Historical evidence for the resurrection of Christ

mancombseepgood

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"The Christian faith from the beginning, is sacrifice: the sacrifice of all freedom, all pride, all self-confidence of spirit; it is at the same time subjection, a self-derision, and self-mutilation."
-Freidrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
Yes.... as Christ said...
Come to me all you who are heavy laden and I will give you rest - take my yoke upon you and learn from me and you will find rest for your souls - for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
 
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ghoti

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http://www.truthbeknown.com/pliny.htm

Turning next to another stalwart in the anemic apologist arsenal, Tacitus, sufficient reason is uncovered to doubt this Roman author's value in proving an "historical" *****. In his Annals, supposedly written around 107 CE, Tacitus purportedly related that the Emperor Nero (37-68) blamed the burning of Rome during his reign on "those people who were abhorred for their crimes and commonly called Christians." Since the fire evidently broke out in the poor quarter where fanatic, agitating Messianic Jews allegedly jumped for joy, thinking the conflagration represented the eschatological development that would bring about the Messianic reign, it would not be unreasonable for authorities to blame the fire on them. However, it is clear that these Messianic Jews were not (yet) called "Christiani." In support of this contention, Nero's famed minister, Seneca (5?-65), whose writings evidently provided much fuel for the incipient Christian ideology, has not a word about these "most-hated" sectarians.

In any event, the Tacitean passage next states that these fire-setting agitators were followers of "Christus" (Christos), who, in the reign of Tiberius, "was put to death as a criminal by the procurator Pontius Pilate." The passage also recounts that the Christians, who constituted a "vast multitude at Rome," were then sought after and executed in ghastly manners, including by crucifixion. However, the date that a "vast multitude" of Christians was discovered and executed would be around 64 CE, and it is evident that there was no "vast multitude" of Christians at Rome by this time, as there were not even a multitude of them in Judea. Oddly, this brief mention of Christians is all there is in the voluminous works of Tacitus regarding this extraordinary movement, which allegedly possessed such power as to be able to burn Rome. Also, the Neronian persecution of Christians is unrecorded by any other historian of the day and supposedly took place at the very time when Paul was purportedly freely preaching at Rome (Acts 28:30-31), facts that cast strong doubt on whether or not it actually happened. Drews concludes that the Neronian persecution is likely "nothing but the product of a Christian's imagination in the fifth century." Eusebius, in discussing this persecution, does not avail himself of the Tacitean passage, which he surely would have done had it existed at the time. Eusebius's discussion is very short, indicating he was lacking source material; the passage in Tacitus would have provided him a very valuable resource.

Even conservative writers such as James Still have problems with the authenticity of the Tacitus passage: For one, Tacitus was an imperial writer, and no imperial document would ever refer to ***** as "Christ." Also, Pilate was not a "procurator" but a prefect, which Tacitus would have known. Nevertheless, not willing to throw out the entire passage, some researchers have concluded that Tacitus "was merely repeating a story told to him by contemporary Christians."
etc
 

JayM

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Oct 30, 2005
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Saying that Lincoln was the president is not an extraordinary claim, and therefore doesn't require extraordinary evidence to prove it.

On the other hand, ALL religions make extraordinary claims, and yet NONE of them come up with the required evidence to justify belief in one over the other. Which bible is to believed over all the rest, and why?

See here for an excellent debunking of Christiain myths. It is the site that finally rid my mind of all the dogma which had been drilled into it since I was a young child.
 

LoneGunman

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"All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual
immaturity of the human race - before it had learned the obligations to speak
the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and
understandable in his communications."
-Freidrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
 

nocilah

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unfortunately or fortunately j3sus will be remembered while we rot in the ground.
 

nocilah

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Sep 2, 2004
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7,624
"All religions bear traces of the fact that they arose during the intellectual
immaturity of the human race - before it had learned the obligations to speak
the truth. Not one of them makes it the duty of its God to be truthful and
understandable in his communications."
-Freidrich Nietzsche, German philosopher
God is dead.

- Freidrich Nietzsche

Freidrich Nietzsche is dead.

-God

:D

couldn't resist.
 

