Having a discussion with someone and they posed these points in relation the the existence of Jesus.. My comments on the topics are in orange.
1) The Gospels are authentic, the style of each Gospel is appropriate to what we know of the personalities of the traditional authors, and all of the Gospels were written within the first 70 years of Jesus life so eyewitnesses would still be alive to contest any discrepancies (1 Corinthians confirms this as well)
I understood Mark wasn't written until 70 AD and the others followed into the 2nd century.. I also read that based on papyri with census returns found in Egypt and date-able to the first three centuries AD (11/12 AD - 257/258 AD) the average age was between 30-39 years, with very few people over the age of 50. Anyone know where I can for sure verify this..?
2) The chain of authenticity of the Gospels can be traced back to the testimonies and writings from the Epistle of Barbabas, the Epistle of Clement, and the Shepherd of Hermas all the way to Eusebias in A.D.
315. There is better testimony for the New Testament books than ANY classical work of antiquity.
I read this only goes as far back as 315 AD. Is this correct?
3) The Gospels were collected very early into a volume and distributed to converts as seen in the writings of Eusebias, Quadratus, Irenaeus and Melito.
I found nothing on the net about this.. The closed thing I found was in relation to the Second Council of Nicea in 325 AD where they settled on which version of the Canonical Gospels to use.
4) The New Testament writings were given titles of respect and were publically read as seen in the writings of Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Dionysius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Origen and Cyprian
From what I could find there is but one surviving letter from Polycarp to the Philippians and though it refers to a version of the New Testament there is no mention of it being read publicly.. The same holds true for Justin Martyr.
5) A commentary of the New Testament was written only 100 years after the Gospels were written (Tatian’s “Diatessaron”, about A.D. 170). No other commentary was written on ANY book outside of the New Testament within the first 300 years after Jesus’ death
What I found in relation to this was Tatian’s “Diatessaron” wasn't so much a commentary as it was an edited down version of the canonical texts. It takes the four gospels and puts them into a different order and combines them together as a narrative. Not to mention it takes outs the conflicting genealogies in Mathew and Luke and drops John 8:1-11
6) The New Testament scriptures were even accepted by Heretical groups as well as by Orthodox Christians such as the Valentinians and the Carpocratians
For me this comes across as an appeal to authority.. Feel free to correct me on this.
7) The authenticity of the Gospels, Acts, 13 letters of Paul, 1 John and 1 Peter were all received, without doubt, as authentic even by those who doubted the authenticity of other books now in the canon.
Early opponents of Christianity regarded the Gospels as containing accounts upon which the religion was founded.
8)Celsus admitted that the Gospels were written by the disciples. Porphyry attacked Christianity as found in the Gospels. Emperor Julian followed the same procedure.
What I found was this.. Celsus is from the second century, so couldn't possibly have know one way or the other whether the gospels were written by those who there were named after.. Celsus refereed to Jesus as a sorcerer... "O light and truth! he distinctly declares, with his own voice, as ye yourselves have recorded that there are as ye yourselves have recorded, that there will come to you even others, employing miracles of a similar kind, who are wicked men, and sorcerers; and he calls him who makes use of such devices, one Satan. So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men; and being compelled by the force of turth, he at the same time not only laid open the doings of others, but convicted himself of the same acts. Is it not, then, a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature; but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men."
9) Catalogs of authentic scriptures were published which always contained the Gospels and Acts as seen in the writings of Origen, Athanasius, Cyril and others.
I understand these predate the official acceptance of the canonical works we now know..And so may not be the same one we know today..
10) The Gnostic gospels (or “Apocrypha”) were never treated with the same respect, were never quoted by any known author within the first 300 years after Christ, were not even written in the same century as Christ, were not read in Christian assemblies, were not gathered into a volume, were not listed in the catalogs, were not appealed to by heretics, were not the subject of commentaries, and were universally rejected by Christians AND opponents of Christianity alike.
11) The writings of the pagan Roman historian, Tacitus, describes Nero’s persecution of Christians 31 years after the death of Christ. The testimonies of Suetonius and Juvenal also confirm the persecution (i.e. that Christians were dying for their faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ).
12) The writings of Pliny The Younger, Martial, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius (from “Gladiator”!...just kidding), Clement, Hermas, Polycarp and Ignatius confirm that Christians would willfully submit to torture than renounce their religion or belief in Jesus Christ.
13) The writings of Josephus confirm the life and death (at the hands of Pontius Pilate) of Christ as well as the birth of the Christian religion.
For me this says they're going to ignore that the Jews wanted Jesus dead in the first place even though Pilate saw no Roman law broken and that Jesus was killed at the Jews insistence. As far as I know, they're at least partially correct on the advent of Christianity.
14) The letters of Barnabas and Clement as well as the writings of Polycarp, Ignatius and Irenaeus refer to Jesus’ miracles and resurrection.
Again from what I've found out, Barnabas is the only one who would have lived during the time Jesus was said to have lived...
15) The writings of Quadratus confirm that there were still persons living who were healed by Jesus.
The main problem I read from the other guy is he is making things up as he goes along. I would demand clear and simply physical evidence for each of them. Start with all 46 gospels. That means 42 were rejected. There is no record of why 41 of them were rejected. I have no interest in argumentation. There is no record, period. Without reason the rejections are arbitrary and capricious.