There Was No Jesus, There Is No God

Did a man called Jesus of Nazareth walk the earth? Discussions over whether the figure known as the “Historical Jesus” actually existed primarily reflect disagreements among atheists. Believers, who uphold the implausible and more easily-dismissed “Christ of Faith” (the divine Jesus who walked on water), ought not to get involved.

Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.

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From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?

The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.

These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.

Filled with mythical and non-historical information, and heavily edited over time, the Gospels certainly should not convince critics to trust even the more mundane claims made therein.

The methods traditionally used to tease out rare nuggets of truth from the Gospels are dubious.

The criterion of embarrassment says that if a section would be embarrassing for the author, it is more likely authentic. Unfortunately, given the diverse nature of Christianity and Judaism back then (things have not changed all that much), and the anonymity of the authors, it is impossible to determine what truly would be embarrassing or counter-intuitive, let alone if that might not serve some evangelistic purpose.

The criterion of Aramaic context is similarly unhelpful. Jesus and his closest followers were surely not the only Aramaic-speakers in first-century Judea.

The criterion of multiple independent attestation can also hardly be used properly here, given that the sources clearly are not independent.

Paul’s Epistles, written earlier than the Gospels, give us no reason to dogmatically declare Jesus must have existed. Avoiding Jesus’ earthly events and teachings, even when the latter could have bolstered his own claims, Paul only describes his “Heavenly Jesus”.

Even when discussing what appear to be the resurrection and the last supper, his only stated sources are his direct revelations from the Lord, and his indirect revelations from the Old Testament. In fact, Paul actually rules out human sources (see Galatians 1:11-12).

Also important are the sources we don’t have. There are no existing eyewitness or contemporary accounts of Jesus. All we have are later descriptions of Jesus’ life events by non-eyewitnesses, most of whom are obviously biased.

Little can be gleaned from the few non-Biblical and non-Christian sources, with only Roman scholar Josephus and historian Tacitus having any reasonable claim to be writing about Jesus within 100 years of his life.

And even those sparse accounts are shrouded in controversy, with disagreements over what parts have obviously been changed by Christian scribes (the manuscripts were preserved by Christians), the fact that both these authors were born after Jesus died (they would thus have probably received this information from Christians), and the oddity that centuries go by before Christian apologists start referencing them.

Agnosticism over the matter is already seemingly appropriate, and support for this position comes from independent historian Richard Carrier’s recent defence of another theory. Namely, that the belief in Jesus started as the belief in a purely celestial being (who was killed by demons in an upper realm), who became historicised over time.

To summarise Carrier’s 800-page tome, this theory and the traditional theory – that Jesus was a historical figure who became mythicised over time – both align well with the Gospels, which are later mixtures of obvious myth and what at least “sounds” historical.

The Pauline Epistles, however, overwhelmingly support the “celestial Jesus” theory, particularly with the passage indicating that demons killed Jesus, and would not have done so if they knew who he was (see: 1 Corinthians 2:6-10).

Humans – the murderers according to the Gospels – of course would still have killed Jesus, knowing full well that his death results in their salvation, and the defeat of the evil spirits.

So what do the mainstream (and non-Christian) scholars say about all this? Surprisingly very little; of substance anyway. Only Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey have thoroughly attempted to prove Jesus’ historical existence in recent times.

Their most decisive point? The Gospels can generally be trusted – after we ignore the many, many bits that are untrustworthy – because of the hypothetical (i.e. non-existent) sources behind them.

Who produced these hypothetical sources? When? What did they say? Were they reliable? Were they intended to be accurate historical portrayals, enlightening allegories, or entertaining fictions?

Ehrman and Casey can’t tell you – and neither can any New Testament scholar.

Given the poor state of the existing sources, and the atrocious methods used by mainstream Biblical historians, the matter will likely never be resolved. In sum, there are clearly good reasons to doubt Jesus’ historical existence – if not to think it outright improbable.
Raphael Lataster is the author of There Was No Jesus, There Is No God.

This article is part of The Conversation’s End of Year series.

 

Source theconversation.com

There Was No Jesus, There Is No God

There Was No Jesus, There Is No God
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122 responses to “There Was No Jesus, There Is No God”

  1. How about the Gnostic Gospels or Josephus in looking to see if there is an historic Jesus? Are there any Roman accounting for crucifictions?

  2. Why dont they shoot the head of sony already the jap cunt cant stop bsing his clients lol.
    Poxy ps4 pro doesnt even have external hard drive options or 4k capabilities. Omg monopoly is more fun!

  3. On what basis do you claim it’s fiction? Thats just an opinion not based on Historic research at all Peter the fisherman sums it up for you ” For we did not follow cleverly invented stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were first hand eyewitnesses of His majesty.” You are entitled to your prejudice opinions but don’t try to claim the backing of genuine Scholarship.