The_Unbeliever

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Satan was the first to start the "me" thing...

...if you look at today's world, it all is "me" "me" "me"

we are selfish in nature, we want it all for ourselves, and not care for our brothers or sisters.

J3sus said that we must take care of others and not be selfish.

Take a good, hard look at today's world - you will find that it is centered around "me is more important than you" - that is Satan's work.
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,714
Satan was the first to start the "me" thing...

...if you look at today's world, it all is "me" "me" "me"

we are selfish in nature, we want it all for ourselves, and not care for our brothers or sisters.

J3sus said that we must take care of others and not be selfish.

Take a good, hard look at today's world - you will find that it is centered around "me is more important than you" - that is Satan's work.
Yeah, they say that all the time, in every century. Every time frame has its own "anti christ" and "end is near". Despite the increase in quality of life (lot of work to do after the dark ages), the same cry over and over again for every reason you can think of :confused:
 

rwenzori

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Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
12,338
Satan was the first to start the "me" thing...

...if you look at today's world, it all is "me" "me" "me"

we are selfish in nature, we want it all for ourselves, and not care for our brothers or sisters.

J3sus said that we must take care of others and not be selfish.

Take a good, hard look at today's world - you will find that it is centered around "me is more important than you" - that is Satan's work.
Where can I get to meet this Satan chappie?
 

ghoti

Karmic Sangoma
Joined
Jan 17, 2005
Messages
45,714
For onepostwonder:

Some info I came across:

JOSEPHUS (c.96CE)

Yes,
The famous Testamonium Flavianum is considered probably the best evidence for *****, yet it has some serious problems :
* the T.F. as it stands uses clearly Christian phrases and names Christ as Messiah, it could not possibly have been written by the Jew Josephus (who refused to call anyone "messiah"),
* The T.F. comes in several versions of various ages,
* The T.F. was not mentioned by Origen when he reviewed Josephus - Origen even says Josephus does NOT call ***** the Messiah, showing the passage was not present in that earlier era.
* The T.F. first showed up in manuscripts of Eusebius, and was still absent from some manuscripts as late as 8th century.
* (The other tiny passage in Josephus is probably a later interpolation.)
An analysis of Josephus can be found here:
http://www.humanists.net/*****puzzle/supp10.htm

In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)
But, yes,
it COULD just be actual evidence for ***** - late, corrupt, controversial but just POSSIBLY real historical evidence.
Such is the weakness of the evidence that this suspect passage is considered some of the best "evidence" for a historical ***** of Nazareth.


TACITUS (c.112CE)

Roughly 80 years after the alleged events (and 40 years after the war) Tacitus allegedly wrote a (now) famous passage about "Christ" - this passage has several problems however:
* Tacitus uses the term "procurator", used in his later times, but not correct for the actual period, when "prefect" was used.
* Tacitus names the person as "Christ", when Roman records could not possibly have used this name (it would have been "*****, son of Joseph" or similar.)
* Tacitus accepts the recent advent of Christianity, which was against Roman practice (to only allow ancient and accepted cults and religions.)
* (No-one refers to this passage for a millennium, even early Christians who actively sought such passages.)

This evidence speaks AGAINST it being based on any Roman records -
but
merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)
So,
this passage is NOT evidence for *****,
it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about *****.
http://oll.libertyfund.org/ToC/0067.php


PLINY the Younger (c.112CE)


About 80 years after the alleged events, (and over 40 years after the war) Pliny referred to Christians who worshipped a "Christ" as a god, but there is no reference to a historical ***** or Gospel events.
So,
Pliny is not evidence for a historical ***** of Nazareth,
just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/pliny.html


SUETONIUS (c.115CE)

Roughly 80-90 years after the alleged Gospel events, (about 75 years after the war) Suetonius refers to a "Chrestus" who stirred the Jews to trouble in Rome during Claudius' time, but:
* this "Chrestus" is a Greek name (from "useful"), and is also a mystic name for an initiate, it is not the same as "Christos"
* this Chrestus was apparently active in Rome, ***** never was.
So,
this passage is not evidence for *****,
it's nothing to do with *****,
it's evidence for Christians grasping at straws.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/suetonius.html


IGNATIUS (107CE? 130-170CE?)

