Is There Any Historical Proof for the Existence of Jesus?

Updated on December 15, 2017
Historians of the 1st and 2nd century apparently never heard of Jesus Christ.
Historians of the 1st and 2nd century apparently never heard of Jesus Christ. | Source

Do 1st and 2nd century historians give us accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ?

In an earlier article, Did Jesus Exist or Is It All a Myth, I wrote about how it is very odd that we have no eyewitness accounts of Jesus, his life, and his teachings. No one wrote a thing about him during his supposed lifetime. We don’t even have any accounts of Jesus from someone who knew someone who knew Jesus.

Christian apologists often cite the Epistles of Paul or the historians of the 1st and 2nd century CE Jospehus, Pliny the Younger, Tacitus, and Suetonius as proof that the man we have come to know as Jesus Christ actually existed. Here is why their proof is no proof at all.

How are ancient historical documents authenticated?

Scholars often refer to the known dates of historical events to determine when a document was written. If the author mentioned who was ruler at the time of his writing, or if he mentions an historical event for which the date is known, the reference can be used to discern the date of the document.

Linguistics also comes into play. The use of certain language and words can help pin down when a document was written.

Authorship can be determined by comparing the writing style of a particular document from a known writer with the writing style of newly found document ascribed to the same author. If they don’t match, the new document is probably a forgery.

Documents are also dated by archeologists based upon where they were found and what was found near them. Carbon dating is also used.

A detail of a painting of St. Paul by Rembrandt.
A detail of a painting of St. Paul by Rembrandt. | Source

Do the Epistles of Paul (4 BCE-64 CE) prove the existence of Jesus Christ?

A Jew, Saul of Tarsus, later known as St. Paul, is considered the founder of Christianity. He changed it from a Jewish sect to a separate religion. He took on the mission of converting Gentiles to Christianity. He is not a historian, but his Epistiles contain the earliest mentions of Jesus Christ.

According to the story that Paul himself tells in the Epistles, he was a Pharisee (a Jewish sect of the time) whose job was to persecute the new Jewish sect of Christians who were becoming a threat to the authorities among the Jews and the Romans. So Paul knew about the early Christians, but that does not mean that he knew anything about the actual man known as Jesus Christ. He himself was not an eyewitness and he did not base his writings on anything told to him by eyewitnesses.

Paul reported that around 37CE, he had a revelation from God on the road to Damascus. According to his writings, he saw a blinding light, fell to the ground unconscious, heard voices, and became temporarily blinded. During this episode, Jesus appeared to him and spoke to him.

Some say his description is consistent with an epileptic seizure, (Epilepsy, at that time, was thought to indicate possession by a demon—perhaps Paul called his seizure a revelation to avoid the stigma of epilepsy.) Others suggest that Paul had a psychotic episode. It is also possible that Paul was affected by a fireball or meteor passing through the sky which accounts for the blinding light, being knocked to the ground, and temporary blindness.

The first of Paul’s Epistles was written fourteen years later around 52CE. (We have no earlier writings from him and know nothing about what he did for those 14 years.) Paul said that he met Peter and James, the brother of Jesus. However, he reports that he made no attempt to meet and talk with them or any of the other disciples. Just the opposite—there appears to have been a rift between Paul and the people who could have known Jesus. I think Paul and the early Christians had very different opinions about who Jesus was and what he taught.

Paul is quite insistent that he bases his ideas about Christ on his revelation and not upon any eyewitness account told to him.

For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

— Galatians 1:12

The early Christians believed that Christ was the Jewish Messiah and that he was sent to restore the Jews to power. He was put to death, but then resurrected, and he would return soon to complete his mission of freeing the Jews from Roman rule.

Paul mentions only Christ’s death, resurrection, and some post-death appearances. He does not mention any miracles, parables, or teachings of Jesus. There is nothing about healing the sick, driving out evil spirits, or raising the dead. He does not mention the virgin birth, the Sermon on the Mount, or the loaves and fishes that fed 5000 people. He doesn’t tell us anything that Jesus did during his lifetime; not even his final words on the cross. He doesn’t even give us historical references—no mention of Caesar Augustus, King Herod, or even Pontius Pilate.

So what exactly does Paul tell us? He tells us that there was a Jewish sect who thought that a person they called Jesus Christ was the promised Jewish Messiah and that this man died and was resurrected as was prophesized and that he, Paul, had a vision of this Christ. There is not much there that is of use to historians. Visions are not history.

Note: Only about half of the writings considered to be from Paul are now accepted by the majority of Biblical scholars as having actually been written by him. The others are considered forgeries.

Does the Jewish historian Josephus (37–100 CE) prove the existence of Jesus?

The extant writings of the first century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus included two references to Jesus. The mentions occur in his work Antiquities of the Jews written around 93–94 CE, about 60 years after the date of Jesus’ death and about 50 years after Paul began to write about Jesus. There are three sentences referencing Jesus (Book 18, Chapter 3, Paragraph 3).This passage known as theTestimonium Flavianum. It is most likely a forgery—even most Christian scholars do not believe it to be true. It is believed to have been inserted into the text during the fourth century by a Catholic Church historian named Eusebius

Its placement interrupts the narrative that Josephus is writing. It doesn’t relate to the paragraph before or after, but those two paragraphs relate to each other.

Its brevity argues against it authenticity. Josephus wrote 20 volumes and covered his subjects, even the accounts of minor events, in great detail. Yet, all he has to say about Jesus Christ can be contained in three sentences? It strains credulity.

Older manuscripts of Josephus’ work do not contain this mention of Jesus and earlier church historians made no reference to this passage.

There is also a mention of “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James.” (Book 20, Chapter 9, paragraph 1) and a reference to John the Baptist (Book 18, Chapter 5, Paragraph 2).

  • Josephus tells us that James was stoned to death on the order of the High Priest Ananus. The mention of Jesus probably refers to the Jesus mentioned later in the same passage, "Jesus son of Damneus." The "who was called Christ" part was inserted into the text by some scribe. Prior to this insertion, this passage was never thought to be about Jesus Christ.
  • The story Josephus tells about John the Baptist may be authentic but it does not correspond to the story told in the Gospels. In Matthew 14:1-12, John the Baptist is beheaded on the order of King Herod at the request of a dancing girl who had been offered whatever she might ask for because her dancing had so pleased him; in Josephus, there is no dancing girl. Both accounts mentioned that Herod feared John the Baptist as a threat to his rule because John the Baptist was so popular with the people. (One of these two stories, if not both, must be wrong.) John the Baptist is estimated to have died in 28-29 CE.)

