Jesus never existed because the Bible tells me so!

I had an interesting dialog today, if I can call it that, with a person on the message boards of a well-known web portal (can I be more safe in not disclosing the details?). Stemming from a story about muslim outrage over cartoon depictions of the prophet Muhammad, the person started the thread with this post:

Subject: At least Mohammad really existed
Post: Which is more than I can say about the fictional Jesus of christianity.

The following is some of the dialog that ensued after the person who started this thread was personally attacked by someone who claimed there are “plenty of non-biblical references [to Christ]. It’s like saying Caeser [sic] didn’t exist.” (The “person” is the person who started the thread.)

person:
Site [sic] one non-Biblical reference please. Better yet site [sic] “plenty”‘ of them.

me:
You’re a hoot! Just web search for something like “extra-biblical references christ” and you’ll find lots of extra-biblical references. But I suppose all of those are just later interpolations or insertions by Christian scribes/monks? Right?

person:
I took your advice. I couldn’t find a single extra-biblical eyewitness account.

me:
Oh, “eyewitness account.” Did you specifiy that before? In that case you are right, there are no extra-biblical “eyewitness” accounts. But seeing as how much material in the NT contains eyewitness accounts of the life and times of Jesus and the apostles, I fail to see how your request for extra-biblical eyewitness accounts matters. Face it, it’s just your bias against the Bible as a valid historical document.

person:
It’s very unlikely that such a great person would have existed without a record. The Bible is not reliable because most of it is fictional. It’s not really bias but the nature of the christian argument. I would also need an eyewitness account if the Bible said that aliens in spaceships visited earth.

http://www.jesusneverexisted.com

me:
It seems to me your view of the Bible is too simplisitic and relies upon modern philosophical assumptions about “facts” and “truth” and the nature of re-telling history. Just because the Bible sits on your shelf (or does it?) as a single published work does not mean that the whole thing should be viewed as historically invalid because there is a talking serpent in the beginning and it includes other spectacular, unbelievable stories. If we were to assess ancient history this way by invalidating all sources that make reference to “supernatural” events, then the entirety of ancient history would not exist.

person:
Actually I view it in it’s context. I try to look at what was going on historically. I understand that the story of Aaron and the golden calf was made up to discredit the Aaronites. I understand that Nazareth is a mistranslation of Nazarene. I understand that many of the contradictions are the result of the worship of two gods from two different nations being interwoven together. And of course, most of the stories are retellings of earlier myths from other cultures primarily Egyptian.

me:
OK, that all sounds fairly reasonable to me. But I’m curious, then, in how and why you make the leap to believing that Jesus did not exist if the Bible does reliably transmit information about other cultures and figures in history?

person:
Let me try your question again. I’m not sure I understand it.

The Jesus myth is a retelling of older godman myths. We also know that in these earlier cultures that the godmen were fictional. For example, if someone approached you and said that he had a visit with a guy by the name of Fanta Slaus who rode a sleigh pulled by deer that flew around the world delivering gifts and this guy Fanta lived at the north pole, it wouldn’t take a genius to figure out that he was lying.

me:
I do not dispute your use of language such as “myth,” though I may apply such language differently than you do. I completely agree that there is a “Jesus myth,” but the question at hand is whether or not the person Jesus written about in the New Testament actually existed.

person:
I haven’t found a true story yet in the Bible. I just understand why they lied and know why they lied this time. It’s all about control, power and money. That has always been the motivation.

me:
Yeah, you’re right, the power of being flogged and executed by the Romans was just too much power for the early Christians to resist. That’s why they made up those stories about Jesus so the Vatican could exist and enjoy amazing power several centuries later. Sounds plausible to me.

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2 Comments on “Jesus never existed because the Bible tells me so!

  1. They shouldn’t have published pictures like that.

    In Islam we’re not even allowed to draw pictures of the Prophet peace be upon him.

    We dont draw pictures of Jesus or Moses, we respect all the prophets.

    We love our prophet peace be upon him.

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