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The Jesus Fraud-3 Arguments (Preliminary Work-Want Feedback)

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The Jesus Fraud

Summary

By Joel Guttormson

Introduction

The Jesus Fraud is a book I am in the process of writing. In it, I intend to show, quite definitively, that the New Testament character of Jesus Christ is a composite character that most probably did not exist in the flesh, and thus, not a historical person. I use the term “most probably” because I am open to new evidences and findings, as rational and scientifically minded people should be. Therefore, I encourage all who read this, and the eventual volume to follow, to challenge me on my points, and to check my facts and evidence. It should be observed, that if no objection or refutation can be brought against my arguments, points, and evidence that would cause such a degree of reasonable doubt as to reconsider the position completely, then it should stand as the most likely account of the character of Jesus Christ. I intend to take into consideration those objections that deal merely with faith, and faith alone. Further, I intend to take into consideration the evidence that is claimed to exist for Jesus Christ’s historicity. I then intend to show the evidence against the historicity of Jesus Christ and that this evidence is not only abundant but also compelling. The intention of this abstract and info table is to engage in discussion those that disagree with me and to find further objections to my position as part of the research for this volume. Thus, herein my contact information has been made available at the conclusion of this abstract.

Argument 1: Jesus is a composite

It can be demonstrated that the myth and accompanying story of a dying-rising savior demigod is abundant in ancient societies throughout history and that Jesus fits the subsequent archetype of those stories that preceded ‘him’. Some of the civilizations that had this type of god included in their myths include, the Egyptians, Persians/Romans, Greeks, and Indians (India). From Egypt, we have Horus. The story of Horus is the oldest recorded story of a dying-rising savior, dating to around 3000BC. A summary of the Horus story is as follows: “Horus was born on December 25th of the virgin Isis-Meri . His birth was accompanied by a star in the east, which in turn, three kings followed to locate and adorn the new-born savior. At the age of 12, he was a prodigal child teacher, and at the age of 30, he was baptized by a figure known as Anup and thus began his ministry. Horus had 12 disciples he traveled about with, performing miracles such as healing the sick and walking on water. Horus was known by many gestural names such as The Truth, The Light, God’s Anointed Son, The Good Shepherd, The Lamb of God, and many others. After being betrayed by Typhon, Horus was crucified, buried for 3 days, and thus, resurrected1 ”. From Persia, and later taken up by the Romans, we have Mithras (Mythra) dating to 1200BC. The story of Mithras is as follows: born of a virgin on December 25th, he had 12 disciples and performed miracles, and upon his death was buried for 3 days and thus resurrected, he was also referred to as “The Truth,” “The Light,” and many others. Interestingly, the sacred day of worship of Mithras was Sunday1”. From Greece we have Dionysus dating to 500BC, whose story is as follows: “born of a virgin on December 25th, was a traveling teacher who performed miracles such as turning water into wine, he was referred to as the “King of Kings,” “God’s Only Begotten Son,” “The Alpha and Omega,” and many others, and upon his death, he was resurrected1”. Finally, from India, we have Krishna dated to 900BC, but the legend may be older, whose story is as follows: “born of the virgin Devaki with a star in the east signaling his coming, performed miracles with his disciples, and upon his death was resurrected1”. One will be quick to notice a few themes or details that run through all of these characters. Let us now compare these to the story of Jesus, first written no earlier than 70AD: “Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary on December 25th in Bethlehem, his birth was announced by a star in the east, which three kings or magi followed to locate and adorn the new savior. He was a child teacher at 12, at the age of 30 he was baptized by John the Baptist, and thus began his ministry. Jesus had 12 disciples which he traveled about with performing miracles such as healing the sick, walking on water, raising the dead, he was also known as the “King of Kings,” the “Son of God,” the “Light of the World,” the “Alpha and Omega,” the “Lamb of God,” and many others. After being betrayed by his disciple Judas and sold for 30 pieces of silver, he was crucified, placed in a tomb and after 3 days was resurrected and ascended into Heaven1”. There is something in literature that is referred to as Lord Raglan’s Hero Pattern. It is a list of attributes, taken from the story of Oedipus, and is as follows: “1. Hero’s mother is a royal virgin; 2. His father is a king, and 3. Often a near relative of his mother, but 4. The circumstances of his conception are unusual, and 5. He is also reputed to be the son of a god. 6. At birth an attempt is made, usually by his father or his maternal grandfather to kill him, but 7. He is spirited away, and 8. Reared by foster -parents in a far country. 9. We are told nothing of his childhood, but 10. On reaching manhood he returns or goes to his future Kingdom. 11. After a victory over the king and/or a giant, dragon, or wild beast, 12. He marries a princess, often the daughter of his predecessor and
13. And becomes king. 14. For a time he reigns uneventfully and 15. Prescribes laws, but
16. Later he loses favor with the gods and/or his subjects, and 17. Is driven from the throne and city, after which 18. He meets with a mysterious death, 19. Often at the top of a hill, 20. His children, if any do not succeed him. 21. His body is not buried, but nevertheless 22. He has one or more holy sepulchres2”. Jesus gets 18/223 or 81%. Here it is sufficient to suspect this section by adding only that it is obvious that character of Jesus was not unique but may have originated independently, even by first century standards and thus, it is more likely that these characteristics were not inspired by a figure named Jesus.

