As an Atheist and a former Christian, I am frequently confronted by Christians claiming that Jesus was real and I should believe in him again. These Christians fail to realize that I do believe Jesus existed. I believe he may have been crucified. I do not believe he rose from the dead. If Jesus existed then there are a few possibilities. He was either, the actual son of God, a con artist, a mentally deranged man, or a normal man that had embellished stories written about him after his death. We can examine evidence to determine which of these is most likely.
For those who are not sure he existed, there are several people that have written about the existence of Jesus outside of the Bible. Cornelius Tacitus in 55 AD wrote that Christ suffered at the hands of Pontius Pilate. This is an example of a non biblical writer recording the existence of Jesus. There are several others. These writings make a strong argument for the existence of Jesus. But did Jesus have powers?

In the past few decades several people have claimed to be God or a messenger from God. But in today's society these people are seen as con artist or delusional. There are a few who fall under the spell of deception and believe these people really have some magical powers or believe they are God, but the rest of us are not fooled. We know these people are not special and have no magical powers.

We see their followers in highly emotional states claiming their new friend is the messiah, and we know they have been deceived or brainwashed. David Koresh made claims like this and had many people believing his deceit. Now he is dead, but there are still people who believe he was God. Yes, there are a few Branch Davidians still around. If his followers pass these beliefs onto their children and friends, in the future they may become just as numerous as the followers or other religions. Why is this any different than Mohamed, Joseph Smith, Marshall Applewhite, Jim Jones, or Jesus?

We can clearly see that people that make these ludicrous claims today are not magical. Why is it any different when the story is passed down for thousands of years? Does the passage of time make the story more valid? Not one shred of evidence was left by any of Jesus' alleged miracles. Due to the lack of evidence and the sheer ridiculous nature of the stories I do not believe Jesus had any magical powers and was not the son of any God. So was Jesus a con artist?

At the time of Jesus' life, knowledge about the world was only a fraction of what it is today. This advance is not just in science. People now question things that sound either too good to be true or not realistic. This type of questioning mind is far more advanced than primitive man. We know today that if a man is seen walking on water it is just a trick. If we see someone claiming to bend spoons with there mind, they are simple using slight of hand. No magical powers are needed to perform these deceptions.
I am not claiming everyone today is a skeptic. Unfortunately we still have people today who believe in ESP, psychics, ghost, UFOs, Bigfoot, Unicorns, Dragons, and faith healers. These are the same people that would most likely believe someone claiming to be a messiah.

Would it have been easier to fool people in the first century? Imagine, if Houdini had time traveled back to the first century and performed his illusions for hundreds of people and also claimed to be the son of God. Then today we would likely have millions of Houdini churches, with all the followers worshiping the magician.

Comment by Morgan Matthew on October 18, 2008 at 5:18pm
Go to about the 3min mark. Fantastic example!
Comment by Christy on October 18, 2008 at 5:50pm
One of my new fav movies!
Comment by Tori on October 19, 2008 at 12:41am
"We can clearly see that people that make these ludicrous claims today are not magical. Why is it any different when the story is passed down for thousands of years? Does the passage of time make the story more valid? Not one shred of evidence was left by any of Jesus' alleged miracles. Due to the lack of evidence and the sheer ridiculous nature of the stories I do not believe Jesus had any magical powers and was not the son of any God. So was Jesus a con artist?" best part
Comment by Andrew the Fluffer on January 7, 2009 at 1:12am
I love it.
Comment by Luna Agimat on January 12, 2009 at 1:38pm
i greatly agree!
Comment by Josh on December 20, 2009 at 10:27pm
Although I agree with the general idea of this video, I don't agree with UFO's being included alongside the ESP, psychics, ghost, and unicorns bunch.

There isn’t anything supernatural or metaphysical about the idea of life on other planets. You don't have to rely on faith to understand how extraterrestrials could exist. Instead, we rely on exobiology, astrophysics and mathematics.