Some Christian apologists say that the very fact that Josephus and the Bible stories do not match is proof that the passages were written by Josephus. (A cleric fabricating text would have been more careful to make them match.) In any event, Josephus is not an eye-witness, nor does he have an eye witness report; if he actually wrote the passage he is telling the stories that he heard.

It should also be noted that there are many references to men with the name of Jesus in Josephus’ work—both Jesus and James were very common names. There is nothing else in the text to indicate that he is talking about the brother of Jesus Christ.

A bust of the historian Flavius Josephus.
A bust of the historian Flavius Josephus. | Source

Does the Roman historian Pliny the Younger (62-113 CE) prove the existence of Jesus?

There is a short passage in the works of the Roman historian, Pliny the Younger, sometimes cited as evidence for the existence of Jesus. In 110 CE, Pliny, who was proconsul of Bithynia, a province in Asia Minor, wrote a letter to the Emperor Trajan concerning a group of mystics, “Christiani,” who were causing trouble and would not renounce “Christos” as their god or bow down to the image of the Emperor.

The “Christiani” was described as a group worshiping Serapis –a Graeco-Egyptian god introduced during the 3rd century BCE on the orders of Ptolemy I of Egypt as a means to unify the Greeks and Egyptians in his realm. If so, “Christos” may have been the god Serapis, and not a man who had been crucified in Judea. The god Serapis—was called not only Christos but also "Chrestos," centuries before the purported birth of Jesus.

“Christ” is a tile meaning “Lord”; there is nothing in the letter to indicate that “Christos” refers to the man we today call Jesus of Nazareth.

But we have even another reason to doubt the authenticity of this letter—it is very similar to a letter allegedly written by Tiberianus, Governor of Syria, to Trajan, which has been exposed as a forgery. Pliny's letter is not quoted by any early Churchman—it is quite likely a 5th century forgery.

The only argument in favor of it being genuine is the same as for Josephus—how could the Church be so bad at forgery?

A detail of a sculpture of Pliny the Younger.
A detail of a sculpture of Pliny the Younger. | Source

Does the Roman politician and historian Tacitus (c. 56-120 CE) prove the existence of Jesus Christ?

Tacitus wrote in his history, Annals, (written around 107 CE,) that the Roman Emperor Nero (37-68 CE) blamed the burning of Rome during his reign on "those people who were abhorred for their crimes and commonly called Christians." The passage in Annals (Book 15 Chapter 44.) states that these fire-setting agitators were followers of a certain "Christus" or “Christos,” who, in the reign of Tiberius, "was put to death as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate.” The passage ends, “Those who confessed to being Christians were at once arrested, but on their testimony a great crowd of people were convicted, not so much on the charge of arson, but of hatred of the entire human race.”

There are many reasons to believe that this passage was not written by Tacitus. It was probably done in the fifth century by a churchman and known forger, Sulpicius Severus (363 CE to 425 CE). This text is present almost word-for-word in the Chronicle of Sulpicius Severus, mixed in with obviously false stories. Severus could not have obtained his material from Tacitus because because neither Christian apologists nor pagan historians prior to, or contemporary with, Severus mention this passage. It may have later been inserted into Tacitus by other copyists.

There are many other reasons to doubt the authenticity of this passage.

  • There is no other mention of Christians in Tacitus’s voluminous writings. In fact, the word “Christians” was not in use in Rome during the time of Nero. The sect was called “the Nazarenes” or other names. They were not considered to be a group separate from the Jews.
  • There is no other evidence that Nero, who ruled from 54 CE to 68 CE, persecuted Christians. Tacitus never mentions this persecution in his other writings.
  • Pontius Pilate was a prefect, and not a procurator, and Tacitus would surely have known that. (However, some say Pilate held both titles or that procurator was the term used in the time of Tacitus and it meant the same thing as prefect..)
  • The passage refers to vast multitudes being convicted. At that time there were not vast multitudes of Christians in Judea.
  • Some linguistic scholars say that this passage is not written in the style of Tacitus. (However, the passage is too short for a definitive analysis.)

Moreover, even if this was written by Tacitus, it still proves nothing about the existence of Jesus Christ. Tacitus mentions "Christos" tangentially only in the context of explaining the origins of Christians. He was probably only reporting what he had heard from Christian sources and, thus he is not providing independent evidence. When Tacitus used records as his sources, he usually cited them.

Detail of a statue of Tacitus.
Detail of a statue of Tacitus. | Source

Does the Roman historian Caius Suetonius (c. 70-130 CE) prove the existence of Jesus Christ?

Suetonius wrote a set of biographies of twelve successive Roman rulers (from Caesar to Domitian) titled, De Vita Caesrum. Other works by Suetonius concern the daily life of Rome and describe the politics and oratory of the time. He also wrote biographies of famous writers, poets, and historians.

The passage in Suetonius's Life of Claudius, written around110 CE, states that the Emperor Claudius "drove the Jews out of Rome, who at the suggestion of Chrestus were constantly rioting."

Claudius reigned from 41-54 CE. Christ was purported to have been crucified around 30 CE, so the agitator called Chrestus who was causing trouble in the 50’s CE could not have been the supposed preacher of the 20’s CE. Furthermore Chrestus does not refer to the word “Christ,” but to the Greek word for “good” or “useful.” It was a common proper name at the time especially for slaves. Suetonius was clearly talking about the Jews being expelled from Rome, not the Christians.

In his Life of Nero, Suetonius blames Nero for the fire. However, he also makes an isolated comment that refers to "Christiani," whom he calls "a race of men of a new and villainous, wicked or magical superstition," who "were visited with punishment." Could this be another forgery? Even if it is authentic, it refers only to a Jewish sect, and not to an actual person.

A detail from the an illustration of Suetonius from the Nuremberg Chronicle.
A detail from the an illustration of Suetonius from the Nuremberg Chronicle. | Source

Do we have ANY proof from 1st and 2nd century historians of the existence of Jesus Christ?

These oft-cited historians and their supposed isolated passages that Christian apologists cite as references to Jesus Christ do nothing to prove his existence. What they do prove is that the early church was quite fond of forgery, and at the same time, quite bad at it.