Argument 2: Jesus is the SUN of god

From above, and from experience with Christianity, Jesus Christ is the supposed Son of God. The reality however, may be that he is not the Son of God but rather the Sun of God. I shall elaborate. “The cross of the Zodiac [is] one of the oldest conceptual images in human history. It reflects the sun as it figuratively passes through the 12 major constellations over the course of a year. It also reflects the 12 months of the year, the 4 seasons, and the solstices and equinoxes. The term Zodiac relates to the fact that constellations were anthropomorphized, or personified, as figures, or animals1.” The sun, in the cross of the Zodiac is in the middle of the cross, and as it travels with the 12 constellations through the months of the year, something strange happens around the time of the Winter Solstice. The shortening of the days and the expiration of the crops when approaching the winter solstice symbolized the process of death to the ancients. It was the death of the Sun. By December 22nd, the Sun’s demise was fully realized, for the Sun, having moved south continually for 6 months, makes it to its lowest point in the sky. Here a curious thing occurs: the Sun stops moving south, at least perceivably, for 3 days. During this 3-day pause, the Sun resides in the vicinity of the Southern Cross, or Crux, constellation. In addition, after this time on December 25th, the Sun moves 1 degree, this time north, foreshadowing longer days, warmth, and Spring. And thus it was said: the Sun died on the cross, was dead for 3 days, only to be resurrected or born again1”. Here I would like to comment about the Southern Cross constellation. During this time the sun was cruxified, thus giving us, crucified. After which the sun dies, and rises after 3 days. Furthermore, it can be shown that the birth sequence is entirely due to astrology. Let us look at the main attributes of the Jesus story. First, we have Mary, the Virgin; next, we have the three kings or Magi that follow the Star in the East to locate and adorn the newborn savior. The astrology of this story is as follows: Mary is the constellation Virgo, alternatively known as Virgo the Virgin, Virgo in Latin means Virgin. Virgo is often referred to as the House of Bread, depicted by a Virgin holding a sheaf of wheat. Bethlehem in Hebrew literally translates to “House of Bread”. Thus, “Bethlehem is a reference to a place in the sky, not on Earth1. Now, the three bright stars that comprise Orion’s Belt are called the Three Kings; the star in the east is Sirius, the brightest eastern star. On December 24th, the three stars of Orion’s Belt line up with the brightest star in the east, Sirius[TW11] . However, stars never change their position relative to one another, this arrangement results in the line-up of stars pointing to the site of the sunrise on December 25th. This is why the three kings follow the star in the east to find the sunrise, or, the birth of the sun. This is the reason that all the savior gods enumerated in Argument 1 have identical birth sequences. Now, what about the rising part? “[T]hey did not celebrate the resurrection of the Sun until the spring equinox, or Easter. This is because at the spring equinox, the Sun officially overpowers the evil darkness, as daytime thereafter becomes longer in duration than night, and the revitalizing conditions of spring emerge1”. Finally, there are things said, by Jesus, and elements in stories in the New Testament which point, not to a begotten Son of God, but rather an allegorical, anthropomorphized figure. For instance, when Jesus is said to feed the multitudes in Matt 14:17, he supposedly does so using two fish. The symbolism of the two fish is taken directly from the Zodiac. Pisces, or Pisces the Two Fish, is the age in which Jesus was supposed to have been born. To show this, we need only look to the New Testament again. Luke 22:8-10 “Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, ‘Go and make preparations for us to eat the Passover.’ Where do you want us to prepare for it?’ they asked. He replied, “As you enter the city, a man carrying a jar of water will meet you3”. Jesus, supposedly, is referring to the Age of Aquarius, represented as “The Water Bearer”, and as it happens, the Age of Aquarius immediately follows the Age of Pisces, starting around the year 2150AD1. Thus, it is easy to see that Jesus may be the Sun, but not the Son.

Argument 3: Lack of contemporary evidence

The final argument I shall present herein deals with the yet undeniable fact that there is not a shred of convincing documented evidence outside of the New Testament of the existence of Jesus Christ. Specifically, I am speaking of the Romans, who recorded nearly everything during their time in power. They were systematic and meticulous. Among the things that the Bible mentions that the Roman historians do not, is the slaughter of the innocence, also known as the flight to Egypt. It should also be noted about that particular tale, this it is taken directly from the book of Exodus. I shall now furnish a list to the reader of just the Roman historians that had an opportunity to write down an account of Jesus, if he existed. (The dates and number of historians is larger than it should be because I am giving the other side the benefit of the doubt.) Alus Perseus (60AD), Columella (1st Cent. AD), Dior Chrysostom (c. 40-c.112AD), Justus of Tiberius (c. 80AD), Livy (59BC-17AD), Lucan us (63AD), Locus Flours (1st-2nd Cent. AD), Petronius (d. 66AD), Phaedrus (20BC-50AD), Philemon (1st Cent. AD), Pliny the Elder (23?-69AD), Plutarch (c. 46-c.119AD), Pomponius Mela (40AD), Rufus Curtius (1st Cent. AD), Quintilian (c.35-c.100AD), Quintus Curtius (1st Cent. AD), Seneca (46?BC-65AD), Sillies Italics (c.25-101AD), Statius Calicoes (1st Cent. AD), Then of Smyrna (c.70-c.135AD), Galerius Floccus (1st Cent. AD), Galerius Maximums (c.20AD ). Again, the above make only the vaguest references Christ. Since Christ is nothing more than a title, in Greek Christ means “the anointed one”, and does not necessarily refer to Jesus. This brings us to the highly touted, Josephus Flavius. This Jewish historian was not even born until 37AD. Like some of the historians above, he lived when he could have recorded heresy, but did not. Josephus recorded events, many events, which are verifiable and verified. The passage that is cited by Christians as being written by him has in doubt and appears to be interpolation by later Christians such as Eusebius4”. Thus, there is most likely, no verifiable evidence of Jesus’ existence.