There are billions of galaxies occupying the universe; all crowded with trillions of stars, many like our own sun. It would be very arrogant to think that our tiny little planet is the only one that lucked out in the evolutionary lottery. If life does exist outside of our local solar system, it would have evolved just as naturally as any other species on this planet has.

With regard to the FO's in UFO's... this is where it can get campy and where many people are turned off by the entire idea. I understand that, completely. If anyone's been to Roswell, New Mexico, you can't walk five feet without running into a shop without a little green man illustrated on the sign. Sensationalism shatters legitimacy, and it's unimaginably damaging to serious researchers who devote their lives to this sort of subject. Getting funded for research projects become a long and difficult process and in turn limits our ability to conduct potentially vital large scale projects.

Anyway, I’m nowhere near this videos original topic...

That was a long winded way for me to say, ignorance of science can be just as destructive as the ignorance that many religions encourage.
Comment by Andrew Schubert on September 30, 2010 at 11:35am
You are right that there is much "non-biblical" evidence for the existence of Jesus. I applaud you for recognizing such. You are also right that many people throughout history have claimed they are God, or have some kind of supernatural powers like God. For this reason, there is nothing wrong with questioning Jesus' claim to be God. Maybe he was just a crazy man or a con-artist just like the others. However, maybe Jesus is actually telling the truth, and He actually is God and did perform miracles? How can we ever know for sure if we was telling the truth or was just another madman. I say, lets put Him on trail and find out! So here are some of the reasons why I believe that Jesus was different from all other people. 1) Science/Evolution does not disprove the existence of God, in fact I believe it confirms His existence. It's common knowledge that everything that comes into existence had to have a cause for its existence. Therefore, there has to be something that never came into existence in order for there to be anything at all. Nothing cannot make something. So either the universe must be infinite, or there most be an infinite God. The problem is that science has shown that the universe is not infinite. Thus, something must be beyond it. That is one pretty big miracle, for God to be able to create all we see out of nothing. So if God is able to perform the biggest miracle (creating something from nothing), why couldn't he perform smaller ones as well (such as raising Jesus from the dead).

I believe that that is exactly what did happen. Here are my reasons why. Up until Christ's resurrection, His followers were a bunch of cowards. Peter denied even knowing Jesus, and most of them simply ran for their lives when Jesus was arrested. However, after Christ's resurrection, these mean became instantly bold in their teachings, and martyred for their faith. What would cause these mean to change so drastically if it wasn't for the fact Jesus actually was resurrected? It was the same thing with the Apostle Paul. He went from persecuting and murdering Christians, to becoming it's main proponent once he witnessed what he claimed was the resurrected Christ. Even liberal scholars agree that 1 Corinthians was written around 55 AD, and yet 1 Cor. 15 states that Jesus' resurrected body was seen by over 500 people at the exact same time, and that these people were still alive! So if you were living in 55 AD, and wanted to actually find out if this event was true, just simply go ask them! Likewise, I find it interesting that Christianity first took root in Jerusalem, the very city Jesus was killed! If Jesus was truly dead, all the Jews would have needed to do was shown the people his body, and Christianity would have been squashed right there on the spot. Add in the fact, that the Jews admitted Jesus did perform miracles (they just argued he was doing in by the power of the devil), gives even more evidence to show that Jesus was not just any other man. Finally, one final note that I believe shows that Jesus was more than just a man was all the prophecies about who the Messiah was to be. If Jesus really wanted people to believe He was God, He had to do more than simply act like the Messiah here on earth. He had to fulfill prophecies about Himself that would have been completely out of His control. The Old Testament states exactly what Ethnic Group (Gen .12:1), Tribe (Gen. 49:10), and Dynasty (2. Sam. 7:12) the Messiah must come from. Likewise, the Old Testament tells us how the Messiah will be born (Isa. 7:14), where (Mic. 5:2), and even when (Dan. 9:24). All of these prophecies Jesus fulfilled!

So yes I am a Christian, and I believe that Jesus is God. However, not simply because He said He was, but because I believe the evidence is completely in His favor.

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