Before I begin with the Debate topic... let's set some ground rules:
Mods! Please correct anyone who engages in these things! Thanks a bunch! ^_^
1. Theists are welcome to participate, with one important rule - NO PROSTHELYTIZING!!! - In other words... this debate is to strictly be a debate on the historicity of Jesus as a man, ONLY!! DO NOT use this forum to push your ideas of Jesus as the "son of god" or "god himself" ... please leave that to another debate!
2. BE POLITE!! NO TROLLS ALLOWED!! [Atheist trolls are not allowed as well!]
3. Please be respectful when providing a dissenting opinion to another individual.
Alright... here's the topic.
For many years the historicity of Jesus as a man has remained virtually undisputed among historians. However, I have noticed in recent years a rising number of historians [admittedly still a minority] who have expressed doubt that Jesus ever existed at all.
What do you all think?
[P.S. If you can... please provide evidence and sources for your opinions].
When I was in college, about 40 years ago, I wrote a paper on the historical Jesus. I had no trouble finding sources for the paper, three of them as I recall. Josephus, was one, but don't recall the others. I don't doubt that Jesus was an historical figure.
Using logic, we have 4 gospel authors that have written what He said, and they don't agree. Then in the Dead Sea scrolls we find Thomas writing about Jesus' sayings that are different again. You might try to argue that all writers had an ancient copy they borrowed from, but since there is no evidence of such a document you would only be guessing.
Please don't let your desire to prove He didn't exist color your evidence, just stick to the facts.
You said: An agnostic sits on the wire and is unsure of the existence of a god(s)....bit of a cop out actually.
This is not accurate. An agnostic says that we can't know whether a god exists or not. Virtually every atheist and every theist is also an agnostic.
Atheists say that we have a lack of evidence for 'god' and we don't have a belief in god(s). If someone were ever able to present us with genuine proof of deities, we would no longer be 'without belief' but we would jump straight to 'gnostic.'
I was agnostic for most of my life until my near death experience which brought me to believing in a greater conscienceness or creator, nothing like the "God" many worship. So I have no part of the agnostic in me any more. Not to worry, I won't tell you about it.
yes, you claim to "know" which is exactly why the word "agnostic" was created.
Most atheists and theists do not claim to "know" - they claim to believe/not believe
'For many years the historicity of Jesus as a man has remained virtually undisputed among historians. However, I have noticed in recent years a rising number of historians [admittedly still a minority] who have expressed doubt that Jesus ever existed at all.''
Traditionally, Western scholars considered the Gospel accounts of Jesus to be authoritative and
inspired by God, but, starting in the late 18th century, scholars began to
submit the Gospels to historical scrutiny. From 1744 to 1767, Hermann Samuel Reimarus composed a
treatise rejecting miracles and accusing Bible authors of fraud, but did not
publish his findings. Gotthold
Lessing published Reimarus's conclusions in the Wolfenbuettel fragments. D.F.Strauss's biography of
Jesus set Gospel criticism on its modern course.Strauss
explained gospel miracles as natural events misunderstood and misrepresented. Joseph
Renan was the first to portray Jesus simply as a human person. Albrecht
Ritschlhad reservations about this project, but it became central to liberal Protestantism in Germany
and to the Social Gospel movement in
Kaehler protested, arguing that the true Christ is the one preached by the whole
Bible, not a historical hypothesis. William
Wrede questioned the historical reliability of Mark. Albert
Schweitzer showed how
modern histories of Jesus had reflected the historians' bias. Karl
Barth and Rudolph Bultmann repudiated
the quest for historical Jesus, suppressing any real interest in the topic fromc 1920 to c 1970. There was a
brief New Quest movement in the 50s. The 80s saw
the founding of the controversial Jesus Seminar. Today,
historical efforts to construct a biography of Jesus are as strong as ever,
thanks to better knowledge of 1st-century Judaism, a rebirth of Roman Catholic
scholarship, the acceptance of historical methods across denominations,
literary analysis of Jesus' sayings, and sociological insights.’
Back in the 18th and 19th century not many scholars accepted that Jesus existed, at all. Today, the majority of scholars do believe He existed.