Conclusion of Summary

To conclude this summary, I need only offer the opportunity for those claiming Jesus to exist to falsify the information contained within this summary. As I continue my research on this topic, opposing theories and views can only help me, as it will expand my view and perspective on the subject. My contact info is listed below so you may continue to share your views with me if you wish. I would like to thank you for reading this and taking the time to engage in conversation on this topic. (As a matter of completeness, the bibliography contained herein does not reflect the totality of sources I shall be utilizing for the volume to follow.)

Contact Information

Joel Guttormson

Email: metroatheists@hotmail.com

Bibliography

4. “Eusebian fabrications: the Testimonium Flavianum” Ken Olson. July 29, 2000.

3. International Bible Society. Bible Gateway. 27 April 2008. 27 April 2008 <http://www.biblegateway.com/&gt;.

2. Sienkewicz, Professor Thomas J. Lord Raglan’s Hero Pattern. 31 August 2008 <http://department.monm.edu/classics/courses/clas230/mythdocuments/heropattern/default.htm&gt;.

1. The Zeitgeist Movie. n.d

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December 8, 2008 - Posted by | Astrology, atheism, Bible, Christianity, First Century, god, Jesus, Jesus Christ, Jesus is Lord, New Testament, religion, Rome, science, Sirius, The Holy Bible | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

27 Comments »

  1. Argument #1 is not an argument for the hypothesis (“did not exist in the flesh, and thus, not a historical person”). The fact that the mythology around Jesus matches many features of other myths says very little about whether there was a historical person or not.

    Other ancient historical figures, from Alexander to Caesar, also had mythologies surrounding their birth and origin, on different levels. That only means ancient people would apply myths to emphasize the importance of some characters. In a sense, we still do it nowadays.

    Comment by sophismata | December 8, 2008

  2. The only evidence given for Jesus and the disciples being the zodiac is based on the play of words that “SON of God” = “SUN of God.”

    This play on words ONLY works in the English language and therefore is superficial.

    As for the sun stopping in the sky for three days, this is scientifically impossile. The earth ALWAYS follows the elliptical orbit. For what you say to be true that would mean that Keplers Third Law of planetary motion would have to be wrong. But no astronomer would ever question Kepler.

    I write more about that here: http://explanationblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/the-myth-of-jesus-a-refutation-of-the-zeitgeist-part-6/

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 10, 2008

  3. Also as for Josephus’ Testimonium Flavianum being a forgery, the truth is even though there seemingly were insertions made in it later, eve secular scholars agree that Josephus wrote about Jesus.

    Here’s a quote from a secular source:

    “It is unlikely that a pious Jew like Flavius Josephus would have written that Jesus ‘appeared to them on the third day, living again’; consequently, there has been a lot of scholarly debate about the explanation of this strange remark. Some argued that we had to admit that Flavius Josephus had become a Christian; others maintained that it was made up by some Byzantine monk who copied the Jewish Antiquities. The latter explanation can be ruled out because a more or less identical text had been found in an Arabian translation of a part of the Jewish Antiquities. In 1991, John Meier has suggested that Josephus did in fact mention Jesus, but that the text was glossed by a Christian author. His reconstruction of the text is as follows:

    ” ‘At this time there appeared Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of the people who receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and among many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, because of an accusation made by the leading men among us, condemned him to the cross, those who had loved him previously did not cease to do so. And up until this very day the tribe of Christians, named after him, has not died out.’ ”

    Here’s my source: http://www.livius.org/jo-jz/josephus/josephus.htm

    It turnes out even Josephus manuscripts transcribed by non-Christians mention Jesus. — So much for the claim that the Testimonium Flavianum is a Christian forgery.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 10, 2008

  4. >>The Jesus Fraud is a book I am in the process of writing. In it, I intend to show, quite definitively, that the New Testament character of Jesus Christ is a composite character that most probably did not exist in the flesh,

    That is a funny joke on you..

    I talk to Jesus everyday.. he loves you too.. you need to repent..

    Comment by thenonconformer | December 14, 2008

  5. The biggest evidence is strating you in the face.. it is the calendar..

    2008 ad , 2008 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ..

