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Did Jesus exist?

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There is no evidence that an actual person ever existed and non of the dozen or more authors at the time ever mention a word about him, but there is a great deal of similarities between the gospel stories and other Egyptian, Zoroastrian and Greek and Hellenised jewish mythologies at the time.

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I've always assumed that there was SOMEBODY there to kick start the religion, but after watching that video Noveltman point us toward I'm no longer as certain that he actually existed.

But, if not, who started the ball rolling?

No, I'm not asking for an answer. Just wondering.
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Look up and read Josephus. An unbiased Jewish historian from Jesus' time. He's widely accepted across academia. The historical Jesus really isn't even up for debate.
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I have read and studied the entire works of Josephus, Eusebius and many many other Christian and non-Christian authors of the time.
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Basically, there are no non-biblical references to a historical Jesus by any known historian of the time during and after Jesus's purported advent. Walker says, "No literate person of his own time mentioned him in any known writing." Eminent Hellenistic Jewish historian and philosopher Philo (20 B.C.E.-50 C.E.), alive at the purported time of Jesus, makes no mention of him. Nor do any of the some 40 other historians who wrote during the first one to two centuries of the Common Era. "Enough of the writings of [these] authors . . . remain to form a library. Yet in this mass of Jewish and Pagan literature, aside from two forged passages in the works of a Jewish author, and two disputed passages in the works of Roman writers, there is to be found no mention of Jesus Christ."28 Their silence is deafening testimony against the historicizers.
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In the entire works of the Jewish historian Josephus, which constitute many volumes, there are only two paragraphs that purport to refer to Jesus. Although much has been made of these "references," they have been dismissed by all scholars and even by Christian apologists as forgeries, as have been those referring to John the Baptist and James, "brother" of Jesus. Bishop Warburton labeled the Josephus interpolation regarding Jesus as "a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too."29 Wheless notes that, "The first mention ever made of this passage, and its text, are in the Church History of that 'very dishonest writer,' Bishop Eusebius, in the fourth century. . . CE [Catholic Encyclopedia] admits . . . the above cited passage was not known to Origen and the earlier patristic writers." Wheless, a lawyer, and Taylor, a minister, agree that it was Eusebius himself who forged the passage.
http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/religion/christianity/origins.shtml
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There is no evidence that a historic Jesus ever existed.
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Tim, It's believed that the reference to Jesus was added to Josephus's work about the 4th century CE.
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I guess that's why they call it faith.
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When the first century popularity of Mythras, which was by far the most popular among Roman soldiers, and the gravitas given to the ancientness of an Egyptian god like Osiris, and the trend to Hellenise and personalize gods that had previously been seen as benefactors of society and agriculture not individuals, then it is predictable that something like Christianity would arise which was then given the power of the Roman empire which morphed into the Byzantine empire which both ruled and consecrated kings and queens throughout the known world.
Well..., it's no surprise that it's assumed that Jesus was real in spite of there being no evidence.
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Faith and delusion are
indistinguishable twins.
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My answer got deleted. wow
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Wow; yah I think with the new guidelines they might see it as not answering the question or offensive.
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As you can see by my answer and comments opposing views are fine as long as it's a perspective that addresses the question.
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I really have a guy named Jesus who mows my yard.
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LoL, that's too funny. I've met a few of them myself.
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I guess we can't win them all, right?
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I've had some of mine deleted too.
Deleted is much better than the "naughty box" as a faded image of your username left at the bottom of the thread for everyone to speculate about what hateful thing you supposedly said to be there.
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Josephus (A.D. 37-100), the Jewish historian, would wrote a generation after Jesus Christ, "At this time there was a wise man who was called Jesus. . . . Pilate condemned Him to be condemned and to die. And those who had become His disciples did not abandon His discipleship. They reported that He had appeared to them three days after His crucifixion and that He was alive; accordingly, He was perhaps the Messiah concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders" (Antiquities, xviii.ch. 3, subtopic 3, Arabic text).
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Deb... I looked up the exact reference you quoted and although it's a very Christian site you should have read the "note" associated with it.
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Note: The above are disputed passages, especially the second one. Josephus writing were handed down through Christian scribes. No Jew cared for this Jew turned Roman General. Since Josephus was not a Christian it is unlikely statement like "if it be lawful to call him a man ," "he was the Christ," etc. Surely words were added to these statements, especially to the second one. No unbelieving Jew would made such statements about Jesus.
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Those paragraphs were added by Eusebius in the fourth century as
"pious fraud". No other Christian author prior to Eusebius ever uses those quotes even though they had access to Josephus's writings.
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Timm... already suggested Josephus and I already gave a thorough reply.
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If the only reference that anyone can come up with is a known interpolation of a known source then that should be your best clue Jesus never existed.
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Deb... Here is the link you quoted from. You should really post the link to anything you copy and paste from.
I do it often but I always post the link as well.
http://www.bibleviews.com/non-biblical.html
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Deb and timm, aside from the statements made by raven and others, Josephus did not start writing until the later part of the 1st century, and was born a few years after the supposed death of Jesus, he would have only been able to write speculation and not actual witness testimony of the account.
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I think that there was a guy named Jesus who lived a long time ago who was such a spiritual person that people thought he was the son of God. I doubt he did everything that the Bible said he did.

