David Ditchfield’s Near-Death Experience Turned Him Into an Artist and Composer |453|

#64
Truth does not depend upon scholars or popularity of opinions. Please identify the claims that are incorrect and the basis for saying so.
There may not be exact contemporaries of Jesus but Josephus lived around that same time... We also have the Bible that is a good historical source even if it adds legendary accounts. He's mentioned by later historians, who didn't live too much later. I don't really know where you got the idea that Christians didn't believe he was an actual person. Bart Ehrman, no friend to Christianity, is one of the most ardent critics of Jesus Mythicists, wrote a book on this topic. You also said Christianity borrowed a lot from other religions...of course it did but I don't really know how that is related to his existence. I was obsessed with this topic and researched as much as I could and I never found much about Christianity borrowing all the things you mentioned. When scholars did mention it, usually they would say it's hard to tell who borrowed from whom... Christianity is the most well known Religion so other religions, especially mystery ones, probably borrowed a lot as well. The simple fact is...only a few...and I mean a few, think Jesus is just a legend. Why do the atheist scholars as well, think it's more likely than not, that he existed???
 
#65
Your focus on the religious/Jesus aspect was excellent. The persistence of a belief through time has nothing to do with truth.
Agreed!
The historicity of Jesus is challenged by many lines of evidence. For example, no contemporary historian refers to him. Many early Christians did not believe in a physical Jesus. And most compelling, every doctrine related to him preexisted in pagan religions--time of birth, trinity, passion and execution, savior, resurrection, 12 followers, miracles . . . the whole shebang.
I think this is a real problem for Christians. The earliest Gospel was written about 30 years after Jesus' death. That is like someone writing the very first account of the release of Nelson Mandela right now - passed down by word of mouth from that time!
The assumption by some NDEers that they see and talk to Jesus is most likely orchestrated by the powers that be on the other side to make the transition kind and loving, characteristics commonly attached to Jesus..
We have to be very careful about NDE's, because I am only too aware of how materialists can twist the evidence on a whole range of subjects to suite themselves. IMHO this is a bit part of what has gone wrong with modern science. That means we don't want to fall down the same slippery slope. I think NDEers who claim this should be asked if they were actually told in the NDE that this was Jesus. This might help to weed out people who simply assumed this because of their background.

David
 
#66
So your opinion trumps what 99 percent of scholars, who study that for a living, believe?
If you went and asked 100 scientists if there is life after death, you might get a similar response. The whole idea of Skeptiko is to get beyond mere counting of heads by reasoning about ideas directly.

Many interviewees and some people who post here, do so from a materialist perspective, and they almost all argue from authority.

David
 
#67
If you went and asked 100 scientists if there is life after death, you might get a similar response. The whole idea of Skeptiko is to get beyond mere counting of heads by reasoning about ideas directly.

Many interviewees and some people who post here, do so from a materialist perspective, and they almost all argue from authority.

David
I don't think that's a valid comparison. Materialism is different in that there is a lot evidence against it and there's new evidence everyday that invalidates it...not so with evidence for Jesus. The evidence has been the same and practically nobody in the scholarly world thinks he was all legend. You have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to try and make that case...see Richard Carrier. Historians don't have an axe to grind... they're just interpreting the best evidence they have. He's mentioned in multiple ancient historicistians writings...the idea that there should be more is silly, in that he lived in a backwater city in the Roman Empire...the rich and powerful leave more historical traces and yet we still have a good amount of evidence for him. It pretty clear that he existed.
 
#68
There may not be exact contemporaries of Jesus but Josephus lived around that same time... We also have the Bible that is a good historical source even if it adds legendary accounts. He's mentioned by later historians, who didn't live too much later. I don't really know where you got the idea that Christians didn't believe he was an actual person. Bart Ehrman, no friend to Christianity, is one of the most ardent critics of Jesus Mythicists, wrote a book on this topic. You also said Christianity borrowed a lot from other religions...of course it did but I don't really know how that is related to his existence. I was obsessed with this topic and researched as much as I could and I never found much about Christianity borrowing all the things you mentioned. When scholars did mention it, usually they would say it's hard to tell who borrowed from whom... Christianity is the most well known Religion so other religions, especially mystery ones, probably borrowed a lot as well. The simple fact is...only a few...and I mean a few, think Jesus is just a legend. Why do the atheist scholars as well, think it's more likely than not, that he existed???
 
