Author Topic: Did Jesus ever exist?  (Read 18898 times)

Offline fencerider (OP)

Did Jesus ever exist?
« on: November 17, 2016, 12:36:28 AM »
Saw a video on youtube by a literary researcher. The man claims that the whole story of Jesus was invented by roman emperor Flavius. Flavius needed to get the Jewish people under control so he obtained a Torah for himself then proceeded to destroy every other copy he could find. He used his copy of the Torah to create a Messiah story that sounded credible. Mixing details of the Torah with details of his own life Flavius wrote all four gospels trying to paint himself as the Messiah so that the Jews would see Emporer Flavius as the Messiah. What do you think? Was Jesus real or just an invention of the successor of Nero?
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Offline Cavebear

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2016, 04:47:32 AM »
Saw a video on youtube by a literary researcher. The man claims that the whole story of Jesus was invented by roman emperor Flavius. Flavius needed to get the Jewish people under control so he obtained a Torah for himself then proceeded to destroy every other copy he could find. He used his copy of the Torah to create a Messiah story that sounded credible. Mixing details of the Torah with details of his own life Flavius wrote all four gospels trying to paint himself as the Messiah so that the Jews would see Emporer Flavius as the Messiah. What do you think? Was Jesus real or just an invention of the successor of Nero?

"Flavius" was originally pre-christian.  The title being used sometimes until Ceasar (in various forms) became popular later.  The original Flavious seems to have been around 300 BC, but certainly there was no connection to Christianity.

YouTube videos can and are often made by complete blitherring idiots.  Do yourself a favor and don't pay any attention to them.
Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline doorknob

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2016, 05:35:10 AM »
Youtube videos CAN be informing however should always be referenced. If they aren't then you still need to do some work to determine if the claim in the video is true by looking for other sources that verify that claim.


I've never heard of this theory you mention before and am unwilling to buy it. Yes I agree with most historians that jesus is not a historical person rather he is a legend of the time, popularized and enforced by Constantine. There's little evidence to support that any historical claims made in the bible are true. Exodus, not historical. Noah not historical. And many other old testament stories are also not historical. The new testament was written 100 years and some versions even later than that, after the time jesus supposably lived. Certainly the gospels were not written before the time of jesus so any one claiming that it was is incorrect. That's not to say there weren't co-occurring or previous religions with similarities to christianty. Christianity is most likely borrowed from other religions.

So be aware of youtube videos. And there is a lot of misinformation out there so use good judgement and always sight more than one source. I would say if you can find 5 or more sources it's probably accurate information.

Thank you for sharing though.

Offline Cavebear

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2016, 05:53:49 AM »
Youtube videos CAN be informing however should always be referenced. If they aren't then you still need to do some work to determine if the claim in the video is true by looking for other sources that verify that claim.

That's not to say there weren't co-occurring or previous religions with similarities to christianty. Christianity is most likely borrowed from other religions.

It depends on the sources YouTube videos reference.  They tend to be inbred and and mutully-referencing and that's not good.

There is no doubt that Judaism (Christianity being a schism) was wholly constructed from the myths those nomadic people met.  The Flood story came from Gilgamesh and that probably came from the even older legends of the refilling of the Mediterranean plains and/or Black Sea from the Atlantic, the Exodus from Babylonian experiences (the artefacts of the Jews exist in Egypt) , and the Virgin stuff of the Christians from the Mithras myths many centuries before.   Same ideas of Virgin birth, single deity, etc.





Atheist born, atheist bred.  And when I die, atheist dead!  b 1950

Offline Solomon Zorn

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2016, 06:27:53 AM »
No one knows for sure, but I think it likely, that there was a man by that name who preached, and possibly did some fake faith healing. But the supernatural nature of any of his actions, and the preponderance of his words, are embellishments by the authors, writing 70 years and more after the supposed events of their stories. Then these scraps were gathered together, by priests, many years later, and they kept the ones they liked, and threw out the ones they didn't like. Thus was born the Bible.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2016, 06:37:30 AM »
"Flavius" was originally pre-christian.  The title being used sometimes until Ceasar (in various forms) became popular later.  The original Flavious seems to have been around 300 BC, but certainly there was no connection to Christianity.