    Comment by thenonconformer | December 14, 2008

  6. If your hearing voices, you should seek psychiatric and medical attention.
    – Chalmer

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 14, 2008

  7. The Amino Domina (AD) dating convention was not adopted until the 6th century. They made the same assumptions that you’re making; that the Bible is literal and true, that Jesus existed, and that the Biblical account can be used to estimate the year of Jesus’ birth.
    – Chalmer

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 14, 2008

  8. Josephus wasn’t born till 37ad. This is 4 years after jesus supposedly died. He probably didn’t start writing till into his teens or early 20’s which puts him writing about anything at 57ad, 34 years after the supposed death of jesus. So, IF (and this is a big if) he did write anything about this figure, it was a story that was passed down for 34 years and would have had many alterations, thereby diluting its truth value, as things would have been added and enhanced. Furthermore, nothing in Josephus documents from the time indicate anything about any jesus. The passage you are citing comes from a later addition in the 3rd century by a church father. Also, can you produce Roman documents, from Roman historians of the time that mention jesus? After all he did cause quite the stir with them and….the Romans won. He died. So why aren’t they any Roman historians that mention him (even though they recorded everything else as they were meticulous about doing so)? He didn’t exist as a person. Find me a Roman history or a Josephus document dated to the year range 57-90 ad and then we can talk.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 15, 2008

  9. No…apparently you didn’t read the argument. There are quite a bit of correlations that predate the English language by thousands of years. The zodiac myth is: the 12 (remember that number?) constellations follow the sun (spelling and language are irrelevant) in the sun’s journey through the sky. The jesus myth: the 12 (here it is again) apostles (constellations) follow jesus (the sun, personification is free of language barriers…amazing how I’d know that, being a linguist) in jesus’ journey through Israel (the sky). Also, if you had read it, instead of skimmed it, you’d also see the fish symbolism (pieces) and the mention of the age of Aquarius (the water bearer) in the Bible so you can look it up since i know you have one in Luke 22:8-10.

    Thank you for your comment

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 15, 2008

  10. Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great left monuments and other physical artifacts about themselves. Other cultures that had no part of theirs, in fact who tried to fight and defeat them, wrote of them. They are independently verified. The myths surrounding their lives are not all encompassing (ie not about their whole lives) and are about battles and heroism. Even if either are claimed to be of divine origin, no one today believes it, and for good reason. We have none of this for jesus. As i have asked another respondent, produce for me Roman documents, or those from the other surrounding cultures of the day, that mention this figure. what artifacts can you produce that can be at minimum 99% verified to be that of jesus. do that and you’ll have destroyed my argument, however until then, you have been refuted.

    Thank you for your comment

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 15, 2008

  11. “So why aren’t they any Roman historians that mention him (even though they recorded everything else as they were meticulous about doing so)? He didn’t exist as a person. Find me a Roman history or a Josephus document dated to the year range 57-90 ad and then we can talk.”

    There’s Tacitus, the Roman historian that mentions him. But that was early in the second century. The earliest date I could find for the passage was 106 AD.

    But since you are implying that a historian has to mention him in the first century itself, for it to be historically relevant, then you’re not going to find it.

    If you’re going to apply the logic a historical mention of him has to be within a few yearsof his life, then why not apply the same tactic to other histories?

    — To do so would mean to throw out a lot of known history because most ancient historians (who we depend on for ancient history) such as Herodotus, Xenophon, and several others wrote decades and even centuries after their events. — But no reputable scholar would ever claim that since they wrote long after the events they describe that therefore they are unreliable.

    Also applying the same standard, this we would heve to assume that Buddha didn’t exist because no non-Buddhist document affirms he existed. The same goes for Krishna and Confucious. — Again, no reputable historianI know of questions their existence, so why only apply this standard to Jesus?

    Also, it is imporant to point out that the “Jesus never existed” is a pretty new movement. No early skeptic of Christianity, such as Porphery or Tacitus, ever questioned that Jesus existed.

    There were some people still alive from the time of Jesus in the late first to early second century, so it would have been way too easy for any early skeptic to say “Hold it! He never existed!” But that never happened.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 15, 2008

  12. “Julius Caesar and Alexander the Great left monuments blablabla”

    That is all true, but you are mixing up arguments. Argument #1 says Jesus didnt exist because his basic story is clearly mythological: it has nothing to do with historical evidence, monuments, contemporary documents, artifacts, etc. (That would be your #3)

    Problem is, there are other historical figures that also have mythologies. It was a common practice to input importance to someone, but it doesnt mean this someone ”did not exist in the flesh”. We do something similar today, at a smaller scale: look at Washington’s and Lincoln’s stories.

    If anything, this compilation of archetypes and myths is evidence that early writers were very eager to “prove” to their readers a character called Jesus was indeed the king-savior. Back then it would be hard to sell the story of a king being born if you dont have a new star in the sky.

    The more Jesus’ story matches the prophecies and superstitions of the time, the more believable he becomes. But it says nothing about him existing (in the flesh) or not.

    Comment by sophismata | December 16, 2008

  13. “Josephus wasn’t born till 37ad. This is 4 years after jesus supposedly died. He probably didn’t start writing till into his teens or early 20’s which puts him writing about anything at 57ad, 34 years after the supposed death of jesus. So, IF (and this is a big if) he did write anything about this figure, it was a story that was passed down for 34 years and would have had many alterations, thereby diluting its truth value, as things would have been added and enhanced. Furthermore, nothing in Josephus documents from the time indicate anything about any jesus. The passage you are citing comes from a later addition in the 3rd century by a church father.”

    It is true that the Testomonium Flavium has alterations, but I already admitted that in that in one of my comments. It is, however, accepted by scholars that Josephus did mention Jesus in the text.