The letters of Ignatius are traditionally dated to c.107, yet:
* it is not clear if he really existed, his story is suspicious,
* his letters are notoriously corrupt and in 2 versions,
* it is probable that his letters were later forgeries,
* he mentions only a tiny few items about *****.
So,
Ignatius is no evidence for ***** himself,
at BEST it is 2nd century evidence to a few beliefs about *****.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ignatius.html


QUADRATUS (c.125CE)

Quadratus apparently wrote an Apology to Hadrian (117-138), but:
* we have none of his works,
* it is not certain when he wrote,
* all we have is 1 sentence quoted much later.
So,
Quadratus is uncertain evidence from about a century later.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/quadratus.html


THALLUS (date unknown)

We have NO certain evidence when Thallus lived or wrote, there are NONE of Thallus' works extant.
What we DO have is a 9th century reference by George Syncellus who quotes the 3rd century Julianus Africanus, who, speaking of the darkness at the crucifixion, wrote: "Thallus calls this darkness an eclipse".
But,
there is NO evidence Thallus made specific reference to ***** or the Gospel events at all, as there WAS an eclipse in 29. This suggests he merely referred to a known eclipse, but that LATER Christians MIS-interpreted his comment to mean their darkness. (Also note the supposed reference to Thallus in Eusebius is a false reading.)

Richard Carrier the historian has a good page on Thallus:
http://www.infidels.org/library/mode...r/thallus.html

So,
Thallus is no evidence for ***** at all,
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.


PHLEGON (c.140)

Phlegon wrote during the 140s - his works are lost. Later, Origen, Eusebius, and Julianus Africanus (as quoted by George Syncellus) refer to him, but quote differently his reference to an eclipse. There is no evidence Phlegon actually said anything about Gospel events, he was merely talking about an eclipse (they DO happen) which LATER Christians argued was the "darkness" in their stories.
So,
Phlegon is no evidence for ***** at all -
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.


VALENTINUS (c.140CE)


In mid 2nd century the GNOSTIC Valentinus almost became Bishop of Rome, but:
* he was several generations after the alleged events,
* he wrote of an esoteric, Gnostic ***** and Christ,
* he mentioned no historical details about *****.
So,
Valentinus is no evidence for a historical *****.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/valentinus.html


POLYCARP (c.155CE)

Polycarp wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he gives many sayings of ***** (some of which do NOT match the Gospels),
* he does NOT name any evangelist or Gospel.
So,
Polycarp knew sayings of *****,
but provides no actual evidence for a historical *****.
http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/polycarp.html


LUCIAN (c.170CE)

Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians, but :
* this was several generations later,
* Lucian does NOT even mention ***** or Christ by name.
So,
Lucian is no evidence for a historical *****, merely late 2nd century lampooning of Christians.


GALEN (late 2nd C.)

Late 2nd century, Galen makes a few references to Christians, and briefly to Christ.
This is far too late to be evidence for *****.


NUMENIUS (2nd C.?)

In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding *****--without, however, mentioning His name" - i.e. Numenius mentioned a story but said nothing about *****, but by Origen's time it had become attached to *****' name.
This not any evidence for *****, it's just later wishful thinking.


TALMUD (3rd C. and later)

There are some possible references in the Talmud, but:
* these references are from 3rd century or later, and seem to be (unfriendly) Jewish responses to Christian claims.
* the references are highly variant, have many cryptic names for *****, and very different to the Gospel stories (e.g. one story has "*****" born about 100BC.)
So,
the Talmud contains NO evidence for *****,
the Talmud merely has much later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories.
http://www.heartofisrael.org/chazak...es/intalmud.htm


The Acts of Pilate (3rd, 4th C.)

Justin does refer to such a report or Acts of Pilate, but no such document existed, until forged in two versions in 3rd and 4th century. The story Tertullian tells is patently absurd.


MARA BAR SERAPION (date unknown)


A fragment which includes -
"... What advantage did the Jews gain from executing their wise King?",
in the context of ancient leaders like Socrates.
It is NOT at all clear WHEN this manuscript was written, nor exactly who it is referring too, but there is no evidence it is *****.
 