  4. If there is no Jesus and no God for life in this world would be different. Mankind will be destroyed long before the revelation. This planet will not exist as it is today and there is no Adam and eve and there is no garden of eden. So what would you think existed? Evil and impossible to live eternally.

  5. For the Faithful and the Reverent, there is indeed a God the Father and His Son, Jesus the Redeemer! No one should force either mindset to Believe or not to Believe. The Choice is a personal and private one! I Believe and Pray in the AM and the PM and in between for ALL that I have to be thankful for, as well as for the well-being of the less fortunate and those in need! Christ suffered and died so that We could have the option to Accept or otherwise, with the hope of Salvation and Eternal Life!

  6. It’s hilarious that people waste so much time on things like this. People needing to prove whether or not he “existed” is really laughable. The truth is if you don’t believe in Jesus or God that’s your prerogative and ultimately your OPINION simply because you WEREN’T THERE. If people choose to believe in a higher power or Jesus or Christ or God or Buddha or a pile of rocks SO BE IT…live and let live and STFU. It’s not rocket science. Live your life…

    • Not a religious nut,just saying that I so believe in God,the story has just been severely perverted over the past few hundred thousand years. If not there would be but one peaceful religion.

  7. and?…. You gonna sit there n get that mo longer or act on it… Hmmmmm?
    Tell ya what im the kinda smartass troll that likes to kick a hornets nest to get a reaction you can either seek me out directly n wind up on my list which is short bc i keep mine in check or you can provide education to me to better your fellow man so as to create a better world with one less idiot in it.
    lets see if you are wise enough to know wether to make threats, educate or be the nothing you were to me before i got bored n wrote some shit on fb to see which dumb fuck fish would bite down hard

  8. Every historian I have ever spoken with or have read fully believe that Jesus existed. Whether or not he walked on water or performed miracles is another matter. But he did live, he did exist.

    • funny how his remains seemed to have dropped off the face of the earth. along with any proof of him actually existing. back in the era he supposedly live in, the kept historical records. pretty sure if jesus was some important man, or real for that matter, he would be mentioned atleast once the history of that region.
      until his remains are found, jesus never lived. never walked the earth. he is just another figment of human imagination.

  9. I am god, but heres the funny part before you go postal n try to shove ur shitty religion down my throat… You are god so is everyone and everything else you know just like the hand and the veins and the blood that flows within them is, it is viewed foolishly as an extention of yourself… But it is all one.
    Its the only reason i dont sing slice girls ~when two become one just as a girl starts sucking my cock..
    Get mad i dont care you just got a life lesson from someone who is callouse af just like the government/house of demons that conditions you to think your right in ur god but everyone else that dissagrees is so far off the mark that they need to die… Which brings me to my point. We are all an extension of eachother if i kill a muslim i cut off one of my hands if i kill a christian i cut off the other hand… If i do that how do i wank on those lonely nights when i can get laid bc im too honest for my own good?

    • and?…. You gonna sit there n get that mo longer or act on it… Hmmmmm?
      Tell ya what im the kinda smartass troll that likes to kick a hornets nest to get a reaction you can either seek me out directly n wind up on my list which is short bc i keep mine in check or you can provide education to me to better your fellow man so as to create a better world with one less idiot in it.
      lets see if you are wise enough to know wether to make threats, educate or be the nothing you were to me before i got bored n wrote some shit on fb to see which dumb fuck fish would bite down hard

    • and?…. You gonna sit there n get that mo longer or act on it… Hmmmmm?
      Tell ya what im the kinda smartass troll that likes to kick a hornets nest to get a reaction you can either seek me out directly n wind up on my list which is short bc i keep mine in check or you can provide education to me to better your fellow man so as to create a better world with one less idiot in it.
      lets see if you are wise enough to know wether to make threats, educate or be the nothing you were to me before i got bored n wrote some shit on fb to see which dumb fuck fish would bite down hard

    • and?…. You gonna sit there n get that mo longer or act on it… Hmmmmm?
      Tell ya what im the kinda smartass troll that likes to kick a hornets nest to get a reaction you can either seek me out directly n wind up on my list which is short bc i keep mine in check or you can provide education to me to better your fellow man so as to create a better world with one less idiot in it.
      lets see if you are wise enough to know wether to make threats, educate or be the nothing you were to me before i got bored n wrote some shit on fb to see which dumb fuck fish would bite down hard

    • and?…. You gonna sit there n get that mo longer or act on it… Hmmmmm?
      Tell ya what im the kinda smartass troll that likes to kick a hornets nest to get a reaction you can either seek me out directly n wind up on my list which is short bc i keep mine in check or you can provide education to me to better your fellow man so as to create a better world with one less idiot in it.
      lets see if you are wise enough to know wether to make threats, educate or be the nothing you were to me before i got bored n wrote some shit on fb to see which dumb fuck fish would bite down hard

  10. My faith is so strong that this bullshit u have come up with isnt worth reading. If he isnt real than how is the most enduring “Supper” still the oldest and still celebrated for 2000 years. I hope I get to watch u flounder when he keeps his promise. Jimmy

  11. King Arthur has never been proven real. There is more accurate, fact basis on him then Jesus. Maybe it’s time we proved how fake the bible is and how the church has manipluated people all along!