Even if the passages were authentic, it would prove nothing except that these first century historians were aware of a Jewish sect who were followers of someone they called Christ or Christos.

It turns out that there is a person who was in exactly the right place and time to witness the events in Judea in the first half of the first century CE. He was the leader of the large Jewish community of Alexandria. Although he lived in Egypt, he spent time in Jerusalem as an ambassador of the Egyptian Jews to the Romans. He had family and social ties to Judea and to Herod and other rulers in the region. He was Philo of Alexandria, sometimes called Philo Judaeus (c 25 BCE--50 CE).

Philo was a prolific writer who often wrote about religious philosphy. He is noted for his attempts to blend Hebraic and Hellenistic philosophy. His works were preserved by the early Catholic Church because his philosophy was thought to be consistent with the ideas of Christianity. Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, not a word about Christianity, and not a word about any of the events described in the New Testament. In all this work, Philo makes not a single mention of his alleged contemporary, Jesus Christ. He does not mention him as a Jewish revolutionary dangerous to the rule of Rome, as a Messiah to the Jewish people, of as the son of God who could perform miracles.

As Nicholas Carter writes in his book The Christ Myth: "No sculptures, no drawings, no markings in stone, nothing written in his own hand; and no letters, no commentaries, indeed no authentic documents written by his Jewish and Gentile contemporaries, Justice of Tiberius, Philo, Josephus, Seneca, Petronius Arbiter, Pliny the Elder, et al., to lend credence to his historicity."

The only history we have for Jesus Christ comes from the Bible, especially the Gospels. However, the Gospels are not eyewitness accounts and were not written by the disciples whose names they bear. But that is a subject for another article.

Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are
Forged: Writing in the Name of God--Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are

Bart Ehrman is a Biblical scholar who believes that Jesus Christ existed as a real person, but even he recognizes that many books of the New Testament are not only not written by people to whom they are attributed, but that they are deliberate forgeries.

 

Tell the world what you believe about Jesus Christ.

Which of the following statements best expresses your opinion?

See results

© 2015 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your comments.

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    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 3 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      Q. Do a google search. You will find many other articles that show that no contemporaneous historians or writers had a word to say about Jesus.

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      3 weeks ago

      Paladin that is exactly what I am looking for. I am trying to find historians that wrote down the events of the days of Jesus. More specifically that show that many people did write during that time and that they did so not mentioning Jesus. I look forward to pulling up those writer documents. Thanks!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 3 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks again for your historical research.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 4 weeks ago from Michigan, USA

      Yes, that's what my research has also told me (though my information suggests that all the names I listed were contemporaries of Jesus (during his supposed lifetime), not the second century). Nevertheless, given Q's comments, I thought it would be more productive for him to discover that on his own.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: Thank you for providing resources of authors from the 1st and 2nd century. My research has shown me that these authors said nothing about a person that we now call Jesus Christ.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 4 weeks ago from Michigan, USA

      Q, while I recommend checking out Catherine's hub for resources, I'd also like to recommend a few authors who lived during the supposed time of Jesus of Nazareth -- Strabo, Philo, Seneca the Elder, Seneca the Younger, Livy, Ovid and Velleius Peterculus.

      There are other, more famous authors who people routinely cite, such as Tacitus and Josephus, but they both came AFTER Jesus' supposed time. Of course, that doesn't diminish their authenticity, as they were certainly much closer to the time period then we are, and had access to 'fresher' resources. But since you asked for writers from his time, I've narrowed my list exclusively to his contemporaries.

      The good thing about ancient authors is that you can usually get their writings (often their ENTIRE collected works) in a Kindle eBook for one or two bucks on Amazon. I've built a pretty awesome research library this way!

      Good luck in your search!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 4 weeks ago from Orlando Florida

      Q: I commend you for your interest in searching for truth. It can be very difficult to give up the beliefs you have held since your earliest years. I cannot point you to any evidence of the existence of Jesus (or any other deity) because there are none. Please take a look at my essay. "Is There Any Historical Proof for the Existence of Jesus?" Here is the link: https://owlcation.com/humanities/Jesus-Who-The-His...

    • profile image

      4 weeks ago

      Catherine: I am a current member of the LDS church, though I can say that for the most part I am no longer connected to the beliefs that I held so dear to my heart for 37 years. Through this journey I have had to start from scratch on what it is that I do and do not believe. I have like I said for the most part moved from my mormon beliefs. But what I'm finding is a belief in God in general seems to be the next thing on the chopping block. But I don't want to be emotional and just throw the baby out with the bath water. So with that said I was hoping that you could help me with something. I am having a hard time finding other historian and scribe writings from the time of Jesus. Are there records that show other writings during the time of Jesus that can substsanciate that historians and scribes of that time and region did keep records that we still have today? My angel with this is that if there are records of that time about really anything, that it would just be another nail in the coffin to the fact that we can find nothing recorded of Jesus and his many miracles but that we can find other writings from authors that did keep things in a written form

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Ash: It sounds like you saw my post on social media. I only post to atheist groups on facebook. So it looks like you have joined some atheist groups on facebook. I commend you for wanting to learn more than just what your parents have taught you. Just this morning I saw this comment to one of my facebook posts: "It is a shame that children are taught what to think before they are taught how to think."

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Ash: Your comment is very interesting. You start by asking for respect for all beliefs, then you condemn my beliefs and tell (warn?) me I should not express (post) them. Also, wherever did you get the idea that Christianity began with cave paintings? The purported date of Christ's birth was 40,000 years after those paintings were done. Since you are only 12, I will say to you, keep an open mind, and read things once in a while that disagree with what you think you know.

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      Ash. 2 months ago

      look here, I am 12 years old. Merely a child.A child who grew up under the christian belief. Sure, people might think that Christianity is a myth, like I think Buddhism is a myth too. But religion gives hope and faith in someone and something. Like how Christians have faith in God and Jesus. god and Jesus are both role models. That means that other people should respect other people's beliefs. JEAN DE LA VERRIERE. (plus most the people in the comments) As a christian, this article and all the comments were are very offending to me. This is the same thing as extinguishing the faith of children in their parents. But, have you ever thought where the Bible comes from? it comes from writings on cave walls, scripts, etc. Like our history is based on scrolls and scripts. So before writing an article on religion, Mrs. Giordano, please think about other people. Like people who believe in that religion and people who don't. OK?