#69
Thank you. That gives me something to work with.
As for scholars affirming what you say, most have a vested interest in the Jesus story. For example, a prof making a living in a Christian university is not likely to announce that Jesus did not exist. Same applies to atheists. making a living in that realm.
As Alex mentioned in the interview, Josephus is an unreliable source for Jesus. His link to the Romans and their desire to make Caesars god-kings and subjugate the troublesome Jews taints the Bible. Keep in mind that it was the pagan, Constantine, who canonized the Bible hundreds of years after the time of Jesus.
There are, in fact, no original Bible manuscripts. So it is impossible to know what the original writers said or even who they were. The few references it makes to historical people, places, or events is not unusual for fictional writings. For example, the story of superman has many references to real events.

Christian plagiarism abounds.

Notice the features of the Egyptian sun god Horus, 3000 BC, as compared to modern-day Christianity:

• Born December 25th

• Born of a virgin

• Birth accompanied by a star in the East

• Adored as a savior by three kings

• Child-teacher in a temple

• Baptized at 30 and began ministry

• 12 disciples

• Called a lamb, lion, and identified with a cross

• Trinity

• Performed miracles like healings, water walking, fishing bounty, seven loaves feeding a multitude, raising people from the dead

• Known as "truth," "the light," "God's anointed one," "lamb of god"

• Betrayed by a friend, crucified, dead for three days

• Resurrected

• A Millennial reign . . . (271 Egyptian-Christian parallels are found at asifthinkingmatters.com/preexistingdata)

For a more thorough discussion of this see: https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com...s-second-edition/24-religions-cross-pollinate

And this will address other issues you mention, such as early Christians not believing in a physical Jesus: https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com...n/26-questionable-foundations-of-christianity
 
#70
Thank you. That gives me something to work with.
As for scholars affirming what you say, most have a vested interest in the Jesus story. For example, a prof making a living in a Christian university is not likely to announce that Jesus did not exist. Same applies to atheists. making a living in that realm.
As Alex mentioned in the interview, Josephus is an unreliable source for Jesus. His link to the Romans and their desire to make Caesars god-kings and subjugate the troublesome Jews taints the Bible. Keep in mind that it was the pagan, Constantine, who canonized the Bible hundreds of years after the time of Jesus.
There are, in fact, no original Bible manuscripts. So it is impossible to know what the original writers said or even who they were. The few references it makes to historical people, places, or events is not unusual for fictional writings. For example, the story of superman has many references to real events.

Christian plagiarism abounds.

Notice the features of the Egyptian sun god Horus, 3000 BC, as compared to modern-day Christianity:

• Born December 25th

• Born of a virgin

• Birth accompanied by a star in the East

• Adored as a savior by three kings

• Child-teacher in a temple

• Baptized at 30 and began ministry

• 12 disciples

• Called a lamb, lion, and identified with a cross

• Trinity

• Performed miracles like healings, water walking, fishing bounty, seven loaves feeding a multitude, raising people from the dead

• Known as "truth," "the light," "God's anointed one," "lamb of god"

• Betrayed by a friend, crucified, dead for three days

• Resurrected

• A Millennial reign . . . (271 Egyptian-Christian parallels are found at asifthinkingmatters.com/preexistingdata)

For a more thorough discussion of this see: https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com...s-second-edition/24-religions-cross-pollinate

And this will address other issues you mention, such as early Christians not believing in a physical Jesus: https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com...n/26-questionable-foundations-of-christianity
https://strangenotions.com/horus-manure/
 
#71
I don't think that's a valid comparison. Materialism is different in that there is a lot evidence against it and there's new evidence everyday that invalidates it...not so with evidence for Jesus. The evidence has been the same and practically nobody in the scholarly world thinks he was all legend. You have to do a lot of mental gymnastics to try and make that case...see Richard Carrier. Historians don't have an axe to grind... they're just interpreting the best evidence they have. He's mentioned in multiple ancient historicistians writings...the idea that there should be more is silly, in that he lived in a backwater city in the Roman Empire...the rich and powerful leave more historical traces and yet we still have a good amount of evidence for him. It pretty clear that he existed.
I suspect many historians focus on this period because they are Christians (or as Iconoclast suggests, work for a Christian university) - so they do have an axe to grind! Also materialists would tell you they don't have an axe to grind - they 'just follow the science'.