YouTube videos can and are often made by complete blitherring idiots.  Do yourself a favor and don't pay any attention to them.

Multiple Youtube videos are useful for inducing skepticism ... not dogmatism.
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Offline Baruch

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2016, 06:46:28 AM »
Saw a video on youtube by a literary researcher. The man claims that the whole story of Jesus was invented by roman emperor Flavius. Flavius needed to get the Jewish people under control so he obtained a Torah for himself then proceeded to destroy every other copy he could find. He used his copy of the Torah to create a Messiah story that sounded credible. Mixing details of the Torah with details of his own life Flavius wrote all four gospels trying to paint himself as the Messiah so that the Jews would see Emporer Flavius as the Messiah. What do you think? Was Jesus real or just an invention of the successor of Nero?

In a word, no.  I wish he had ;-)  The 2002 movie, Joshua ... about Jesus visiting the US ... was awesome!  Too bad Santa Claus and Superman aren't real either.

I think that the author of Caesar's Messiah is clever, but not a very good historian ... the Romans weren't that clever.  From Julius Caesar forward, they didn't need to write fiction to make the Roman leaders like gods ... it was commonly believed that the Emperor was god incarnate, and savior.  So when you write a story, of losers not winners, and say that this executed Jewish tramp was god ... the pagans had a hard time with that for various reasons.  The Emperor didn't become Jesus incarnate until later, until Constantine ... he was already Sol Invictus incarnate, his birthday the same as the birthday of Sol invictus ... Dec 25th.  And yes, the Roman Mithras is closely related to Sol Invictus.  The Eastern Church still celebrates Epiphany, not Christmas.

Don't rely on iffy history.  You can't cross-examine dead people.  All history is, is political propaganda (Herodotus, first Western historian, was a Greek propagandist).  History is written by the winners, the losers view is written out.  If you want to see G-d, look about you ... talk to people, not books.  I love books, but you won't find G-d in them.
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Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2016, 10:08:54 AM »
I looked into whether Jesus was a real man or not a few months ago.  You can wade through a mountain of historical documents you are not qualified to analyze or you can just ask what the majority of historians believe.  The majority of historians believe that Jesus was, in fact, a real person.
This sentence is a lie...

Offline SGOS

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2016, 11:17:27 AM »
There's a big difference between a Jesus constrained by the laws of physics, and a Jesus who performed miracles.  Proving that there was a Jesus constrained by the laws of physics doesn't lend credibility to the Bible.  It actually demolishes it.  Now which Jesus are the historians talking about?  Just a guy named Jesus?  Or a miracle Jesus?  If it's the first, well, OK, maybe, why not?  If it's the miracle Jesus, then that sounds like bullshit.  If all you can do is prove there was a guy named Jesus, well whoop-de-doo.  You haven't got Jack.  And no one has been able to prove that, anyway.  I've never understood the point of arguing about the existence of just a regular guy named Jesus.  It's a waste of theological discussion and hurts Christianity more than it supports it.

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2016, 01:37:55 PM »
There's a big difference between a Jesus constrained by the laws of physics, and a Jesus who performed miracles.  Proving that there was a Jesus constrained by the laws of physics doesn't lend credibility to the Bible.  It actually demolishes it.  Now which Jesus are the historians talking about?  Just a guy named Jesus?  Or a miracle Jesus?  If it's the first, well, OK, maybe, why not?  If it's the miracle Jesus, then that sounds like bullshit.  If all you can do is prove there was a guy named Jesus, well whoop-de-doo.  You haven't got Jack.  And no one has been able to prove that, anyway.  I've never understood the point of arguing about the existence of just a regular guy named Jesus.  It's a waste of theological discussion and hurts Christianity more than it supports it.
Historians generally lean toward the belief that the Jesus mentioned in the Bible was a real person.  To my knowledge no mainstream, respected historian has ever spoken about his time at Hogwarts.  You are correct in that proving that a man named Jesus used to be walking around claiming to be the son of God absolutely does not in any way support any of the magical claims of the Bible.  But the OP wasn't about the magic powers of Jesus, just whether or not he had existed.