      P.S Just as you know, this was an over extended comment about, I despise your article and the comments. Think twice before posting your writing on social Media.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 2 months ago from Orlando Florida

      JEAN DE LA VERRIERE: Thanks for your comment. I'll go even further than saying that there is no proof for the existence of Jesus; I'll say that the evidence we do have mostly serves as support the thesis of his non-existence.

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      JEAN DE LA VERRIERE 3 months ago

      I am an historian,,,,and there is not a single proof of jesus that was ever found in 2000years !!!! This is a made up story on a rebel jew boy !!! And the stupid tourists picked it up and MADE UP THEIR STORY !!!!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 6 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Stan, I agree with you. Children are predisposed to believe what their parents tell them. If they first encountered religion as adults, for instance, in a college course, very few would believe any of these stories.

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      stan 6 months ago

      If Christianity was not taught to children until they were 18 or more, there would be very little chance of them actually believing anything about the mythical Jesus Christ. Believing in Jesus is down to brain washing of little children as they are growing up and this type of brain washing applies equally to all the other religions of the world.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 7 months ago from Orlando Florida

      John Welford: The Christian principles that tell people to "love thy neighbor" and the like are great. However, these teachings are not unique to Christianity and are followed by many non-Christians.These teachings are good teachings whether or not the person called Jesus Christ actually existed. The teachings were known long before the first century.

    • John Welford profile image

      John Welford 7 months ago from Barlestone, Leicestershire

      An excellent article that is certainly thought-provoking. I have just read a review of a book that points out that Jesus would have been far from unusual in his day - Palestine was full of magicians and tricksters, but all but one of them did not have the advantage of a publicity machine named Paul.

      However, I would be loath to dismiss the thought that if a guy went around telling people that love is better than hate then he did not deserve an audience. There is nothing wrong about living by Christian principles even if their origin cannot be proved.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 12 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Greg T: I try to be objective and fair when I write about religion. If you ask a Buddhist who follows the actual teachings of Buddha about the afterlife, he won't have anything to say. Buddha did not teach about an afterlife--he taught a philosophy for living in the here-and-now. Reincarnation and stuff like that were added by some Buddhist sects. See some of my essays about Buddhism for more information on this. https://owlcation.com/humanities/Was-Buddha-a-Real...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 12 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jack Hiki: Paul is generally accepted as an actual historical person. However, there is no good evidence to show that Jesus or any of his disciples actually existed.

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      Greg T 12 months ago

      The author also writes about the similarities between Jesus and Buddha. She'd make a great world religions teacher at a secular school but that's only because the narrative has to be one of co-existence. No religion is superior. Funny thing is, you ask a Buddhist, Hindu, Jew, Mormon, Muslim, Scientologist, and Christian about the afterlife (based on their leader's teachings) and you'll have 7 different answers. We can all be wrong but we can't all be right.

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      Jack Hikl 12 months ago

      Where you go wrong is that you have overlooked the evidence that neither Paul nor Peter existed either.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 12 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: Yes, it is a very sensational article, but not much to back it up. If it were true, every major newspaper and magazine would be reporting it so if you can't find sources that strongly suggests it is bogus. "The Daily Mail" is a British tabloid. From what I have heard, it is not too different from "The National Enquirer" in America--sensationalism and celebrity gossip.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 12 months ago from Michigan, USA

      It would be a great help if the blog entry linked in Charlie's comment offered links citing the 'evidence,' so we can begin to examine it for ourselves...

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      Charlie 12 months ago

      The media has given this very little play. I fear you might have a bias, you may not be acknowledging to yourself, based on your last sentence. I appreciate your article though.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 12 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Charlie: It seems like every year there is some new stunning revelation that proves the existence of Jesus Christ. The media give it lots of play because it what their readers want to hear. Then a year or two later, the news comes out, quietly this time, that it was a forgery or a scam. This case will be no different.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 16 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Nudely: There are a few of us skeptics here. I will take a look at your hub. I too have come across information about geographical errors in the Bible. Among all the other types of errors. And, I have also learned that the "gospels" were written using literary devices more common to fiction than biography.

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      Nudely 16 months ago

      Three cheers for your column!

      I've just submitted a shorter, more tongue-in-cheek Hub on the same subject: Jesus, Jesus, Wherefore Art Thou Jesus? In trying to discover "wherefore"--i.e., for what reason--that Jesus existed, I show that although Micah predicts the Messiah's (Jesus'?) birth in Bethlehem, scholars are loath to agree. They say Nazareth more likely. But a first-century Nazareth is as diaphanous a concept as a historical Jesus! So how about Capernaum on the Sea of Galilee since that's his HQ later in his ministry? THE SEA OF WHAT, did you say??? Do you mean Lake Genessaret or Lake Tiberias? Oh, yeah, that one, but Mark invents a new name for it. Strangely, there's no mention, in Mark, of places historically located on Lake Tiberias, and places WHICH ARE mentioned that weren't recognized by the likes of Philo and Josephus! So, what exactly is Mark writing, then... fiction? I link to a video by Ken Humphreys that discusses the Book of Mark in its entirety... Knowing the Unknowable. Sure enough, Humphreys proves (to my satisfaction) that the Book of Mark, the prototype "gospel" upon which all the other Gospels are modeled, is immersed in literary techniques that writers of fiction adopt.

      So glad to see that there are other like-minded skeptics on the Hub!

      ~Nudely~

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 16 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thomas Baxter: The reason you have difficulty with your personal genealogical search is most likely that none of your relatives were important people or did important things, so know one took any note of them. The Romans kept very good records of taxes, census, and trials. If Jesus was on any of those lists, historians of the 1st century would have written about it), especially as this new religion of Christianity was becoming popular. And if Jesus actually did any of the miracles that are claimed for him in the Bible, it would surely have been noted and observed at the time. The early church would have surely commented on, and preserved, these writings.

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      Thomas Baxter 16 months ago

      Considering the level of illiteracy of the pre 20th Century world, I would not expect any particular person not a member of the elite to ever have anything written about them. I worked as heir tracing and was attaboyed when I could find a birth or obit that referred to collaterals, our target and that was for 20th Century folks that had something. No mention was made of tax roles and I can easily believe there weren't any. But that was one of the main reasons writing was invented. Tax collectors had lists of folks who owed money. Do any censuses exist? Got a capitation tax, got to have a capitation. Also, executions. Did anyone submit to Rome lists of criminals executed/enslaved in the last month with a list of names? Certainly not for slaves but for subjects.

