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.

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I agree completely.  The gospel writers tell all about what Jesus said, places he went to, how he acted and reacted, and it's all very plausible (minus the miracles).


However, the tone changes completely when they write of the resurrection.  Almost no details.  Jesus only spoke to disciples, never to crowds, and most of the 40 days of the resurrection are unaccounted for. This is the very time that Jesus should have been followed by thousands.

Yes, I was like 11 when I was reading it and all I could think was, "Who wrote this?"  If the disciples wrote the Gospels, then why would there be only 4, and why wouldn't they each tell their own story?  If someone else wrote the story, then how did they know what happened when Jesus walked out to the boat, or when he was 'alone in the garden' etc.  If they made it up, then why would there be 4 different versions.  It just never seemed to end.

Why are there only four? 

The early church decided these gophels were credible and had authority.


They do all tell their own story, each story is different. 

Yes, well at 11 years old, and having grown up in a religious environment - the history of the political shinnanigans and willful lying of the early church wasn't something I had a lot of information on.


It's been at least 20 years since I read through he 4 gospels, so perhaps they perspectives are much more different than I perceived.  At the time, however, to me, they all sounded like they were telling the "whole story" and not "someone's story"


My point is that yes, even between the ages of 11 and 14 as I read the book straight through, I could clearly recognize places where the story had been 'squeezed to fit'.  That always struck me as meaning it wasn't entirely made-up, but it wasn't really true either.  It wouldn't be until in my 20's that I came to understand that this is a very powerful tool of mythology.


I know that I'm smarter than your average cup of yoghurt, but how any grown people still believe in fairy tales that I couldn't for the life of me cling to belief in at 12 and 13 years old will always confound me.

What? You were 11 and not reading Origen's and Tertullian's writings? lol


When I was at the age of 17ish and had done a lot more study into scriptures and early church history than most teenagers, I became overtly skeptic. My skepticism stopped me from pursuing a life as a theologian (which is most likely a good thing), my skepticism was un-warranted and when it was placed under the microscope by Biblical scholars it was found wanting.


There was a historical Jesus He died, and He rose again, this is nearly a historical fact, well at least Jesus's followers believed 100% that He died and rose again.

Historians like N.T. Wright have wrote lengthy books defending not only the historicity of Jesus, but that the gospels do convey a relative actual story of the life of Jesus.

Any assertion that he died and rose again is most decidedly not recognized as historical fact by anyone other than those indoctrinated to the Jesus cult.  There are zero contemporary accounts and the few books describing the mythology can only be said to have fashioned, at best, a reasonable interpretation of the cult's beliefs as they had developed near the end of the first century.  There isn't a single secular historian suggesting there is any evidence of the historicity of that myth as a whole.

Old Tommy Wright is obviously a prominent biblical scholar, but even he can't make a case for the historical Jesus that stands up to the least bit of scrutiny.
The contradictions are of minutiae, not substance; in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ. In the enthusiasm of its discoveries the Higher Criticism has applied to the New Testament tests of authenticity so severe that by them a hundred ancient worthies -- for example, Hammurabi, David, Socrates -- would fade into legend. Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed -- the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus' arrest, Peter's denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross; no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so lofty an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospel. After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature of the history of Western man. Will Durant.

“That is why, as an historian, I cannot explain the rise of early Christianity unless Jesus rose again, leaving an empty
tomb behind him.” - N.T Wright

Clearly you havent read any of Tom Wright's works.

The works of Tommy-boy are resounding only in their omissions.  The forgery of the Pericope Adulterae and the insertion of the Comma Johanneum for starters - but apologists never bring these things up when writing for an indoctrinated audience.


Apparently he considers the conflicting genealogies of Jesus to be minutiae Matthew 1:2-17 and Luke 3:23-38, as well as the fact that Mark and John don't even mention the miracle birth, a central tenet of the faith - which I cannot cite because they are not there.  Hardly minutiae.


You are correct that in Mark 3:20-21 that Jesus' family seems to think he's crazy - but how can you explain Mary's actions considering she had been told by an Angel that her son was the Messiah?  How could she possibly forget that encounter?


The Gospels can't even agree on Jesus' birthday.  Matthew indicates that Jesus was born under the reign of Herod the Great (Matthew 2:1) and Luke says he was born while Quirinius was governor of Syria (Luke 2:2). This is impossible because Herod died in March of 4 BC and the census took place in 6 and 7 AD, about 10 years after Herod's death.


You can tout old Tommy boy as a scholar all you like, but until you can offer his explanation for these glaring 'minutiae' you might want to reconsider your sources.

Except that with the civil war you have events that were recorded by first hand witnesses, the letters written by the hands of the men who fought in the war, and reams of interviews of veterans of that war that are written, recorded on audio, and some on film.  You even have photographs of the events, legal documents pertaining to declarations of war - a lot of source material to work with.


In the case of Jesus, you don't have a single first hand account of his life - mostly because there was no reason to write it down because the belief was that he would be right back, ha ha ha ha ha


So then after like 40 years or so, and no one having a clue where the disciples went, someone decided to start writing down the general folklore that was going around.  It seems a few people did this.


So then after about another hundred years or so, some guys sitting in a room who never met the authors, and don't even know who the authors were in most cases, set down and evaluated a third hand collection of folklore - and EVEN THEN they had to inject a few forgeries to massage it to their purpose.

Instead of making stuff up, you should read some credible scholars.
I've read plenty of credible scholars - you are the one who keeps your nose stuck in one book.
I read The Case for Christ by Strobel and The Case for the Resurrection of Christ, by Habermas/Licona.  I've never encountered poorer reasoning from educated men.


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