    I’m citing Livius.org (a website for ancient history), which is skeptical of the Bible, but they accept that the text did include Jesus: http://www.livius.org/jo-jz/josephus/josephus.htm#Testimony

    Also there is the second mention of Jesus made by Josephus. You can argue that this is a forgery as well, but that argument falls when a word study is done on the passage.

    Josh McDowell, of Infidels.org, after doing a word study agreed that the wording “the so-called Christ” was way too “noncommittal” eve though he considers several passages about Jesus as inconclusive.

    http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/jeff_lowder/jury/chap5.html#josephus

    He considers the second passge in Josephus as completely authentic, though to be honest he onsiders many Christian Christian arguments in its favor as incomplete.

    The truth is that since Josephus’ terminology in Greek is “noncommittal” that makes it unlikely that it was forged by a Christian because no early or modern Christian would be content with a noncommittal statement in the case of Calling Jesus the Christ.

    Here’s a good discusion about it: http://www.christian-thinktank.com/qmolegos.html

    Personally I would not appeal to the Testimonium Flavianum to show that Jesus existed, but the second Josephus passage, being noncommittal in its identification of Jesus as the “so-called” or “alleged” Christ is much more likely to be authentic because, again, no christian would ever settle for such a lack of conviction.

    I did some research and found that in Greek, Josephus uses the term “ho legomenus” for “so-called christ.”

    In the Greek New Testament, when ever that particular term is used, it is not an affirmative. More like “some people call him X.”

    Here are examples of New Testament verses where the term in Greek is used. They are highlighted in English:

    http://bibletab.com/s/so-called.htm

    When one reads them, the skeptical statements are very noticeable.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 16, 2008

  14. “There are quite a bit of correlations that predate the English language by thousands of years. The zodiac myth is: the 12 (remember that number?) constellations follow the sun (spelling and language are irrelevant) in the sun’s journey through the sky. The jesus myth: the 12 (here it is again) apostles (constellations) follow jesus (the sun, personification is free of language barriers…amazing how I’d know that, being a linguist) in jesus’ journey through Israel (the sky). Also, if you had read it, instead of skimmed it, you’d also see the fish symbolism (pieces) and the mention of the age of Aquarius (the water bearer) in the Bible so you can look it up since i know you have one in Luke 22:8-10.”

    Okay, In two of my posts I have already refuted the alleged ties to the Zodiac:

    http://explanationblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/03/the-myth-of-jesus-a-refutation-of-the-zeitgeist-part-6/

    And:

    http://explanationblog.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/the-myth-of-jesus-a-refutation-of-the-zeitgeist-part-7/

    I got to mention that there is no basis for tying the man with a pitcher of water to the age aquarius. There is nothing in the context that EVEN implies it. — So I must ask you: What is your textual basis in the Bible for linking him to Aquarius?

    If it’s only because he’s a man with a jug of water then that is a very weak link. Such a thing would have been very common because they still didn’t have indoor plumbing. — Therefore should EVERY man back then with a water jug be considered as the age of Aquarius? — That seems far fetched.

    As for your citing the Age of Pieces, you attempt to tie pieces to Jesus because he fed a multitude with fish. — How did you mannage to get any symbolism from that? Back then, Fish was a common source of protein (and still is). I fail to see a real connection other than a simple insignificant mention of fish.

    Is your methodology to automatically apply ALL references of fish to Pieces simply because fish ar mentioned? And also are you tying any mention of water to aquarius because water is mentioned?

    As a final thought, I noticed that you cite Zeitgeist as a major source in your bibliography. But that film has been refuted, not only by Christians like me, but also by non-Christians.

    Here are a couple of links to non-Christian sites that refute the film:

    http://www.conspiracyscience.com/articles/zeitgeist/part-one

    http://ct.grenme.com/index.php/Zeitgeist_Part_I

    There’s another fact that you need to know about these ages of the Zodiac that most people that rely on Zeitgeist and Acharya S never get to hear.

    To tell you, I’m going to quote Professor Nowel Swerdlow of the University of Chicago, Professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics:

    “The borders of constellations, between, say, Aries, Pisces, and Aquarius, are modern conventions of the International Astronomical Union, and there is nothing ancient about them. Ancient astrologers did not use Norton’s Star Atlas nor anything else that drew arbitrary lines between sidereal constellations.”

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 16, 2008

  15. All you just did was write a long fallacy, namely, appeal to authority. I won’t engage in a quote-mining-scholar-war. This scholar said and that scholar said doesn’t get us anywhere. All this says to me is you lack the physical evidence necessary to make a convincing argument.

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 19, 2008

  16. It should be noted that nobody truly believes that King Arther or Robin Hood existed. Both who have a great amount supposedly written about them but neither of which have any physical evidence of their existence. And it is not true that “The more Jesus’ story matches the prophecies and superstitions of the time, the more believable he becomes.” In fact, it not only makes him less believable, I have already laid out what would make him believable. The same criteria that has been set up to establish the existence of other figures in history. As for Tactius, if you read anything he wrote, you’d know he doesn’t mention the name “Jesus Christ” or “Jesus of Nazareth” or any specific reference. He uses only the word Christ or Christos which simply mean “the anointed one”. If in fact he was a real person and did the things the gospels (which don’t even agree on important aspects of this supposed life) said he did, then we would expect a Roman historian to write something specific about him given that he was to have caused such a stir.