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      Damian 17 months ago from Naples

      I am sure those references you cite are correct. I just believe that our sense of mostly everything is a human sense. That would include any and all human representation of time. I wish that I could say that I was some kind of special person or Godly person but that simply would not be true or accurate. I think He basically believes me to be a knucklehead like one of the stooges or like Fred Sanford called his son, "The Dummy". Still, I have felt His love and He has shown Himself to a wretch like me.

      Reasonability and rationality do not really describe God. They do not now and they probably never will. Sometimes I wonder with the state of the world why did He give us a free will? Just to show us how bad that we are. I think in Genesis He says I am sorry I ever created man in the first place. I guess so!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 17 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Damian, I hope you are well, too! :-)

      There is, indeed, a reference in 2 Peter about a day being equal to a thousand years for God. However, that has absolutely no relevance to the New Testament quotes regarding Jesus' supposed return, because nobody -- including Jesus -- offers a date or year, anyway.

      Jesus repeatedly states that he will return within the lifetimes of those to whom he's speaking, and that "this generation shall not pass" before he comes back. And there are other references throughout the NT that we are in the "end times." These words are all spoken to people who died 2,000 years ago!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 17 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Sorry, but according to the New Testament, Jesus (as well as others) repeatedly asserted that he would be coming back in the lifetimes of those hearing his voice -- TWO THOUSAND YEARS ago!

      He didn't come back two thousand years ago. He didn't come back ONE thousand years ago. He's not coming back now. End of story.

    • TeamSTM profile image

      TeamSTM 18 months ago

      Jesus is Real, He is Alive and He is Coming Soon to Get His Bride! Amen

      Hope in Jesus is Life and we can go to God because of Christ Jesus. Oh Praise Jehovah God for His Son, Yesuha Hamashiach!!

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      You should look into the study of Margaret Barker, an English historian dedicated mostly to the Old Testament but also to new archaeological findings dating back to the time of Jesus. Codices have been found which indicate the turmoil between the Romans and the Jews during reigns dating back to both Titus and Nero later on. In addition there are some metallic images of a long haired, bearded man with thorns around his head. Several caves have been discovered dating to this time period. One such cave shows a house with a wall that had a cross on it in 70 AD. Several of these findings seem to indicate a following of the Messiah long before the time of Nero. Certainly these items need to be exported and researched.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: Please show me an independent source outside of this passage in Tacitus for the claim that Nero persecuted Christians. I looked and I could not find it. What I did find was a few discussions about how there is no other source to confirm this event.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Cathercine

      Sorry I didn't see your question before. As for the word 'Pernicious' what I was meaning is that the early Christian monks often tried to portray Christians in a good light (take a look at the forgeries they did produce to 'prove' the primacy of Rome over Antioch and Alexandria in the sixth century) and would be unlikely to use such harsh wording forgeries (they didn't need to convince people of anything).

      Paladin's right about the fact that Tacitus isn't wasn't any "specific accusation" but the fact they were 'Christians' was enough of a slur

      As far as I'm aware it is pretty extensively documented that Nero used the Christians as the 'scapegoats' for the fire of Rome so I'd love to see some info to the contrary.

      Lawrence

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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Zeus Hera: Thank you for your enthusiastic approval of my essay.

    • profile image

      Zeus Hera 22 months ago

      Catherine,

      Thumbs up! This is outstanding, I love it. Thanks for excellent article.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: It is possible that Nero didn't persecute anybody--The whole idea rests on one passage in Tacitus which is probably a forgery. I think that the fifth-century Christians were in love with the idea of martyrdom. It made them feel important to have the whole non-Christian world persecuting and denigrating them. It strengthened the group identity.

      I don't think Nero scapegoated real Christians or even people he falsely identified as Christians. I couldn't find any real evidence that Nero punished anyone. I did find evidence that "fiddling while Rome burned" stuff was false. He wasn't even present when the fire happened.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I feel I should clarify the aspect of the Tacitus reference that deals with Nero's accusations of Christianity. He wasn't making any specific accusations against Christians, per se. Rather, he had selected a group of scapegoats to blame for the fire in Rome, and decided to make their position even more tenuous by accusing them of being Christians (who, apparently, had a rather bad reputation at the time).

      In other words, accusing these particular people of being Christians was simply a slur -- against them, not the Christians.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: To your point about the word pernicious. Are you saying that Tacitus was well-enough educated to use the word, but a 4th century monk and leader of the Church would not have been as well educated. Also remember, we are dealing with an English translation.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Thank you for that. I woke up at 4 AM with nightmares. I am bothered by the fact that I believe what Tacitus writes is true. Not partially but pretty much entirely. One criticism I have had for non believers is they sometimes seem to extrapolate certain things out of context. I do not want to be selective in that way. So it has to go both ways or it becomes a form of censorship. There is no fairness in that.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Damian

      Christians were accused of 'cannibalism' regarding the Lords Supper from the second century onwards. Justin Martyr (circa 150) refutes it.

      The Romans did it as a 'fear tactic' trying to tell people that these Christians 'drink blood and eat flesh in secret rituals'

      Hope this helps clear things up.

      Lawrence

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Catherine:

      Was hoping you could also shed some light on another issue I am having with the Tacitus passage. I hope I am mistaken but it almost seems undeniable that he is talking about these followers of Cristos perhaps participating in a cannibalistic ritual hence Nero being able to fasten the guilt. Eat the body and drink the blood. Did they not understand that this was symbolic. Do this in my memory. My body and blood given once and for all. It is almost like when it is supposed to be symbolic they take it as literal and vice versa when it is supposed to be literal they take it as merely symbolic. It is supposed to be a message of love. I am failing to see the love in any of that. Really struggling with this cannibal thing if that indeed is the reference to their rehenceable acts.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine I was replying to your comment above that seemed only to refer to Tacitus talking about 'christians' which he didn't. We've talked before about the Tacitus reference and show that he is widely accepted as being authentic.

      As for my point it still stands that Tacitus knew the history and knew the history, he would have known what happened and he would have known that Jesus was 'reputed' the fact that he says 'was executed' means he accepted it as historical record.

