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Did Jesus Exist?

Discussion in 'Exploring Christianity' started by doubtingmerle, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.


    Interestingly you start at verse 16, right after it describes the sprinkling of the blood in heaven. Here is the passage with highlights that I had posted earlier:

    Hebrews 9:11 But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. 12 Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption. 13 For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, 14 how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? 15 And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. 16 For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. 17 For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives. 18 Therefore not even the first covenant was dedicated without blood. 19 For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats, with water, scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, 20 saying, "This is the blood of the covenant which God has commanded you." 21 Then likewise he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle and all the vessels of the ministry. 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. 23 Therefore it was necessary that the copies of the things in the heavens should be purified with these, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has not entered the holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us;

    So Hebrews is talking about sprinkling of the blood in heaven.

    Yes, the case can be made that Christ came down to a lower sphere to be sacrificed before taking his blood into heaven. That does not mean it had to be on earth. The sacrifice could have been considered to be in the firmament, or other location.

    But if you think it was on earth in the time of Peter, exactly how did Jesus get his blood to heaven to sprinkle it? Did he scoop some up at the cross, keep it in an enclosed container in the grave, and then carry it up with him into heaven? It makes more sense that this was thought to be a mythical sacrifice outside the presence of God, in which Jesus then entered the holy place of heaven with his blood.

    The mythical process is described in the book The Ascension of Isaiah. See DebatesAscension
  2. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    LOL! Sorry, I wasn't asking Paul to use English quotation marks or English words! LOL! It thought it would be obvious that I would have expected Paul to write in his own language, without modern quotation marks.

    A big hullabaloo? How is the fact that I refered to the fact that quotation marks were not part of ancient Greek a big hullabaloo?
  3. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    How can you possibly suggest that shooting people of the other political party would be good policy?

    OK, were you joking? I'm sorry but I am not laughing. It is wrong to win political arguments by shooting. In light of the fact that some people have tried it, I don't consider it to be very funny.
  4. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    Had Jesus actually lived and done all the things claimed of him, we would have expected somebody to write about him.

    Yes, his writings have been lost, but later writers declare that he never mentioned Jesus:

    The writings of Justus of Tiberius have been lost, but Photius, the patriarch of Constantinople 878-886 CE wrote Bibleotheca in which he reviewed the writings of Justus of Tiberius. Photius records "of the advent of Christ, of the things that befell him one way or another, or of the miracles that he performed, (Justus) makes absolutely no mention". ( (DV) Salisbury: History's Troubling Silence About Jesus)
    Since Justus lived in Galilee and wrote shortly after the life of Jesus, it makes one wonder if Jesus had done the impressive miracles around Galilee that have been reported.
    OK, probably not an expected source.
    Philo is thought to have lived from 20 BC to 50 AD. He was a Jew from nearby Alexandria, and he wrote extensively about Jewish history. He writes nothing about Jesus. Philo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Pliny wrote extensively about natural phenomena and legends about natural phenomena. He wrote nothing about the earthquake and great darkness at the crucifixion, nor the star of Bethlehem.
    He may not have covered Jewish history, but he traveled from Rome to Alexandria and wrote stories about all sorts of interesting people. One would think if he had heard that God Incarnate had walked in the vicinity of his travels, he would have found him an interesting person to write about.

    Though none of this is conclusive, it does lead to questions as to why none of these secular writers would write about Jesus, had the stories really happened.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  5. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    We've discussed "according to the flesh" (Kata Sarka) a lot in this thread. The case can be made that Clement was referring to the Son doing a work in the sphere of flesh. See "Crossing the Threshold of History: Jesus in the Apostolic Fathers"

    There are many indications that Clement did not believe in an earthly Jesus. For instance, he speaks of Christ speaking, and then quotes from the Old Testament. That seems to be the source of most of Clement's knowledge of Christ: He sees him as someone revealed in scripture, not as a literal man in recent history.

    In chapter 16 Clement quotes Isaiah chapter 53 to describe the death of Christ. He seems to have found Christ revealed in scripture. He makes no effort to claim this refers to a recent man.

    Writers like Clement don't give details of Jesus, because they apparently don't see him as an earthly Jesus.

    Doherty details many cases where we would expect Paul to have mentioned the earthly Jesus if he existed. For each case, he details why we should expect this. AgeOfReason - Main Articles - Sounds of Silence

    They selected the books that were available, that appeared to reflect the sayings of the apostles, and that reflected the teachings of the church.
  6. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    I find it quite odd that you include people like Valentius in this list. Valentius believed that Christ was one of many Aeons of God including Sophia (wisdom) and the Holy Spirit. Unless you are going to insist all those Aeons are human, how can you say he thought Christ was human?

    Others such as Irenaeus are near the end of the second century when belief in a historical Jesus had been commonplace.

    I dispute a lot of these names such as Papias and Clement. The interested lurker can find many of these writings at
    Early Christian Writings: New Testament, Apocrypha, Gnostics, Church Fathers . It would be a huge effort to go through all of these and document what each said.

    Having teachings and phrases similar to the gospels is not the same as recognizing the gospels. Later writers recognzie the gospels.

    Some of these books are versions of other gospels, and yes, versions of the gospels existed early. But they could have been written as stories, and not intended as history.
    And I responded to what he said.
    Many of these later "gospels" are clearly legendary, and they were not taken seriously by later believers. The fact that these people readily made up storys about Jesus is hardly proof that they thought he was a real character. Rather, they seem to treat him as a fictional character, to whom they may add anything they want, since it is all just fiction anyway.
    Why do you throw them into the historical Jesus category?
    See critique at Historicity Of Jesus FAQ.
    The Talmud was written in the late 3rd century when belief in a historical Jesus was widespread, so it is not relevant to beiefs in the early second century.