    As for the standard for other deities. I hold this standard up for all figures in religion. This blog just happens to be about Jesus. Krishna is one of the first archetypes for the jesus story and is equally not true.

    As for the earlier scholars or skeptics not challenging the existence of jesus, Christianity’s own Paul (the Paul of the letters) said in a letter to the Hebrews (8:4)
    “4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.” (notice he starts with the word ‘IF’ implying he wasn’t a person on earth as ‘IF’ implies a hypothetical) Further, he didn’t know anything of gospel stories, though arranged after the gospels, his writings predate the gospels and should jesus exited at all, Paul would have be privy to this info, but wasn’t. Also, to assert there were NO skeptics of jesus’ existence is a hasty generalization for which you’ve provided no evidence.

    As for Josephus, I will say in order to be convincing, you must produce for me the writings of Josephus which date to before the 2nd century (ie around the time he wrote them) that mentions jesus.

    There are more arguments against the existence of jesus than are listed. Please let me know if you wish me to expound upon those since for what i have asked for in these arguments hasn’t been produced by you, the believers. Simply believing something doesn’t make it so.

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 19, 2008

  17. You say,

    “As for Tactius, if you read anything he wrote, you’d know he doesn’t mention the name “Jesus Christ” or “Jesus of Nazareth” or any specific reference. He uses only the word Christ or Christos which simply mean “the anointed one.’ ”

    I’m not questioning that. I know it’s a title, as well as almost all christians. But that hardly refutes anything I have said. I’ve actually read Tacitus and the context of his statement is undeniably about Jesus Christ for he mentions that he is the “Founder of the movement” of the “Christians.” And that he was killed by Pilate.

    “If in fact he was a real person and did the things the gospels (which don’t even agree on important aspects of this supposed life) said he did, then we would expect a Roman historian to write something specific about him given that he was to have caused such a stir.”

    Don’t give me that. I’ve read all four gospels and what apparent inconsistencies that exist between them are reconcilable. You’d have to give examples of those alleged “contradictions” betwen the gospels.

    As for your arguement that Jesus would have been mentioned more by historians if he existed — You are losing sight of what the Ancient historians at the time were more woried about. — Simply reading what they wrote about makes it clear that they were more concerned about reporting the politics and wars of the time more than they would have been about talking about a peasant preacher. So this argument means nothing.

    “As for the earlier scholars or skeptics not challenging the existence of jesus, Christianity’s own Paul (the Paul of the letters) said in a letter to the Hebrews (8:4)
    “4 If he were on earth, he would not be a priest, for there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law.” (notice he starts with the word ‘IF’ implying he wasn’t a person on earth as ‘IF’ implies a hypothetical)”

    Even Skeptic Richard Carrier, who doesn’t believe in Jesus’ existence, disagrees with this statement you have just made. — Must I mention he is a Greek Linguist?

    He points out that in Greek in the passage the term for “if he were” is used in the Greek tense “imperfect tense.”

    That means that Paul is talking in the tense of the moment in which he is writting. In other words, what Paul is REALLY saying “If Jesus were on earth NOW, AT THIS MOMENT . . . ” He was talking about the moment he was writting the letter to the Hebrews, not speaking about a “hypothetical past,” but rather a hypothetical present.

    “Further, he didn’t know anything of gospel stories”

    Stop right there. That is not true! In 1 Corintians 11: 24, 25 Paul quotes the Gospel of Luke about the Last Supper of Jesus (Luke 22: 19, 20)

    Also, in 1 Timothy 5: 18, Paul claims to be quoting “Scripture.” He gives two small quotes and the second one IS NOT found in the Old Testament, but rather only in the Gospel of Luke. The quote is “”The laborer is worthy of his wages.” — This quote from Luke 10:17 and nowhere else.

    This proves, though it is only a small quote, that Paul knew about at least one of the Gospels.

    “As for Josephus, I will say in order to be convincing, you must produce for me the writings of Josephus which date to before the 2nd century (ie around the time he wrote them) that mentions jesus.”

    I already did, and I even cited a skeptic of Christianity to prove my point. — The second mention of Jesus made by Josephus is believed almost universally to be authentic and written by Josephus himself.

    Robert E. Van Voorst, Professor of New Testament Studies, in his book “Jesus Outside the New Testament“ on pages 83 and 84 affirms that,

    “The overwhelming majority of scholars holds that the words “the brother of Jesus called Christ” are authentic, as is the entire passage in which it is found. [ . . . ] A Christian interpolator would have used laudatory language to describe Jame and especially Jesus, calling him “the Lord” or something similar. At least, [ . . . ] he would have used the term “Christ” in an absolute way. Josephus’s words “called Christ” are neutral and descriptive, intended neither to confess nor deny Jesus as the “Christ.”

    Also, Josephus Scholar Josephus, the Bible, and History on page 434 confirms that the vast Majority of Scholars believe that the passage in Josephus which mentions James, Jesus’ brother, is authentic.

    This means that Josephus, who wrote between 70 AD and 100 AD DID mention Jesus. The was majority of Scholarship supports this. This places Josephus’ mention Of Jesus Christ and James in the First Century itself.