      To take up a point you make in the hub I really doubt that a 5th Century monk would have used words like 'pernicious' and the church leadership would never have allowed it! (take a look at the forgeries that do exist and you'll see what I mean)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: I provided a link in the hub in the seciton on Tacitus so to the appropriate book of Annals so people could read the quote in context.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: I addressed the issue of Tacitus in the hub. Please read the section on Tacitus. I have nothing else to add.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      To those who are curious about the Tacitus reference, I'll provide a textual quote here. Just to clarify, I won't make any declarations about the veracity or legitimacy of the quote, but I will note that the actual reference is more of an aside, where Tacitus is explaining why Nero chose to accuse his chosen scapegoats (for starting the Rome fire) of being "Christian":

      "...Christus, the founder of the name, had undergone the death penalty in the reign of Tiberius, by sentence of the procurator Pontius Pilatus, and the pernicious superstition was checked for a moment, only to break out once more, not merely in Judaea, the home of the disease, but in the capital itself, where all things horrible or shameful in the world collect and find a vogue..."

      I honestly don't know if the quote's an interpolation (as is widely presumed in the case of Josephus's reference) or not. But there it is, for people to examine...

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine

      Doesn't Tacitus say in the reference that Jesus was 'executed' under Pilate? If Pilate was governor and Jesus was executed under him (it doesn't say 'reputed' or 'supposed' or any other reference to doubt on Tacitus' part) then we have to accept that Tacitus was reporting on an event for which they had records at the time and they knew to be true!

      It's only when we get to the resurrection we get words like 'reputed to have' thus they accepted Jesus lived and died but not rose from the dead!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Damian10: I think you are correct in saying the titles pro-consul and prafect could be used interchangeably. However, a reference to Christians does not prove that Christ existed as a man.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Sorry but still stuck on the Tacitus reference. I do not feel that there is any evidence whatsoever to doubt the relevancy of this reference. This is a NON Christian Reference. He was only authoring history as he understood it. Prefect stopped being used in 46 AD.

      "[these] equestrian governors were originally called Praefecti (a new inscription [was discovered, which was published in volume 104 of Revue Archeologique] 1963, shows that Pontius Pilate was called Praefectus Judaeae)."

      The term Procurator is the more general term; Prefect is the more narrow meaning within Procurator.

      So, all Prefects are Procurators, but not all Procurators are Prefects.

      This means that the Gospels (and Josephus, and Tacitus) were correct in using the term.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      The pyramids have been arbitrarily dated. Some say longer than your source of 2500 BCE. At any rate, they are much older than any gospels.

      Like i said, jesus/god should have been able to preserve his own words whether portable or not. Was he less intelligent than other builder/engineers?

      He must have been very short sighted to have overlooked every opportunity to provide valid proofs to future generations of mere humans.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Austinstar

      I just looked up the reference you sent and it's dealing with the 'apparent contradiction between Acts 9 and 22 with regard to the others hearing the voice!

      Acts 9 tells us that they heard the sound when Jesus spoke to Paul but in Acts 22 Paul says that they didn't hear his voice! The conclusion the article comes to is that they heard a sound but to them they couldn't make out the words! Nothing about Schizophrenia in the article.

      I did find a reference to Paul and Schizophrenia when I Googled it on 'Beforeitsnews.com' but the article was defending Paul and wasn't too kind to the idea he had schizophrenia.

      However it did say that it's due to a misunderstanding of Romans 7 verses 14 to 25 and talking of the dual nature of the believer where the old self is fighting against the new 'self' that Paul does go into a lot. The struggle against the old nature when we try to be like Christ and take on his nature which can sound really strange to some.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Austinstar

      Thanks for the references. I'll have a read.

      As for the Pyramids they were built around 2,600 BC (The great pyramid of Cheops) granted there are older pyramids in Sudan but the oldest is the Step Pyramid at Sakkara and if memory serves me right it was built for Djoser around a hundred years before. It was built by Imhotep who sounds remarkably like Joseph (but too early I would say!).

      As for the Mayan pyramids tgey are old vut I'm not familiar with them.

      The Jews knew all about carving in stone, they also knew it wasn't very portable, something that as shepherda they valued very much!

      As for Jesus knowing how to write, as a carpenter cum builder (the word is better translated as builder) he woyld have known and Eusebius (the first church historian) tells of some letters written by Jesus but they lack the authenticity the gospels have and haven't survived (three hundred years of persecution does that!).

      What we do have has survived largely with reputation intact and is precisely what you'd expect from such a group.

      Lawrence

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Lawrence01 - The Paul/Saul reference is in regard to the voices he heard on the road to Damascus and here is one reference - https://lifehopeandtruth.com/bible-questions/how/r...

      and:

      "As for the 'Jesus gospels not lasting a lifetime'"

      No, I am talking about the fact that not ONE single example of writing by Jesus himself actually exists!

      Was Jesus illiterate? Did he not know his sermons needed to be factually/permanently/preserved ???

      One would think that the incarnate god, or son of god would be able to read and write - and do so in a more permanent, verifiable manner.

      The pyramids contain writing that has lasted for some 10,000 +/- years. Sumerian writing even longer some say. Mayan writing has lasted as long as biblical "scrolls".

      If they knew of a way to preserve writing, surely the Jews would at least have known that writing on STONE can exist far longer than writing on papyrus or even copper. And Jesus should have known to keep verifiable records that would outlast his lifetime. Seriously!

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Austinstar

      Writing was invented around 3,100 BC in Sumer. Egypt is known to have used some form of pictographics before then but so did the Israelites (Hebrew is pictographic still). Hieroglyphics can first be found from around 2,800 BC but not before! They started to decline around the time of the Islamic conquests around 650 AD.

      The earliest parts of the Bible that we have are the dead sea scrolls that date from around 100 BC to 70 AD and show an astonishing accuracy to the Septuagint (Greek translation of the Old Testament) for the fact that them and the earliest copy of the Septuagint are a thousand years apart!! This goes to speak to the care taken by the scribes when copying such important documents. We might not like what they say, or even believe what they say, but to attack the quality of the work done by the scribes when we have evidence of the care they took would be just plain wrong!

      I can appreciate your frustration, but no one questions whether what the ancient Egyptians and Sumerians wrote was what they wrote at the time and what they believed so why would we question other ancient documents that can be verified in the same way?