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I think he did. I also think Jesse James existed and so did King Charlemagne. but dadgumit... I dont have actual proof.

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your answer confuses me lol
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I apologize.
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the jesse james part did.... what do you mean?! lol
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FunnyLittleFrog
There is proof of Jesse James and Charlemagne.
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I am sure there is... but I dont have it. I have read about all three.... but I wasnt there. They could just be stories as far as I know.
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I can't say anything like that just read the Bible or go to church

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The bible and church is a very biased source. Not the best place if you want an honest answer.
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Yes he did

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He lived a loooooong time ago.

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I believe he did, but I am a Christian so of course I am Going to believe in Jesus being born of a virgin and being son of God.

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FunnyLittleFrog

I think he did exist. His story just doesn't sound like something someone would make up, especially back then.

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His story is exactly the type made up, especially back then.
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Are you serious? His story had been made up and copied for hundreds and hundreds of years before.
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His alleged "story" is just like other solar myths of the region.
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Yes, but it is up to you to believe you will not see Jesus until you go to The Kingdom.

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I believe so

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Neandrathal makes a valid point. People are so quick to believe persons in history books existed with no more proof than a textbook saying they existed...yet extremely hesitant to believe Jesus did. The continued controversy even today proves something!

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Yes.

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Yes.

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He excited too many different people in different ways, too figure out what way he existed
1. prophet
2. god in flesh
3. crazy guy
4. just a person

You need too read old documents, and stuff too find out for yourself.

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Really most likely, but wether he was a great prophet, a messiah, or a great spiritual leader is for you too decide.

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It obviously depends if you are religious. If you are its not even a question, he did and if your not then no I guess not.

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Yes

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Yes. For an unbiased, accurate account, look up the Jewish historian Josephus.

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I have read and studied the entire works of Josephus and many other works and know it is nearly universally accepted among scholars that Eusebius likely forged the reference into Josephus's writings as "pious fraud".
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Exactly- even the early church didn't accept the two minor references to Jesus in Josephus because they were known to be a forgery.

It's odd that so many Christians try to claim them now. Not to mention that Josephus wasn't contemporary to begin with.
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Yes, but no magic gods. Please, get over the fantasy.

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Most historians will agree that at the very least Jesus, the man, existed. There have been documents that refer to Jesus and/or the crucifixion. But, some of these may be problematic. There have been arguments proposed. Recently there were ossuaries found that seem to support the existence of Jesus. But, you will be hard pressed to find an unbiased answer on this site. God bless.

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Wonderful, sir. As rational as ever.
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Thank you pious, your acknowledgment is truly appreciated. God bless. :)
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I keep hearing that 'most historians agree', but who are all these historians and where are they noting their agreement? The fact is, most historians wouldn't touch the subject with a barge pole. Doubting the historicity of Jesus isn't going to help further a historian's career, especially in America.