    Another important fact is that even though Josephus was not alive at the same time as Jesus, he was alive at the same time that James the Brother of Jesus was murdered by the high prest in 62 AD — He would have been 25 years old at the time and therefore would more than likely would have known about James, brother of Jesus.

    As quoted above, the vast majority of Scholars believe Josephus really did write the words “The Brother of Jesus who is called Christ, whose name was James.” And he was alive during the event he describes. So knowing both of these facts, this means Josephus DID know Jesus’ name. If the name was know, then almost certainly so was the man himself.

    This is evidence from the first century itself, whether you want to accept it or not.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 20, 2008

  18. Oops, in teh last post when I mention Luke 10: 17, I actually mean “Luke 10: 7”

    I was 10 verses off. Sorry for the mix up.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 20, 2008

  19. “All you just did was write a long fallacy, namely, appeal to authority.”

    Really? What fallacies have I committed? The vast majority of my sources are Neutral, which is more than what can be said about yours.

    “I won’t engage in a quote-mining-scholar-war. This scholar said and that scholar said doesn’t get us anywhere.”

    Quote mining? IS that all you can resort to? Why don’t you actually refute is instead of dismissing it?

    “All this says to me is you lack the physical evidence necessary to make a convincing argument.”

    I did give evidence.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 20, 2008

  20. […] June 2008 Is Jesus a Fraud? — Counter Arguments December 20, 2008, 9:54 am Filed under: Jesus, Jesus Myth If you’ve been keeping up with my Apologetics, you most probably have read my posts that refute Zeitgeist, part 1 which can be accessed by clicking here here. Currently, I am in a debate with another “Jesus-Myther” about the historicity of Jesus. He (Joel Guttormson) is in the process of writing a book which calls Christianity into question and posted part of it in a blog post entitled “The Jesus fraud-3 arguments.” […]

    Pingback by Is Jesus a Fraud? — Counter Arguments « Explanation | December 20, 2008

  21. “And it is not true that “The more Jesus’ story matches the prophecies and superstitions of the time, the more believable he becomes.” In fact, it not only makes him less believable, I have already laid out what would make him believable. ”

    You are not paying attention. Jesus stories were not intended to 21st century, science-based societies. Instead, they were written for the 1st century common people. *FOR THEM*, a new star was a bullet-proof sign that a king was born. So *FOR THEM* those stories made Jesus accounts more believable. Today that is laughable, but for them it wasn’t.

    Problem is, some real people also had mythological stories made up for them. Conclusion: the presence of mythological stories about X doesn’t prove or deny the existence of X. Argument #1 is bad. At most it could be used as a counter-argument against a claim such as “Jesus indeed existed because there is this story, and that story”.

    “There are more arguments against the existence of jesus than are listed. Please let me know if you wish me to expound upon those since for what i have asked for in these arguments hasn’t been produced by you, the believers.”

    I’m an atheist, and didn’t give any evidence otherwise. The fact that now you are making judgments about the “believing status” of the commentators (as if that would make any difference) makes me think you are running out of ideas and going personal.

    Your argument #1 is weak, as I showed. Argument #3 is much better, although it could get beefed up a little. You asked for “feedback”, and I provided some. It seems instead you are actually looking to pick up an intellectual fight. Too bad.

    Comment by sophismata | December 20, 2008

  22. Answer from the commnt on my post, in case you missed it,

    Joe says,

    “Provide evidence prior to the second century of any of the writings of Josephus that mention Jesus.You can say many scholars say that but what is many? How do you know they aren’t biased? (ie that they aren’t christian)”

    So all you can do is appeal to bias? — Remember in one of my comments on your blog post I even cited an Athiest scholar that believes the passage to be authentic, but I notice that you have completely ignored that. Are you going to accuse him of being A Christian to?

    As for quoting an “Authority” I do it only to show I have my sources. — I notice that you did that to on your post.

    “Thus, this interpolation in the writings of Josephus cannot be cited as evidence. Futher, he was born in 37ad (4 years after the supposed death of Jesus) and didn’t start producing writings until the year 60 or so. 23 years apart from the “figure” doesn’t constitute as “eye-witness””

    You didn’t read my post very well then. I am fully aware that he wasn’t alive at the time of Jesus — HOWEVER, he was alive at the time Jesus brother was killed. There is no reason why he wouldn’t have known.

    “Further, you misquote my intentions of the blog. These are 3 arguments that do not stand by themselves. You’ll also need to mention that i say “most likely didn’t exist” as I open to new evidence.”

    I never said that that they were the only arguments. You are completely misunderstandin me. If you feel I misquoted you then that was not my intention.But in a comment on your blog when you said that he didn’t exist as a person in history, I take that asjustification for saying thst you believe he did not exist.

    “Notice that I am asking for evidence and not what “many scholars” (who you keep in obscurity) say. If you want the other arguments, I have offered the opportunity to hear them in a comment I posted on the blog.”

    Actually, that is evidence.If you want to call it into question, then consult New Testament scholars and ask them about it — And I don’t mean the “Testimonium Flavianun,” — I mean the passage about James.

    The evidence that the passage is authentic (not forged by a Christian)is the language that Josephus uses to describe Jesus.

    The Greek term what says “was called Christ” is way too neutral. And no Christian interpolator that wished to prove Jesus’ existence (including Eusabius) would EVER use Neutral language.I know, I looked it up. He would have said “He was Christ.” But that’s not the case.

