Saturday, January 15, 2011

Gone too soon and never was

Gone too soon and never was

Almost bought this until when leafing through it at the check stand I noticed that fictional people were included.


  1. uh, i'm no theist, but no one's ever doubted there was a person named jesus who walked this earth a couple thousand years ago. it's everything said about him that's fictional, and perhaps if he'd managed to live a little longer he could have cleared some of this shit up and not allowed people to use him as an excuse to justify their behavior.

  2. I'm confident that odds are there were people named Jesus walking around thousands of years ago. There is nothing but hearsay that there was A Jesus.

    On the other hand, any modern phone book offers more proof today of the existence of Jesus than an ancient tome written decades and centuries after the era.

  3. next you're going to tell me there were probably dozens of women named cleopatra but not A cleopatra who was the last pharaoh of ancient egypt.

    the romans kept some historical records, and there was a certain jesus who got caught up in their legal system so i don't think he a was fictional character. that's all i'm sayin'.

  4. Of course not. Plenty of evidence for Cleo. But records about The Jesus going on trial for being KotJ and Crucified? Never heard of those.

  5. Jesus is better documented than 90% of the people whose existence we accept in history. (I'm just going to argue his existence here, not try to convince you of anything else; that's a matter of personal faith).

    Jesus existence was reported by Josephus in his history of the Jewish Wars (which occurred in 71-72 AD). There's another contemporary account of the Christian movement dated some time after that but before the end of the 1st century AD.

    The various epistles (letters) in the New Testament were written prior to the Fall of Jerusalem in 72 AD; we can discount any claims they were forgeries written after the fact because anyone doing such a forgery for gain would have certainly "prophesied" the Fall of Jerusalem & the Disapora.

    The epistles, Josephus, the above mentioned contemporary account, and various anti-Christian writings by Jewish scholars of the 1st century all agree on 3 points:

    1) Jesus existed
    2) Jesus claimed to be the Son of God
    3) Jesus' followers claim he was resurrected from the dead

    So there was a particular Jesus who is the source for the epistles & the gospels (which apparently were written around the time of the epistles but as the earliest copies have been lost, we can only date them firmly to the end of the 1st century AD).

    Had Jesus not existed, it would have been fairly easy for the critics & enemies of Christianity to prove he was fictional. After all, since Jesus' ministry occurred around 33-35 AD and the epistles were being written around 50-52 AD, there would have been plenty of eyewitnesses to the events still living. If Jesus never existed they would have easily proven the Christian cult was based on falsehood (the way the cult of Mithra was exposed as wholly ficticous even tho it had a brief surge of popularity in 1st-4th century Rome).

    Considering that so much of the story of Jesus had to do with real noticeable events (such as a major earthquake that damaged the temple), it would be hard to falsify evidence of his existence/participation if he had not actually been there.

    We know Pontius Pilate was the governor of Judea. Further, the New Testament correctly identifies him as having been one of the lt. governors of Syria; a fact not verified by archeology until the late 20th century when an inscription w/his name on it was found in Syria. Further, Herod, Salome, the high priests identified by name, these are all people well known & verified in history. Had Jesus not existed & had not interacted w/them, that fact could be easily proven.

    Again, making no claims/argument for anything other than the fact a particular first century Jew known today as Jesus actually existed & preached/taught in Judea at that time.

    (If you want to argue that the picture in Life magazine probably looks nothing like the real Jesus, I'll grant you that one. He probably looked more like Osama bin Laden than a West Coast surfer.)

  6. Isn't that the main issue when proof is asked for? That all writings are anecdotal and occurred years and years after the 'fact"? Josephus in particular is doubted.

  7. Yeah Slestak - no problem with "unbelievers" but you're actually making them look bad by questioning the man's well- documented existence. People can say he was the son of God, a mortal rabbi, a charlatan, or a mental patient, but no one can retain any credibility and maintain there was simply no such historic person.

  8. If they have Jesus they should have had Fruit Brute too!

  9. Sleestak, I'm on board with these other comments 100%. I'm a lifelong atheist but not accepting the existence of Jesus is setting the bar very high for proof of the existence of others in history.

    Jesus is in the same league as Socrates. Below Shakespeare but pretty far above Homer, Moses, Pythagoras, King Arthur & Robin Hood who are all to some extent based on real historical people or amalgamations.

    If no one named Jesus existed and taught around that time, who invented the early Christian church and why didn't they name it after themselves? If it wasn't Jesus but someone else with the same name, then what's the difference?

    In my mind he looked more like John Turturro though.

  10. I'm more inclined to think that God is us and We are GOD. Great post. There is a documentary called "The God Who Wasn't There". I think you would appreciate it :-)

  11. I'm perfectly comfortable with religious diversity in this country: I don't consider it my business per se whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, pagan, agnostic, atheist, etc.

    However, I have noticed in your blog that you tend to have all the subtlety of a Revival Tent preacher of the worst kind whenever you post anything about religion, alternative medicines, or anything transpersonal.

    I'm not sure whether the best way to counter a position you dispute is for you to hypocritically mimic it as intensely as you do.

    It also means that you end up wasting your time preaching to the choir, which is an even greater violation of your stated love of frugal usefulness than is the use of sprigs of wasted vegetation on your food platter at a restaurant.

    If my advice offends you, I apologize.


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