As there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of a historical Jesus, if pushed on the subject, that is exactly what most historians would tell you.
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Any historian, feel free to approach any of your choosing. Not all, but most will, at the very least, will accept the man lived, let alone if He is the messiah or not. As for your claim of evidence, or the lack there of, I have already said my piece. Besides, I doubt I have anything to say that you would be open to hearing. Which is fine, I mean no disrespect, this really isn't a forum conducive to having such debates. With that, i thank you for your comment and Hope you and your family is blessed abundantly. :).
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wisirrt
Claiming something is true just because most people believe it, is a logical fallacy. Your, "Most historians agree" mean nothing unless objective verifiable evidence is presented or at least suggested, but you offer nothing at all. I think that out of the forty or so authors active at the time someone would have mentioned him.
Christianity is just a predictable mix of the mythologies and politics of the time with absolutely no evidence for the existence of an earthly founder. When I consider that the Jesus myth includes virgin birth announced by angels, a twelve year old "coming out" , twelve apostles, walking on water, and other "miracles" plagiarized from local mythology there's just nothing left to give any reason for an actual person. It just makes more sense that the Jesus character was a mythical creation of a hellenised Jewish sect later heavily influenced by other mythologies retroactively.
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Argumentum ad Populum: This argument concludes that the proposition being made is true because most people believe it is true.
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There seems to be a misunderstanding, that statement is not an argument for Jesus' existence. I agree just because someone says it is true, doesn't make it true. Just as denying something doesn't make it false. But either way, the statement is not false. It seems most are having trouble getting past this first line. But there are historians who wrote oboist Jesus, even non Christian sources. I acknowledge that some are problematic. I also mention the recent discoveries of some ossuaries that seem to add validation Jesus exist. But all this was already mentioned. Thanks for commenting raven. God bless.
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I figured it was only fair for to me to at least name a couple, so i would start with Graham Stanton, James Dunn, and Robert Van Voorst. God bless.
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Just for, sorry about the to. Only fair for me.... Is what it should have said.
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It's only fair to point out that all of the aforementioned are biblical scholars... a bunch that are not known for their objectivity. People who say, "Hey, I think I'll spend my whole career studying the bible" are generally people who approach the subject from faith... although many of them loose their faith. Nobody is going to be surprised if you say the general consensus if biblical scholars say that Jesus was a real person, they will also likely say he was the son of god although there is even less evidence for this -- the very idea of assuming the supernatural would stun any real historian into s stupor... that's the domain of conspiracy theorists.
They assume the bible is true, and then look for evidence to support this. This is a very flawed methodology. Meanwhile historians generally follow the evidence.
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Oh, I believe I may see the issue. I may have made it sound as if historians accept the Gospel. That is a completely different subject. I apologize if I made it seem as they Do. As for the bias, I can accept that, but typically that is what we (humans) do. We have our areas of expertise. A biologist writes about biology, chemists writes about chemistry, a physicist writes about physics. History works the same ways. I am not going to lie, I doubt the conclusion that most historians loose their faith. But, if earlier, nonchristian accounts is what you are looking for you can always look up people like Suetonious, Mara, or Josephous. Thanks again for commenting Vicky. Hope you and your family have a most blessed day!
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There is not enough proof of the theological Christ of Christianity. The history of Jesus is altogether the works of others. Contemporary historians have not mentioned Jesus even in their most detailed works. Jesus' parents have written nothing, Jesus wrote nothing, and even Jesus' supposed god-father has remained absolutely silent about Jesus. Somebody, some 1800 years ago, said that Jesus was Christ. This is all the evidence we have.

However, a person as Jesus existed, and was crucified are historical relations strictly within the limits of reality. Almost nothing that is said by churches can apply, even with the most distant disrespect, to the real man Jesus. The morality that he preached was of the most benevolent kind; although similar systems of morality had been preached by Confucius and by some of the Greek philosophers many years before, by the Quakers since, & by many great men in all ages. It's also worth mentioning that the myth of Jesus' life of the NT was forged from the story of the founder of the Essenes Cult whose name was also "Jesus", and he's crucified in 88 B.C. for blasphemy. From the Essenian cult of the old Jewish religion, has evolved the Christian Christ.

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Many historians wrote of Jesus Christ,and hundreds witnessed his crusifiction
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Nope. There were dozens of historians and scholars in and around Jerusalem at the time, yet no one ever said a word.

Funny how no one who would have been alive at the time ever wrote about him at all.
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Deb001: Please refer me just ONE of the "Many historians who wrote of Jesus Christ"?? Give the specific historians name, his work that contains history of Jesus and the chapter that holds that page. Please remember that I will not accept hearsay.
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Deb... Can you really be honest with yourself and believe in a saviour with the overwhelming likleyhood that he never existed but is a copy of first century mythology?
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Yes,hundreds of people witnesses the crisifiction of Jesus Christ,and historians wrote of him.There are several early statements made by non-Christians that bear witness to Him.
HISTORICITY OF JESUS
The Roman historian and senator Cornelius Tacitus (c. AD 55 – c. AD 120) wrote about Jesus Christ, His execution, and Nero’s persecution of Christians in first century Rome.