The honest truth, I think is that just about everyone has an axe to grind about anything they are really interested in. There are people on the forum who will tell me I am biassed against materialism - you can't win :)

Alex seems to support a researcher called Joseph Atwill, who claims that Josephus worked for the Roman state, that wanted to create a 'tame' religion that would not oppose rule by the Romans. This would explain such biblical verses as "Render unto Caesar things that are Caesar's, and unto God things which are God's " Christians were, in effect, told not to rock the boat.

It would also explain why the council of Nicea, which defined the teachings of Christianity was convened by Emperor Constantine!

Chris, I don't really want to drag anyone away from their religion, but obviously anyone who chooses to assert their religion here, will face opposing points of view - both about the historical evidence, and the morality (or otherwise) of what their religion has done over time.

I guess the main reason you are here, is because you find standard Christianity unfullfilling or stale (without putting words into your mouth).

David
 
Last edited:
#72
I suspect many historians focus on this period because they are Christians (or as Iconoclast suggests, work for a Christian university) - so they do have an axe to grind! Also materialists would tell you they don't have an axe to grind - they 'just follow the science'.

The honest truth, I think is that just about everyone has an axe to grind about anything they are really interested in. There are people on the forum who will tell me I am biassed against materialism - you can't win :)

Alex seems to support a researcher called Joseph Atwill, who claims that Josephus worked for the Roman state, that wanted to create a 'tame' religion that would not oppose rule by the Romans. This would explain such biblical verses as "Render unto Caesar things that are Caesar's, and unto God things which are God's " Christians were, in effect, told not to rock the boat.

It would also explain why the council of Nicea, which defined the teachings of Christianity was convened by Emperor Constantine!

Chris, I don't really want to drag anyone away from their religion, but obviously anyone who chooses to assert their religion here, will face opposing points of view - both about the historical evidence, and the morality (or otherwise) of what their religion has done over time.

I guess the main reason you are here, is because you find standard Christianity unfullfilling or stale (without putting words into your mouth).

David
I did leave religion because I didn't agree with all the dogma. I'm still interested in the history part and I think it's pretty obvious that Jesus existed. Josephus did work for the Romans but what does that have to do with the fact that he mentions Jesus?
 
#73
I suspect many historians focus on this period because they are Christians (or as Iconoclast suggests, work for a Christian university) - so they do have an axe to grind! Also materialists would tell you they don't have an axe to grind - they 'just follow the science'.

The honest truth, I think is that just about everyone has an axe to grind about anything they are really interested in. There are people on the forum who will tell me I am biassed against materialism - you can't win :)

Alex seems to support a researcher called Joseph Atwill, who claims that Josephus worked for the Roman state, that wanted to create a 'tame' religion that would not oppose rule by the Romans. This would explain such biblical verses as "Render unto Caesar things that are Caesar's, and unto God things which are God's " Christians were, in effect, told not to rock the boat.

It would also explain why the council of Nicea, which defined the teachings of Christianity was convened by Emperor Constantine!

Chris, I don't really want to drag anyone away from their religion, but obviously anyone who chooses to assert their religion here, will face opposing points of view - both about the historical evidence, and the morality (or otherwise) of what their religion has done over time.

I guess the main reason you are here, is because you find standard Christianity unfullfilling or stale (without putting words into your mouth).

David
 
#74
I did leave religion because I didn't agree with all the dogma. I'm still interested in the history part and I think it's pretty obvious that Jesus existed. Josephus did work for the Romans but what does that have to do with the fact that he mentions Jesus?
Simply that Atwill's theory is that the Christian religion was more or less invented by the Romans, and Josephus' job was to provide some historical 'evidence'. This podcast relates to this:
https://skeptiko.com/did-jesus-exist-atwill-vs-crowder-386/

The fact that Christianity is very pacifist (which I think is one of its good points!) would have been useful to the Romans for obvious reasons.
It is of course a paradox that this pacifist religion ended up powering the crusades!

David
 
#75
I suspect many historians focus on this period because they are Christians (or as Iconoclast suggests, work for a Christian university) - so they do have an axe to grind! Also materialists would tell you they don't have an axe to grind - they 'just follow the science'.