Xarog

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 13, 2006
Messages
19,041
I kinda like this take on the whole rise of Christianity :

A Seasonal Story of Ancient Palestine
Stand Up for Herod!

By URI COHEN

King Herod the Great, who ruled Palestine from 37 to 4 BC, is vilified by both Jewish and Christian traditions. Like more recent Palestinian leaders, King Herod enjoyed relative autonomy under the menacing shadow of the world's most powerful empire and its brutal army of occupation. Like the current Palestinian president, King Herod was politically undermined by popular religious militants. The ancient Jewish fundamentalists denounced Herod as a Roman imperialist puppet and a corrupt heathen ruler.

But why stand up for Herod? Partly, for the sake of historical truth. For example, Herod's massacre of the innocents as described in the Gospel of Mathew--which is the main thing that people today 'know' about the much-maligned monarch - certainly never happened. The event is not mentioned in any other contemporaneous account and cannot be reconciled with the date on which we are told that ***** was born.

Ancient Palestinian politics were more complicated than the stories in the Biblical scriptures imply.

The Jewish religious accounts which portray Herod as polytheistic enemy of the faith are very unfair. Herod took his Jewish faith very seriously. In fact so seriously, that he commissioned the most extensive renovation of Jehovah's Temple in Jerusalem, turning the holy sanctuary into the largest religious complex in the Roman world.

Herod had to be very skilful in ruling a multi-ethnic and multi-religious land.

Palestine in 37 BC was inhabited by Greeks, Samarians, Philistines, Judeans, Phoenicians, Nabatian Arabs and Edomite Arabs and several more Semite-Canaanite ethnic groups. It was also a religiously diverse land, which included at least six competing Jehovist cults, hundreds of Hellenistic cults, and hundreds of polytheistic Canaanite cults.

Herod was born in 74 BC to an Arabian princess and a politically active Edomite Arab father whose family had converted to Judaism. This mixed background helped him straddle the complex politics of ethnicity and religion in ancient Palestine. Contrary to modern Zionist mythology, Palestine was not an exclusive Jewish real-estate in the period of the Gospels. Herod, ruler of the holy land, was an Arab king who was also a religiously observant Jew.

When King Herod assumed the throne under Roman tutelage, he also assumed the leadership of Jerusalem as the center of administrative power in Palestine.

In the city of Jerusalem, Herod placed his faith in the monotheistic cult of Jehovah (Judaism), represented by the Jerusalem Temple and its priestly aristocracy (called the Cohens or Kohanim).

However, the priestly aristocracy of Jerusalem was largely unpopular even amongst Jewish monotheists. Rival Jehovah cults sprang up across Palestine to challenge the authority of the Jerusalem priesthood. The cult of Jehovah was also rejected by Palestinians who still observed the pagan 'idolatry' of Canaanite and Hellenistic deities. To add to this complexity, the Jewish priestly aristocracy had to share power with a Greek-Hellenistic slave owning aristocracy, some of whom had converted to the Jehovah cult, but many stuck to multitheistic paganism.

Monotheism, the cult of the single invisible god, was imposed on the Jerusalem city-state by the Zoroastrian Persian Empire, at around 500 BC. The Persian invaders installed a priestly aristocracy who set out to merge a number of pagan deities into a single male god: called Jehovah. To achieve this spiritual task, the Jerusalem priesthood reformed the old Palestinian gods and goddesses.

In Palestine, the pagan pantheon of deities was dominated by the male god Jehovah and his female consort, the goddess Ashera, and another prominent male god El or Elion and his female consort Eilat. The Jerusalem monotheists divorced the female goddesses from their husbands, banishing the female side of godliness and violently repressing all female cults. Then the monotheists set about merging the remaining male gods into a single male, invisible, macho and homicidal God. This single God was called either Jehovah or Elohim (the Hebrew plural for Gods).

Between 500 and 150 BC, the priestly aristocracy ordered its scribes to re-write Palestinian history, pretending that they didn't reinvent Jehovah, to make believe that God the almighty had always existed as a monotheistic entity. The scribes inserted the presence of Jehovah into every past natural disaster, wars, famines, into the life of every past king and queen in Palestine and beyond. The creative collective works of the Jerusalem scribes became known in Europe as the 'Old Testament.'