      As for the 'Jesus gospels not lasting a lifetime' here we are with the evidence that says they've lasted twenty nine lifetimes (if a lifespan is to be counted as 70 years) and we all agree that what we have written in our Bibles was written a few decades after his life, surely it's not beyond the realm of belief that the oral traditions lasted one lifetime especially when the fact was that most of the participant were still alive when they were written?

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Yes, this is what bothers me the most about the bible. The Egyptians had a system of writing that lasted 10,000 years, but the Jesus gospels didn't last one lifetime. One would think that the incarnate person of god himself ( or his son) would have made sure that his message was preserved for all time.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Paladin

      Sorry about the reference to the Holocaust, it was the first thing that came to mind where I know that there are some who are trying to re-write history (I've come across them on websites and having been to the camps it makes me see red when I come across them).

      You are right about oral tradition being the weakest form of evidence, but that doesn't take into acount the care taken by many who pass the oral tradition on, also many scholars actually think that many of Jesus's sayings were written down long before they were put into the gospels and may have been written down as early as the day he said them, there's no actual surviving documents so it's purely speculative but should not be discounted as a possibility.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      To be fair, with regard to the Holocaust, there is actually tons of documentation, both by the Nazis who committed the crimes and by those who liberated the camps. So the reliance on oral tradition is largely unnecessary.

      As for oral tradition, it's actually the weakest and most unreliable form of evidence, as anyone who's ever played "telephone" can tell you. Even first-hand 'eyewitness' testimony is somewhat unreliable (as any lawyer can tell you), undermined by the fallibility of human recollection and colored by personal biases. And when that testimony is passed down second-hand, third-hand or more, the potential for mistranslation or alteration increases exponentially.

      As I understand it, there are absolutely NO first-hand accounts in the New Testament of Jesus' existence. At best, there are second-hand accounts, recorded (at the very earliest) decades after the events they supposedly describe. And when miracles and supernatural events are thrown into the mix, the legitimate case for skepticism grows stronger and stronger.

      As for Paul's supposed schizophrenia, I hadn't heard of that either. So I'll be interested to see what information arises.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      I shall have to research where i heard it from, but it was probably Lady Guinevere or from my biblical scholar source in Colorado Springs. I will ask and get back to you.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Austinstar

      This is the first time (in thirty years of studying this) that I've ever heard of Paul having siezures and possible Schizophrenia, personally I'd really like to know where your information comes from.

      Having said that all that doesn't detract from the Historicity of Jesus!

      As for oral tradition I'd agree with what Oz says earlier that it was still within living memory and unlikely to have been able to be changed!

      A classic example of something that is within living memory that some are trying to re-write the history books and deny it is the Holocaust! two or three hundred years form now how will future generations know that our generation told the truth? The answer lies partly in that the generation that went through it are still with us (although they are fast disappearing) If this is true of today then why can't it be true of Jesus' time?

      Think about it. If you take out 'oral tradition' then unless we wrote the things down 'on the day they happened' you undermine 99% of human history!

      Are we really sure that we want to undermine 'oral tradition' that much? Or are we being selective in what we undermine?

      Lawrence

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      So how does one distinguish what source is credible and what source is not? Does it come down to what is reasonable or rational from our point of view. Would that still not be prejudiced by our frames of reference and or inclination towards or away from our belief or disbelief? It seems to be a rather tight window in order to justify or not justify our belief system. That of course would go both ways. Certainly gives all of us food for thought either way.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Paul, aside from seizures, reported "hearing voices" - that is why some people put forth the theory that Paul may have also been schizophrenic. Not just because he had seizures.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Sorry Catherine,

      I will keep it to point. You are absolutely right.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I don't have time now, but I plan to delete all off topic comments. Sorry, but personal conversations don't belong here.

    • Austinstar profile image

      Lela 22 months ago from Somewhere in the universe

      Also Paul reporrtedly suffered from seizures. He could have been schizophrenic as well.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      The problem was JC didn't fit the prophecies of the Hebrew Messiah. Said Messiah was foretold to be a great military leader. Not even close!

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Good point again Randy. There are many, many books left out of the Bible.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I think you are correct, Damian. 40 not 60 years after JC's demise. And I'm sure all of the unknown authors of the Bible claim hey were god inspired. Unfortunately, the many books chosen to be omitted from the bible claimed the same by their respected anonymous writers.

      Those men selected to decided which books were worthy or not were simply ignorant men with their own agendas, just like today.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Here goes and I am sure some or most will not ven begin to agree with these conclusions:

      Lawrence: it is called the Tel Dan Inscription and leaves little if any doubt for the House of David.

      Paladin: The Hebrew Messiah is forecasted to be in the Davidic Line. Jesus is born in the line of David. I know you do not believe that.

      Oz: exactly 2000 years is not 80000 years and throughout history much has been communicated by word of mouth.

      Randy: I believe it may be more like 40 years. Also, Paul writes clearly that His writings are of the Holy Spirit.

      Blessings to all.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I agree that oral traditions may be true in some part, but recording history by memory is rife with problems as it always has been. I believe the first gospel was recorded over 60 years after the supposed crucifixion. The rest were written over 100 years after JC's end. No one knows for sure who actually wrote the gospels, so how can anyone say they were God-Inspired?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Lawrence

      oral traditions in Australian indigenous society accurately describe geographical changes to the landscape and extinct animals dating back 80,000 years.

      Hindu culture was passed down the generations orally for thousands of years.

      JC was still in living memory when the letters of the apostles were written down. The oral traditions were only a few years old by this time.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Folks

      Good to hear things went well Damian. I missed the stuff about King David and the inscriptions, but have read previously the an Israeli archaeologist has excavated what she believes is the foundation to his palace.

      Now on to stuff relating to the hub. I just read from Bart Ehreman's blog he has a book coming out about how the stories of Jesus were passed by oral tradition, I'll probably disagree somewhat with him but the discussion should be interesting!

      Lawrence

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      If you're referring to the King David inscription mentioned earlier, I honestly don't know what to make of it, as I don't know that much about it. I seem to recall reading years ago about some tangential mention of King David in an Egyptian or Assyrian inscription from history, and it may be the same thing.

      In any case, the historicity of King David is a whole other topic, separate from the issue of Jesus' historicity.

      I do know that there are many historical references in the Bible that correspond to actual historical events and places that are documented elsewhere (and some that actually contradict them) but, as someone already mentioned, that says nothing about the truth of the Bible in its entirety (any more than accurate historical references in "War And Peace" mean that entire story is true).