    Celsus wrote in 177 AD. By that time belief in the historical Jesus was become widespread.
    This has been discussed throughout this thread. You have yet to show a clear link of anything in his writing to a gospel.
    Uh, we have not all seen it the way you have seen it. See detailed description of Felix at DebatesFelix.
    Uh, Doherty explains that Tatian talks of Greek myths and then Tatian says, "we too tell stories", indicating that Tatian considers the stories of his savior to be like other storyies, just myths.
    Uh, Athenagoras quotes expressions similar to things found in the sermon on the mount, but makes no clear reference to Jesus. See JESUS PUZZLE: Preamble - Century of Apologists .
    Again, See JESUS PUZZLE: Preamble - Century of Apologists .

  7. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    It does?

    Here is what it says:

    5Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
    6who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
    7but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
    8Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
    9For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name,
    10so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

    So we find here a story about a pre-existent Christ who takes the form of a man and appears as a man. It does not say he became a man.


    By the way, I have not seen a retraction of your suggestion that it would be good policy to shoot people who have different political opinions. ( http://www.christianforums.com/t7534255-39/#post57253366 ) Do you still stand by that? Considering that I may well differ with you on certain political opinions, can you see how that might come across as a threat when I read that?

    Can you understand how it would not be proper to publicly go on record as stating that it would be good policy to shoot people that belong to a different political party as you have done?
  8. razeontherock

    razeontherock Well-Known Member

    Just came across this post, it belongs here:

    As I was reading the epistles of John, I noticed that John clearly identifies the false teachings of the Antichrists as one who proclaims that Jesus never has come in the flesh.

    1 John 4:3 "And every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world."
    Likewise this warning of the Antichrist is again repeated in 2 John 1:7.

    "For many have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist."
    This seems to be clear warnings to Christ followers of the false teaching of the Gnostics who preached that Christ was never fully human. Rather he was a spirit disguised in the image of a man. The Gnostics being identified as the antichrists by Apostle John would make sense in the context of the time the epistles were written. In the late first century and early second century were the formations of the first Gnostic thought that would challenge the faith of the early orthodox Christians. It would seem very likely that John desired to warn these Christians of these first set of false teachers and antichrists that would come to distort the truth about Jesus Christ.
  9. Cuddles333

    Cuddles333 Well-Known Member

    United States
    Actually, the Babylonian Talmud was completed by the year 200 A.D. I think the Jerusalem Talmud may be of an earlier date. Their quotes about Jesus are anything but nice. The Jews who forwarded their information concerning their accounts with HJ (Historical Jesus) wrote in a sort of coded fashion whereby only other Jewish scribes could easily understand. It is clear now, that they were very much involved with Jesus and their hatered of Him caused them to write many things that they supposedly did to Him to show that He was a phoney. It definitely worked to ignite the negative pasions in the Jewish scribes that would read them, but, these writings go way too far and end up making those 30 A.D. Jewish leaders looking like buffoons.
  10. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    We discussed this earlier in this thread. Not only does I John warn about those who did not think Jesus came in the flesh, 2 John speaks that those who deny Jesus came in the flesh have gone into the world, and speaks of those who receive them into fellowship. So no, these verses were not preparing for future gnositicism, but were dealing with a first century issue that some thought Jesus did not come in the flesh.

    Besides, saying they didn't think Jesus came in the flesh is a very odd way of saying they think Jesus came, but was not made of flesh. I don't think that is the likely meaning.

    What was John warning about? Probably he was referring to those who did not think Christ sacrificed himself in the realm of flesh--which could refer to a sacrifice in a lower level of heaven as in the Ascension of Isaiah (Ascension of Isaiah). In that case he is warning of those who didn't accept the mythical sacrifice.

    Or it could be written by one who believed Jesus was literally on earth, warning of those who taught Christ was not literally on earth.
  11. doubtingmerle

    doubtingmerle I'll think about it.

    OK, the Talmud was completed around 200 AD. How do you know that it is reflecting historical events that happened 2 centuries earlier, rather then simply commenting on what others were saying at the end of the 2nd century? How is this proof that Jesus was historical?

    And what words in the Talmud sound to you like hatred? They sound to me like nothing other than disagreement about religion. See Jesus in the Talmud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . Which words sound like hatred to you? Which words make the 30 A.D. Jewish leaders look like buffoons in your opinion?
  12. soniat

    soniat Newbie

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence

    It's possible,even likely that there was a wandering rabbi with a handful of followers called something like Yeshua/Yoshua bar Yosef in C1st Judea. That he was crucified by the Romans,who did the same to literally thousands of Jews during that period.

    Christianity (almost certainly not even called that) began as a strictly Jewish sect.One HAD to be a Jew or convert.That meant circumcision and following all of the commandments laid out in the Torah. (there are 613) ) Then Saul stuck his oar in,and that was the end of that.

    Looking at the few teachings actually attributed directly to Jesus, it seems he was simply following rabbinical tradition still practised amongst Hasidic Jews.

    I really don't know if there was an historical Jesus or not, and really don't care. There is little doubt in my mind that the Jesus of the New Testament,upon which Christianity is based is pure myth.--just like virtually every other religion on the planet.

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    Last edited: May 10, 2014