Monotheist Jerusalem, under Persian rule, began to spread its influence across the other Palestinian provinces, including Judea, Samaria, Galilee and Edom. The priestly aristocracy attempted to impose the cult of Jehovah in order to gain dominance over all the provinces. The religious elite grew very rich from exacting taxes and other forms of material tribute from the illiterate farming population.

For 500 years up until the age of King Herod, priestly control over the working classes was backed by foreign imperial violence. In the beginning, the Jerusalem elite were backed by Persia, and then in 340 BC Alexander the Great invaded Palestine and the Greeks continued to back the Jerusalem priesthood. When the Romans arrived nearly three centuries later, Palestine was torn by revolution and civil war, and the Romans judged that it was wise to keep the Jerusalem priesthood in charge.

Modern Zionist mythology in Israel tries to portray ancient history in Palestine as a tale of nationalist struggle of the Jewish people against powerful foreign invaders. In reality, the Jerusalem priesthood failed to forge a coherent ethnic and religious identity during its 500 years of dominance. While the cult of Jehovah did eventually spread to the majority of Palestinian population and across the Roman Empire, the cult fractured and mutated into competing groups that in time emerged as the Jewish and Christian faiths.

As foreign invaders came and went, the Palestinian working classes occasionally revolted against the burdens of slavery and taxation. The religious zealots, who denounced the Jerusalem priesthood as complicit in enslaving Palestine to foreign powers, became very popular with the Palestinian masses. It is possible that ***** Christ was one of those trouble makers who was able to turn monotheistic propaganda around against the priestly aristocracy. After all, the marginalized can also use religious mythology to justify their cause.

In 37 BC Palestine, Herod inherited a kingdom that was beset by social and religious strife. While maintaining the authority of the priestly aristocracy, Herod tried to rule in name of all Palestinians.

He was later vilified by Jews and Christians for tolerating pagan communities and promoting religious freedom. Herod was an Arab leader with a strong Jewish faith, who ruled in a secular way - he could perhaps teach current Arab and Jewish politicians a trick or two. But above all he had to please imperial Rome and its insatiable appetite for material tribute, new highways, forts, conscript armies and mineral riches.

In the end Herod couldn't please everyone and finally ended up alienating every group in Palestine, particularly the impoverished underclass. The Jewish religious zealots engaged in asymmetric warfare- attacking ill-defended forts, assassinating officials, committing suicide rather than face capture. They believed that martyrdom in the fight against Herod and his imperialist masters would grant them an immediate passage to Paradise.

After Herod's death the religious rebels finally managed to galvanize the poor masses into a revolutionary insurrection which lasted several decades, the biggest rebellion since the Spartacus slave revolt. But the Roman legions ruthlessly suppressed this Palestinian rebellion, burning hundreds of towns and villages, massacring many thousands of peasants and artisans and forcing many others into exile.

In one dreadful incident in 73 AD, the Romans took the fortress of Masada from a radical anarcho-communist religious sect of zealots after a two-year siege. The thousand zealots, who had pooled all their property and assassinated officials and rich people, killed themselves and their children when defeat became inevitable.

The Romans finally concluded that the cult of Jehovah was to blame for the insurrection. The Roman Emperor decreed the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. The Emperor abolished the priestly elite and banned the monotheistic cults of all factions. From then on, Palestine was ruled directly by Rome as a Roman colony with a Roman governor. Jerusalem was physically destroyed and rebuilt as a Roman town with an urban grid of thoroughfares; its name was wiped off the maps and the city was renamed Aelia Capitolina.

One wall survived the destruction, a structure which had been built by Herod the Great as a fortification for the Jewish temple. It is now known as the Wailing Wall.

But the Jehovist cults also survived and continued to spread; and in the early 4th Century AD, the Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity. The ideology of the oppressed was absorbed by the empire, but the oppression and exploitation

Uri Cohen is the co-editor of 21st Century Socialism. He can be reached at: uri.cohen@portman-aptus.com
 
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