Of course proving a mundane thing does nothing to even remotely suggest that associated fantastical claims have any basis in reality.  And of course nobody here thinks it does.  Christians only see it that way because all they can do is prove the mundane.  It's all they have, so they elevate the significance of anything the Bible got right.  Many years ago I heard what was essentially a claim that archaeologists had found Sodom and Gomorrah, which they had previously not believed to have existed, and this proved the Biblical account of the two cities.  To understand why mundane evidence is more significant to a theist than it is to a reasonable human being you have to understand how they think and why.

To the theist, getting just ONE THING wrong brings the whole house of cards crashing down on them.  Prove the entire planet wasn't flooded, the story of Noah's Ark isn't real and the Bible can't be taken literally.  Entire religious sects cease to exist.  Prove evolution happened and the Biblical account of creation didn't happen.  Again, entire religious sects cease to exist.  Prove Jesus wasn't magical then nothing about his life is correct, including him rising from the dead.  Pretty much all of Christianity dies that day.  Sure, it would be replaced with something just as stupid immediately as people try desperately to hold on to as much of their belief systems as possible, but its current for dies overnight.  This is, of course, ignoring the fact that Christians are adept at ignoring facts so what you "proved" would, like the Bible, be "open to interpretation".

That is the mindset Christians come from.  Prove ONE SINGLE THING wrong and their entire belief system gets tossed out.  So that is how they see the world.  Archaeologists are "scientists".  Scientists are a group of evil "smart people" with a hive mind who are desperate to do nothing more so than to kill God.  So if archaeologists say "This probably never existed" and then they're proved wrong they get to toss out ALL of science that they disagree with.  And, of course, all scientists have that hive mind thing going on, so they all say exactly the same thing (when it's convenient, of course.  As Randy showed us, when it's not convenient you get to choose the one who agrees with you and throw out the thousands who don't).  So if you can prove ONE SINGLE SCIENTIST wrong then you have proved EVERYTHING you disagree with wrong.  Thus, prove that Jesus really walked the Earth, something all scientists everywhere dispute, and you have proved the Bible in its entirety.

We all know that's stupid.  We all get physically ill over the flawed logic of that way of thinking.  This wasn't one of "those conversations", though, so all the bullshit logical flaws can (thankfully) simply be ignored in this context.
This sentence is a lie...

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2016, 05:48:59 PM »
I've got a copy of Caesar's Messiah, and it was a pretty good read. I'm more skeptical of the idea merely because I'd love it to be true. He talks a good game, though. Could be on to something.
God Not Found
"Never criticize someone unless you've walked a mile in his shoes. Then when you criticize him at least you'll be a mile away - and you'll have his shoes."
Ray Magliozzi
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted at all."

Offline Baruch

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2016, 06:57:00 PM »
I've got a copy of Caesar's Messiah, and it was a pretty good read. I'm more skeptical of the idea merely because I'd love it to be true. He talks a good game, though. Could be on to something.

Better title ... Constantine's Messiah
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Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2016, 07:03:45 PM »
Maybe Jesus was a real man, whose legend evolved over time. Maybe was entirely made up based on stories that came before him. This story of Flavius making up the story to try to control Jews, though, is just silly.
"Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness." - Alejandro Jodorowsky

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2016, 07:07:24 PM »
Yeah, so was the idea that Chump would be our next POTUS.
God Not Found
"Never criticize someone unless you've walked a mile in his shoes. Then when you criticize him at least you'll be a mile away - and you'll have his shoes."
Ray Magliozzi
"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted at all."

Offline Baruch

Re: Did Jesus ever exist?
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2016, 07:28:24 PM »
Maybe Jesus was a real man, whose legend evolved over time. Maybe was entirely made up based on stories that came before him. This story of Flavius making up the story to try to control Jews, though, is just silly.

Constantine made it up, to control the Empire.
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