof of the existence of a man can be lost in thousands of years. That doesn't mean that he never existed, it only means that we can't know for sure until and if that evidence is found.
I think some people, myself included, deny the existance of the son of god here on Earth; but I'm not saying that Jesus never existed. The original question of this discussion wasn't whether or not a son of a god ever lived on earth, but whether or not Jesus, the one that founded christianity ever existed. My answers for these questions are no for the former and yes for the latter.
I know exactly how you feel. I live in the "Bible Belt" and I get EXTREMELY frustrated on a daily basis because I get the same feedback. I only have like 4 or 5 close friends that are atheist and the rest are "Christian" because they go to church 2 times a year.
Same thing happened to me just the other day. I had a co-worker tell me that she had to delete me from Facebook because of my blasphemy and anti religious rhetoric. The thing that she was talking about was when I posted, "It's colder than God's heart during the holocaust out side!!". This really sent her into a rage on my face book and she told me it was time for me to be deleted. She confronted me in the hallway and told me that I should not hate Jesus....I simply told her that you can not hate something that doesn't exist!
Anyway, like most have said there is no historical evidence that he existed at all. Keep on truckin!
The Jesus story is obviously cobbled together, but why include all those discrepancies if you are just making it up. If you are making it up, you could make it perfect. Occam's razor, folks. The simplest explanation is that there was a person who was deified by his followers.
There is no historical evidence that prooves that Jesus even existed, but, Jesus taken seriously by many ppl,,,Muhammad was one of those who took Jesus seriously without any prooves...
Most new testament scholars believe there was at the very least a man named Jesus (Jeshua) who was a Jew and went around preaching his version of the scripture.
I have studied the arguments fairly in depth and most of it revolves around hear say. Most of the acts attributed to him could be seen as a wise man of sorts who went around to help people and make them feel better based off his words.
When you compare the Gospel accounts side by side , the stories are just so different , not much can be reliable. When you compare the teachings of Paul , or what Paul suggests we do to live by Gods word etc ... it has NOTHING to do with anything Jesus said in the Gospels.
So a man existed who walked around and preached and this man probably got crucified and probably had a small following just like cults today have ... but nothing much other than can be agreed upon.
But yeah. Who cares if Socrates existed? The words ascribed to an imaginary man named Socrates still have tremendous value even if the man never existed. The meaning and the words are what is important.
All one can say for certain is that the historicity of Jesus is very limited based off various sources which are not compatible in hearsay or details. But he probably existed as a person.