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Tacitus never wrote his Annals until 7 decades after the events in question. He wrote about what early Christians BELIEVED, and if you ever actually read them you'd know he scoffed at those beliefs.

And these alleged witnesses never wrote a word nor told a soul who wrote a word, since not a thing was mentioned until decades later b people who were never there. You simply believe the writers of the Gospel of John that these witnesses exist.
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Skeptikitten: spot on. But I don't think she will even consider an investigation of the true HISTORY that you referred, over the fabulous STORIES she was indoctrinated and is preoccupied with about Jesus!!
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Jesus exists.

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Where?
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I like how you said "exists".
:-D
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Thank you SJ.

To pious666 - Jesus lives in Heaven by his Fathers side. His love is everywhere. You only have to accept Him into your heart to know what all us Christians go on about. But, by your pro name I don't think you will anytime soon. Am I wrong?
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Oh slam!!!
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Dunk!!!
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Score.
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High five and a knuckle punch...love ya, man!
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I believe he existed, and that there was a man name Jesus. I just don't think he was the son of god, and the messiah.

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JamesKaeberle

Of course He does. Notice I said does for He is God. God The Father, God The Son, and God The Holy Spirit. Jesus was with God in the beginning even before He became flesh.

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Thats your assertion. Thats not how history works. In fact it isn't how we ascertain the existence of anything. If it is, then I assert that I just put 132 zillion dollars in your bank account! Why don't you go on a spending spree and see just how real that money is?

Sorry, but things don't become true just because you have faith that they are. Faith is not a pathway to truth.
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Yes; I believe and love with my whole heart, mind, and strength. There is nothing anyone can say to convince me He is not real!

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There is not viable record of Jesus existence, there is the possibility that a person named Yeshuah bin Yosheph did exist, but that is based on the popularity of the 2 names during the 1st century. The number figured is, there were about 5 Yeshua bin Yoseph's in and about Jerusalem at that time. So is it possible that someone of this name existed? Yes. But was there one that matched the description of the one of the Bible? No, not one historian wrote about him especially during the lifetime attributed to him. That's like no one ever writing or reporting any concert that Elvis held during his life.

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I believe he did exist, although I don't think he was nearly as special as the Bible portrays him to be, I doubt he made a blind man see or a deaf man hear... but I fully believe he is the one and only true son of God.

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Yes. And he still does.

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Yes, and everyone that is saying "there is no proof he existed", well there is no proof that people like Julius Caesar, Atilla the Hun, or Joan of Arc existed, but they did. So just 'cause there's no proof, doesn't make it a reason to not believe. Just saying...

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Actually, people are saying there is no evidence Jesus existed. And if he was anything like described in the bible, we would reasonably expect there to be evidence... somebody should have written about him.

And there is plenty of evidence people like Julius Caesar existed. His friends wrote about him, his enemies wrote about him. We have coins with his image stamped on them, we have statues of him. Mountains of evidence that are impossible to explain away convincingly without a historical Julius Caesar.
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There are pictures and paintings of Jesus and there are billions of people who go to church every week to worship him
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There are paintings, posters and action figures of King Arthur, and millions of people go to see the movies. But that isn't evidence either.
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yes he is an acawal histrical person if his story is exactley trow is up to you

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The Bible itself is the principal evidence that Jesus Christ is a historical person. The record in the Gospels clearly states time and place in great detail. (Luke 3:1, 2, 21-23)The first-century Jewish historian Josephus referred to the stoning of “James, the brother of Jesus who was called the Christ.” As Sir Isaac Newton, the famous scientist, once said: “I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatever.” It would be wise to view the descriptions of Jesus in the Bible records, which will help us determine who Jesus of Nazareth really was and his existance.

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The problem with that is that the bible isn't authentic. It is a reconstruction made by biblical scholars. And what we do have of the NT is easily shown to be false. For example, the descriptions of Nazareth don't bare any relation to the real Nazareth, a town which probably didn't exist in the supposed time of Jesus.

Apart from contradicting archeology and other historical records, the gospels contradict each other... as principle evidence, it is pretty much worthless.
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Pardon, but archaeology has consistently done nothing but confirm the Bible; and that is established and documented.
Pardon again, but the Bible has stood the test of time and has withstood attacks from more ardent skeptics than anyone on this site; and w/o any serious contradictions. www.equip.org and others
Luke is considered by scholars as a legitimate and reliable historian.
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Yes, pseudo-historians make a shed load of cash peddling that nonsense to Christians... some of them actually believe it too!