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Thank you. I appreciate that. So what do you think of those artifacts? Should they mean something? The King David thing really speaks volumes in my way of belief.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Actually, modern medicine is very, very good to you. But I won't quibble too hard over that one... ;-)

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Randy and Lawrence,

      Thank you for those very kind sentiments. Back from Miami and doing great. Will stay on Copxone for at least the next four months.

      God is so very, very good to me.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Amen to that, be praying for you

      Lawrence

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      You bet I'll be hoping for good news for your MS treatment, Damian! You deserve it. :)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Oz: In the United States, "free speech" is the right not to have government interference with speech. As a private individual, I can censor you all I want. Second, your comment was racist, and I will not permit that. Consider yourself lucky that I did not report you. Third, go exercise your free speech elsewhere--maybe on your own hubs. I don't like your comments even when they are not racist--they are usually off topic, rambling, and pointless.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine

      If you don't mind I'd like to answer Randy's challenge to Oz about the historians and Jesus as on my hub 'The Gospels, can we trust them?' I provide links to the historical institutions where the four main codices for translating the Bible are kept. I know they aren't 'historians' as such but the institutions have sites dedicated to explaining the codices and their accuracy.

      If you want more then one codex you can look up is codex washingtanus kept in the library of Congress and the Dead sea scrolls atvrhe Israeli antiquities museum.

      Hope this helps

      Lawrence

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Randy,

      Point well made. I like to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes I can be rather naive but Oz seems quite knowledgeable.

      I know you don't pray but think of me tomorrow as I go to Miami University for alternative treatment for my MS.

      Have a great night.

      Fondly,

      D

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I don't know if Oz has an archaeological degree or not, Damian. The significance of where he attained said degree and the opinions of his more noted peers concerning his claims may be the deciding factor in my opinion of his claims.

      Some of the best educated people I've ever come across were also some of the dumbest as far as common sense was concerned. :)

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Uh, I did read the posts, and the last one from Catherine said you were off the thread with anymore conspiracy talk. Your a student of Comparative Religion, so I thought maybe you, or anyone, could address something in that post. My bad for the last sentence, only human you know. All this with good intentions, Oz, chow.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      This may sound funny but sometimes religion and faith are not necessarily the same. The Pharisees would be a prime example.

      You may not agree much with Oz but he has a degree in Archaeology. Without that none of us would know the history or what the history means. I have alluded to the Tel Dan Inscription, The Pilate Stone and the Mara Bar Serapian Letter. These are just a few of many, many discoveries. My belief stems from both my upbringing and my research. It is the very best combination of both.

      Blessings.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      My intentions entirely, Damian. A longing for knowledge is admirable no matter what one presently believes is true. Sometimes I wish I hadn't searched for the truth. If I were religious, I supposed I'd say, "that's jest the way god made me!"

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Oz--Since it only takes 3 people for a plot to become a conspiracy, I figured you'd be satisfied by my last answer to you. Once more, all religions were concocted for control of the common and unlearned. Get it now?

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      I thank you for that and obviously feel the same.

      Perhaps we can all learn a great deal from each other regardless of our opposite views and beliefs.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Alastair

      I'm not any kind of right wing fundamentalist. I am inter religious and have therefore studied the religious history of all major religions with Respect. Please read the previous posts.

      Randy your silence is a resounding YES to my question. Thought so.

      Cath you are stifling free speech.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I realize you have more faith than I in biblical matters and know you always act with good intentions , as well as, being polite to others in the process. It's always a pleasure to discuss religious topics with you. :D

      I admit to having a lack of patience with some of your religious aficionados, but you are always open to consideration from those of different beliefs. I appreciate it and I'm sure others feel the same. :)

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Randy, you surely make some very valid points here but some of the things that we deem impossible from a human perspective certainly may not be from a Godly one. I had earlier alluded to the Tel Dan inscription which clearly denotes the House of David. He was at one time one of the murderers that you reference. I look at the history of the bible and unlike many on here I do not deem it a faerie tale. Way too much coincidence for my way of thinking. For some reason I do not struggle with the faith part and yet at least try and give credence to another's point of view without insulting them.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Damian, I'm not saying nothing in the Bible is true as relates to places such as cities and countries, nor ancient accounts of famous kings and such. Things of a known ilk add realism to both ancient and present day writings. But let's be realistic, the Bible itself is rife with impossible scenarios and downright murder as well as plagiarized tales written long before it was conceived and written by common men.

    • Alastar Packer profile image

      Alastar Packer 22 months ago from North Carolina

      Maybe Oz can be gotten off conspiracies and thus saved here. Let's shift the focus to agendas. There are some serious researchers who believe there may well have been the historical man called Jesus. Some also believe parts of his story, and some things he taught, were rewritten to an extent between the late second century and Constantine's time. And in this "editing" process, they might have missed several NT quotes. One of them is this one: The disciples asked: Who sinned? This man or his parents that he be born blind? There is only one way to rationally interpret that question.The man had lived before. Maybe Oz, or anyone else, can get their teeth in on this one, maybe not. But I really would like to see Oz saved...on the thread, that is. I'll exit the comments now, but Oz, if you post on this, please don't say innocent babies in the womb are sin-filled.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      So I guess the entire Bible is just stockpiled full of coincidence.

      The temple by the way is still in ruins today. More coincidence I guess?

      No stone left unturned indeed.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      All religions wish to control the world through the minds of its residents. Duh!!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
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      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Oz: There is no Jewish conspiracy to take over the world. If you post anymore conspiracy nonsense, your posts will be deleted.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Randy

      I answered your question re age of the earth. I agree with geologists.

      Now answer mine: do you believe there is a Jewish conspiracy to take over the world?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I suspected as much, Link. I won't waste my time reading the hubs Qz authored if he's no more accurate than on this thread. :)

    • Link10103 profile image

      Link10103 23 months ago

      Nope Randy, gotta do your own homework. That means picking up any old random history book and taking it as gospel, even if its completely unrelated or totally contradicts the topic.

      Or go to Oz's hubs. Depends on what he says to avoid giving you a direct link...

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 23 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Oz, I'm not aware of the "real historians" you use to back up your claims. Perhaps you'd provide a few links to prove your point. And you never answered my query as to how old you believe the earth is. You want answers but you never provide any yourself.

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