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 you talked about the old testament allusions and allegorical fiction it reminded me of this:
The real question, Nelson, is WHO WAS the "historical Jesus?" Can he be separated from all the woo-woo that surrounds him in the few documents that mention him in an early enough time frame to be AT ALL credible? Can we know this historical Jesus? Or is he lost to time?
In "The Jesus the Jews Never Knew" Zindler makes the ironic observation that the Christians may have destroyed the historical Jesus in their quest to solidify the mythical one.
The problem is that not all of the early writers about Jesus thought he was executed under Pilot. Some thought that he was executed under Herod I [associated in the bible with the "Slaughter of the innocents."]. Others think he was executed a century earlier under Alexander Janeaius [spelling?]. Anyway, what I've found by digging into early christian history is that the deeper you go, the murkier and more uncertain things become.
When was Jesus Crucified? Was he crucified [the Toldoth has him stoned]?, When did he live? Where did he live? [Jerusalem? Alexandria? Rome? Greece?], where are the supposed Roman records?, Why is it that the evidence of the census taken in Bethlehem at his birth time seems not to exist? Did Christianity start from Jewish mystic cults? Was Jesus a "savior god" who existed [originally] only in a celestial realm [like many other savior gods of the time?, Why does Jesus' story appear so similar to the other savior god figures?. The list goes on and on.
For me, I have concluded I am agnostic about Jesus' existence. I'm skeptical that the historical jesus can ever be recovered from the murky past.