    • christianity was plagiarized from the Egyptians stories of Horus. even the cross is just a modified version of the eye of Horus. all religion is plagiarized from our ancient ancestors beliefs. mostly Egyptian culture. it was invented to control the mass and send subliminal messages to your brain. just like tv and radio lmao.

    • you hit a nail, with merlin cover up story, Arthur myth to fact its more possible merlin was Arthur & his sons was prophets written in religions because kings traded children to keep peace & learn other countries educations its clearly written in Chinese history, just like the Persians said china keeps great documents to history

    • ^^ Mardie Blackburn I bow to NO God. Your God is the newest attempt at fear and control that was done for generations before. Next time you say a prayer, add Ra after your Amen, because after all your stealing from the Egyptians. I’m sure Amen Ra will love that!

    • You do realize that Jesus the man is a proven historical figure correct? He may or may not be the son of god but he lived and died . He was a religious teacher and he was crucified. That is fact proven by people trying to disprove his existence.

    • He wasn’t a religious teacher at all. He was enlightened and walked the earth as a man. We can do everything he did if we use our minds correctly. The Christ like consciousness is within you. His enlightenment came from the sacred knowledge and beings of his bloodline who created him. It’s a extraterrestrials story of artificial insemination. The great darkness over the resurrection waa possibly a giant craft covering the sun and watching. When it took off that’s why he said thou hss forsaken me. The star over Bethlehem waa a craft, stars don’t move and stop and hover. Ezekiel talked about the wheels in the sky with lights. A few others were taken up along with Jesus as he ascended. Just like people do in abduction. You are reading the story with blind eyes

    • Then go ahead and proof the bible is fake. Good luck with that. The bible is the authentic word of God written by many authors living in different time periods, belonging to different social groups and yet their writings point to one person Jesus Christ. Ask 20 authors today to write a piece of literature about a man and you will end up with 20 different stories. The authors of the bible where inspired and guided by the Holy Ghost there for each author of the bible’s books slot in together to for one book that points to one common person the Son of God.

  12. “God and His Own, Does Not Include Us!”
    A Mature Assessment:
    ‘Every Religion and Every Concept of God is Malevolent.’
    “No Creator God, of a benevolent intention, with a foundation of Love, left his, her or their signatures on our Earth experience.”
    We are abandoned to the calamities of this life by random invasive attacks without any validation of possible ‘Outside’ intervention.
    All life on this ‘Rock in Space Matrix’ are victims in so many ways as it is impossible to list in this meager posting.
    What and whom observes and monitors us on this planet and everything that transpires here is by deliberate design as an entertainment arena, we are negative emotional energy generators for an insatiable appetite of a production of imposed harm, suffering and death as is the track record througout history.
    There is an estimate of seven billion prayers offered daily in it’s many forms as meditations, offerings and channeling even with mass involvement that never yields assistance offering positive energy enough to rescue one Being from injury without an ‘Earth Being’ involved directly in performing interventions.

    Any Creator worth their ‘Salt’ can certainly offer an environment of a loving power and assurance of everything Love has to offer but planet Gaia, Earth, is not such a place, it holds no attraction by ‘off planet’ visitors except in viewing perpetual wars, diseases, deceptions, innocent victims, natural disasters and endless evils along with an occasional wondrous moment as an oasis only as a prelude to disappointment and horrors.

  13. La biblia es cuento judio para manipular otras razas..
    Por que jerusalem siempre a vivido en extrema pobreza?
    La economía global esta jodia por judios.
    La psicología invertida del Gobierno para jugar con la vida del pueblo!
    La religión es una creencia que te mantiene primitivo.

  14. DEPENDE EN DONDE BUSQUES, DIOS ES UNO, Y LAS DIFERENTES RELIGIONES LE DAN DIFERENTES NOMBRES. SIN EMBARGO PROFETAS HAN BAJADO BASTANTES Y EL JESÚS DE LOS CATÓLICOS PARA ELLOS ES DIOS, PARA OTROS ES UN AVATAR, UN DESCENDIDO Y ULTIMO PROFETA.

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