    Your entire argument is “Well, maybe your sources are biased.” — If that’s your argument, then you have lost it. You apparently have no problem citing biased sources when it suits you — For God’s sake, YOU CITE ZEITGEIST (which has no credibility) in your bibliography and quote it! So you are not one to lecture about “Appeals to Authority” and “Bias.”

    But in making such an argument, you make a basic fallacy yourself. When you basically say “Your sources are probably biased, so I will ignore them” you are guilty of “Ad Hominem” which by deinition is both a logical fallacy and a personal attack.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 21, 2008

  23. Only Matthew makes a mention of the “star of bethelem”. He lifts the story (like most of the Bible).
    Matthew’s description of the miracles and portents attending the birth of Jesus can be compared to stories concerning the birth of Augustus (63 BC), the first Roman emperor.[51] Linking a birth to the first appearance of a star was consistent with the popular belief each person’s life was linked to a particular star.[52] Magi and astronomical events were linked in the public mind by the visit to Rome of a delegation of magi at the time of a spectacular appearance of Halley’s Comet in AD 66.[34] This delegation was led by King Tiridates of Armenia, who came seeking confirmation of his title from Emperor Nero. Ancient historian Dio Cassius wrote that, “The King did not return by the route he had followed in coming,” a line echoed in Matthew’s account

    Comment by srv | December 29, 2008

  24. As a christian I can’t say that Christ actually existed because I don’t have any physical evidence of that, but i think is very probable he did it. In fact no people living now in the world saw Cristh or Budha or Mahoma and they believe in them and their messages written in their respective sacred books.
    But (arriving to what I wanted to say) in your efforts of being skeptical you end yourself believing in…. Zeitgeist! I´m not telling you to believe in Cristh but please don’t trust Zeitgeist. Mixing true facts with unproven ones is the best way to construct stories that conducts you to error.
    Appart from this, I respect your work because it seems a fair attempt in the loking for the truth.
    Greets from Argentina.
    Flavio

    Comment by Flavio | December 29, 2008

  25. krissmith777, which of the writings of Josephus is the mention in? I’ve been look in all his writings and have found nothing. Help?

    Joel

    Comment by Metro State Atheists | December 31, 2008

  26. “krissmith777, which of the writings of Josephus is the mention in? I’ve been look in all his writings and have found nothing. Help?”

    It’s in the 20th book of the Antiguities of the Jews in the ninth chapter. Depending on which system you prefer to cite Josephus you’d find it in “Antiquities of the Jews 20: 9, 1” whuch is entire paragraph system.

    The other way of referencing him is (which I prefer) is “Antiquities of the Jews 20: 200.

    Here’s the quote of the revant passage:

    “Festus was now dead, and Albinus was still upon the road. So Ananus assembled the Sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of that Jesus who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some of his companions. And when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned.”

    This passage is later AFTER the Testimonium Flavianum. And unlike the Testimonium Flavianum this second passage is not even about Jesus. It only mentions him and his brother in passing.

    Comment by krissmith777 | December 31, 2008

  27. Man, on going through this blog I realise one thing for sure – these Metro State Athiest guys sure got good publicity from all this. Congrats boys.

    There are approx 600 references and prophesies (please do correct me if I am wrong about the figure), about Jesus Christ in the OLD TESTAMENT, that have been fulfilled by that very same Jesus Christ in the NEW TESTAMENT.

    Most of these references and prophesises have been made over HUNDREDS OF YEARS BY UNCONNECTED PROPHETS scattered over different parts of the then known world, and you know what!? They all said / pointed to the same finality: JESUS CHRIST!

    If Jesus is a fake as you “propose”, what about Peter, Saul – who became Paul, James, and all the other witnesses? Was not Peter crucified upside down? Was not Paul beheaded? Why? Why? For what reason? And for whom?

    My friend, sometimes the proof is 1 + 1 = 2. Very often it is the proof because everything else is not the answer!

    I pray for the Lord to touch you, and that you know the Revelation, for like Jesus Christ said in His final “physical” moments – “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    PS: I was a devout Hindu for 45 years, and now a lover of Jesus Christ for almost 2 years. A 2 month old baby boy in our Church was born with a hole in the heart – confirmed by medical reports, x-rays – the works. In a couple months the hole disappears! Coincidence, huh? Sheer chance, right?

    We prayed as a Church…naaaa prayer? What could that do? How could that be of help? Thats not science. Hey let me tell you about science. Make a natural human hair – then lets talk.

    Get the receding glaciers get back to their original lines of freezing 20 years ago – then lets talk.

    Science!? Ha! Its a dump! Thats what science is, and has made of the Planet. Scientific evidence. Biggest lies have existed in science. Take Charles Darwin for starters! Life form and Intelligence develops! From what? Retard animals? Wow! And we all lapped it up. Sure shows our “intelligence”

    If science had all the answers, we wouldnt be in the mess we are right now. Because if we are developing into an intelligent life form from retard apes, hey! where is that intelligence mate?

    Yes, Jesus has the answer. Why? Because of His Life. Look at Him. Study Him. And for Heavens sake, try to be like Him – what He epitomized, and stood for:

    LOVE, OBEDIENCE, SUBMISSION & HUMILITY. Free from OFFENSE.

    Comment by Anil Bahl | March 5, 2010


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