The honest truth, I think is that just about everyone has an axe to grind about anything they are really interested in. There are people on the forum who will tell me I am biassed against materialism - you can't win :)

Alex seems to support a researcher called Joseph Atwill, who claims that Josephus worked for the Roman state, that wanted to create a 'tame' religion that would not oppose rule by the Romans. This would explain such biblical verses as "Render unto Caesar things that are Caesar's, and unto God things which are God's " Christians were, in effect, told not to rock the boat.

It would also explain why the council of Nicea, which defined the teachings of Christianity was convened by Emperor Constantine!

Chris, I don't really want to drag anyone away from their religion, but obviously anyone who chooses to assert their religion here, will face opposing points of view - both about the historical evidence, and the morality (or otherwise) of what their religion has done over time.

I guess the main reason you are here, is because you find standard Christianity unfullfilling or stale (without putting words into your mouth).

David
What is the contemporary historical evidence for Jesus? At the least, where are his writings?

There were many scribes in his day and in his locale, not one mentions him even though he is said to have performed fantastic miracles and multitudes are said to have followed him. You have to wait decades or centuries before accounts were written. Ascribing historical truth to what such authors say seems more like the mental gymnastics.

Moreover, if Jesus is God and his message is important to all humanity, why leave no direct evidence? Why send a savior when most people could not even read or write? Why put such an important message on leaves and animal skins. Why not send him today when communications capabilities would leave no doubt?
 
#76
Simply that Atwill's theory is that the Christian religion was more or less invented by the Romans, and Josephus' job was to provide some historical 'evidence'. This podcast relates to this:
https://skeptiko.com/did-jesus-exist-atwill-vs-crowder-386/

The fact that Christianity is very pacifist (which I think is one of its good points!) would have been useful to the Romans for obvious reasons.
It is of course a paradox that this pacifist religion ended up powering the crusades!

David
http://www.evidenceunseen.com/theology/book-reviews/a-critique-of-joseph-atwills-covert-messiah/
 
#77
What is the contemporary historical evidence for Jesus? At the least, where are his writings?

There were many scribes in his day and in his locale, not one mentions him even though he is said to have performed fantastic miracles and multitudes are said to have followed him. You have to wait decades or centuries before accounts were written. Ascribing historical truth to what such authors say seems more like the mental gymnastics.

Moreover, if Jesus is God and his message is important to all humanity, why leave no direct evidence? Why send a savior when most people could not even read or write? Why put such an important message on leaves and animal skins. Why not send him today when communications capabilities would leave no doubt?
https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org...bible/jesus-historical-jesus/did-jesus-exist/
 
#78
Good point on the Crusades. Christian motivated violence is common throughout history. The Old Testament is replete with genocide, torture, misogyny, racism (in the true, not current sense), and countless atrocities on man and beast. And the Old Testament does not get to be conveniently set aside by Christians. Since Jesus is in accord with, if not the same as the Old Testament god, Jesus cannot be a pacifist, or even moral or ethical for that matter. https://www.asifthinkingmatters.com/solving-the-big-questions-second-edition/29-religion-unleashed
 
#79
The problem is, that almost every discussion on the internet can reduce in the end to a swapping of links on each side of the story.

It doesn't really get you very far. If you argued about psi phenomena with an materialist, you and him would fall down the same rabbit hole.

I did take a look at your link, and came across this:

If you’re one of the many atheists who gleefully forwarded this to me or credulously mentioned it on twitter… I see you’ve already met the good friend of so many half-baked wackos in the world, Confirmation Bias.
People who post on Skeptiko in that style, soon get banned (whatever 'side' they claim to support), and I find it a real turn-off. It assumes what it is trying to prove, and attempts to blacken one side of the argument before even presenting his case!

David
 

Alex

Administrator
#80
The assumption by some NDEers that they see and talk to Jesus is most likely orchestrated by the powers that be on the other side to make the transition kind and loving, characteristics commonly attached to Jesus..
I definitely get your point, but I think we have to pull up on this a bit. I worry that there's an echo chamber within the near-death experience community about this point. for me the bottom line is that we don't understand how these extended consciousness realms work. so we're still in the data collection phase :)
 
Top