The truth is, the bible HAS NOT stood the test of time at all. Christianity is in serious decline in any nations where the population has access to good education. Of those that do call themselves Christian, very few got to church let alone read the bible... And even those that do, most choose to ignore huge chunks of if it. It may be different in America's bible belt, but nothing biblical is taught in a history class, because it just isn't history. If you go to a university you may be able to learn about some of the stuff, but generally you will be learning stuff like where the myths in the bible originated from, the older civilizations from where they were 'borrowed'.

As you gave me a link, let me give you one, to an authentic, world renowned professor of biblical studies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BP5LdELd_0o
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I agree...one can't even trust many college professors today. That is why we had better be careful who we believe.
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If you happen to visit NYC, then try attending the Bible Tour. It's given by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It shows actual artifacts that a man named Jesus existed. Hope I helped!

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I Believe Jesus exists, because I can feel his love and blessings. I also know that if you have not accepted him into your heart as your Lord and savior then you will spend eternity in hell. I know that sounds harsh But it is the truth. God bless you.

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Yes, as a man & as a King.

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Although references to Jesus Christ by early secular historians are meager, such references do exist. Cornelius Tacitus, a respected first-century Roman historian, wrote that the Roman emperor Nero 'fastened the guilt for the burning of Rome on Christians,' and then Tacitus explained: "The name [Christian] is derived from Christ, whom the procurator Pontius Pilate had executed in the reign of Tiberius." Suetonius and Pliny the Younger, other Roman writers of the time, also made mention of Christ. In addition, Flavius Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, wrote in Antiquities of the Jews regarding the death of the Christian disciple James. Josephus said in explanation that James was "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ." The New Encyclopedia Britannica thus concludes: "These independent accounts prove that in ancient times even the opponents of Christianity never doubted the historicity of Jesus, which was disputed for the first time and on inadequate grounds at the end of the 18th, during the 19th, and at the beginning of the 20th centuries."

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there is a small amount of evidence that a guy who lived a life like his may have existed around the time he would have, whether that guy was him is debatable

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Naskey13

Yep, most awesome man in history :) Very long time ago.

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Yes he did. Secular historians who are respected for their detailed accounts of other significant events in the past such as Josephus and Tacitus both mention Jesus as a real person. Even when the Bible speaks of him, Jesus is referred to in relation to specific places and times that can be verified. An example is where the Gospel writer Luke mentions seven ruling officials whose names have been corroborated by secular historians in order to establish the year Jesus began his ministry. (Luke 3:1, 2, 23) This has led the writer of the book, Evidence For the Historical Jesus, to acknowledge that ?most scholars will admit that a man known as Jesus of Nazareth did live in the first century.? There is so much more evidence that Jesus was a real person. If you would like to learn more about him, a worldwide event will be held on Tuesday, March 26 where a free Bible talk will be given to explain how Jesus? death helps us. Jehovah?s Witnesses will be distributing invitations to this event soon.

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Yes, His life is well documented and scholars generally agree that He existed. Obviously not room or time here but plenty of great resources to say with great confidence that the Jesus portrayed in the New Testament most certainly was historical.
His death and resurrection in particular are well established. One example is www.equip.org. I challenge you to check out the evidence for yourself.

Jesus was a man of great compassion and great power--power over disease, death, forces of nature, forces of evil, and holds the very keys of life. One of His statements was "I am the Way, the Truth, the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me."

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If you have questions about Jesus existing it would be good to attend one of these memorial observances . Find one near you.
http://www.jw.org/en/jehovahs-witnesses/memorial/

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actually there are many references to works about him. Many were destroyed by the Romans though during the reign of Diocletian. There are records of certain geological and astronomical events that coincide with the Bible. However, with one so prolific, it would seem that there is very little written about him.. Another thing is, people claiming similar titles were not uncommon.

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Is the proof of Christ's existence necessary for the validation of his (or not his) message to us; don't the lessons in the New Testament regarding our treatment of each other stand on their own ? Why would anyone, given a choice, arbitrarily discount the existence of such a revolutionary and inspiring individual?

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He must have, seeing as there are several books whose authors were His disciples and bore witness to His miracles. However, other religions such as Judaism and Islam deny the validity of His works. You are free to believe whatever you want, but most evidence points to there being an actual Jesus of Nazareth.

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Yes, and He still does :)

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Yes :D

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