This is long post so had to split in to two parts, once you read this show me what evidence you have for a biblical jesus, thank you.
You are after all the one claiming he existed.
There is no evidence for a biblical jesus
There may have been a man called jesus, just the same as there may have been a man called fred.
it by no means make him divine!
There is no contemporary evidence for Jesus.
Much of the "evidence" cited is false, or suspect, or very late.
Josephus is considered some of the best evidence - even though is is generally considered to be tampered with, if not an outright forgery (of course, the word used is "interpolated" - scholars avoid the word "forgery" even though that's exactly what it is.)
The famous Testamonium Flavianum is considered probably the best evidence for Jesus, 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 Jesus 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/jesuspuzzle/supp10.htmhttp://www.earlychristianwritings.com/josephus.html
In short - this passage is possibly a total forgery (or at best a corrupt form of a lost original.)
Such is the weakness of this evidence, This suspect passage is considered some of the best "evidence" for a historical Jesus of Nazareth, go figure.
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 "Jesus, 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 it is merely a few details which Tacitus gathered from Christian stories circulating in his time (c.f. Pliny.)
So this passage is NOT evidence for Jesus,
it's just evidence for 2nd century Christian stories about Jesus.http://oll.libertyfund.org/ToC/0067.phphttp://www.earlychristianwritings.com/tacitus.html
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 Jesus or Gospel events.
So Pliny is not evidence for a historical Jesus of Nazareth,
just evidence for 2nd century Christians who worshipped a Christ.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/pliny.html
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, Jesus never was.
So this passage is not evidence for Jesus,
it's nothing to do with Jesus,
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 Jesus.
So Ignatius is no evidence for Jesus himself,
at BEST it is 2nd century evidence to a few beliefs about Jesus.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/ignatius.html
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 Jesus 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 Jesus at all,
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.
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 Jesus at all -
merely evidence for Christian wishful thinking.
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 Jesus and Christ,
* he mentioned no historical details about Jesus.
So Valentinus is no evidence for a historical Jesus.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/valentinus.html
Polycarp wrote in mid 2nd century, but :
* he is several generations after the alleged events,
* he gives many sayings of Jesus (some of which do NOT match the Gospels),
* he does NOT name any evangelist or Gospel.
So Polycarp knew sayings of Jesus,
but provides no actual evidence for a historical Jesus.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/polycarp.html
Nearly one-and-a-half CENTURIES after the alleged events, Lucian satirised Christians, but :
* this was several generations later,
* Lucian does NOT even mention Jesus or Christ by name.
So Lucian is no evidence for a historical Jesus, 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 Jesus.
NUMENIUS (2nd C.?)
In the 3rd century, Origen claimed Numenius "quotes also a narrative regarding Jesus--without, however, mentioning His name" - i.e. Numenius mentioned a story but said nothing about Jesus, but by Origen's time it had become attached to Jesus' name.
This not any evidence for Jesus, it's just later wishful thinking.
TALMUD (3rd C. and later)
The Talmud was written over the third, fourth, and fifth centuries.
In the tractiate Sanhedrin, page 43a it mentions a Yeshua(Jehoshua), who was hung for forty days before his execution. it also states he was born a hundred years pre-christ and that he had five disciples Matthai, Nakai, Nezer, Buni and Todah who were executed along side him.
* 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 Jesus, and are very different to the Gospel stories
So the Talmud contains NO evidence for Jesus,
the Talmud merely has much later Jewish responses to the Gospel stories.http://www.heartofisrael.org/chazak...es/intalmud.htm
This Yeshua is not the same jesus now is he
christianity is simply a mishmash of much older religions, and below is a list of other writers (apart from the ones in the above links) around at the time of this alleged christ, that wrote nothing whatsoever about him.
Some even walked the same paths, but heard and wrote nothing.
Philo Judaeus lived in Alexandria, he spent time in Jerusalem and had family there during the times of Jesus. He wrote many books about the Jews and their religion and history. He developed the themes of the Logos and the Holy Spirit.
No mention of Jesus or the Gospel events.
Valerius Maximus wrote historical anecdotes c.30CE
No mention of Jesus or the Gospel events.
Marcus Manilius wrote on astrology/astronomy in Rome early 1st century.
No mention of Jesus or the Gospel events.
Writers from shortly after Jesus time:
Lucius Annaeus Seneca wrote many philosophic (Stoic) and satirical books and letters (and Tragedies) in Rome.
Petronius Arbiter wrote the Satyricon in Rome.
C. Musonius Rufus wrote on Stoic philosophy in Rome.
Aulus Persius Flaccus wrote several satires in Rome.
Marcus Annaeus Lucanus wrote the Pharsalia (Civil War) in Rome.
Hero(n) of Alexandria wrote many technical works, including astronomy.
Geminus wrote on astronomy in Greece.
Plutarch of Chaeronea wrote many works on history and philosophy in Rome and Boetia.
Justus of Tiberias wrote a History of the Kings of the Jews shortly after the time of Jesus, and from the same region - his works are now lost, but Photius, Patriarch of Constantinople wrote in the 8th Century: ''Read the Chronicle of Justus of Tiberias, entitled A Chronicle of the Kings of the Jews in the form of a genealogy, by Justus of Tiberias. He came from Tiberias in Galilee, from which he took his name. He begins his history with Moses and carries it down to the death of the seventh Agrippa of the family of Herod and the last of the Kings of the Jews. His kingdom, which was bestowed upon him by Claudius, was extended by Nero, and still more by Vespasian. He died in the third year of Trajan, when the history ends. Justus' style is very concise and he omits a great deal that is of utmost importance. Suffering from the common fault of the Jews, to which race he belonged, he does not even mention the coming of Christ, the events of his life, or the miracles performed by Him. His father was a Jew named Pistus; Justus himself, according to Josephus, was one of the most abandoned of men, a slave to vice and greed. He was a political opponent of Josephus, against whom he is said to have concocted several plots; but Josephus, although on several occasions he had his enemy in his power, only chastised him with words and let him go ... "
Pliny the Elder (Gaius Plinius Secundus) wrote a large Natural History in Rome.
Dio Chrysostom (Cocceianus Dio) was the dominant Roman Orator of the times (his works show Stoic and Cynic ideas), and wrote many works and gave many speeches in various Roman and Greek centres, of which 80 survive e.g. the Euboicus.
Marcus Fabius Quintilianus, wrote the Education of an Orator in Rome - his many speeches are lost.
Publius Papinius Statius wrote numerous poems (e.g. Ode to Sleep and the Thebaid) in Rome.
NONE of these early writers even MENTIONED Jesus or the Gospel events.
Only AFTER the Gospels became known in mid 2nd century (LONG long after the alleged events) did anyone mention Jesus.
There are about 50 writers from the 1st century - NONE of them mention Jesus.
But,they DO mention many HUNDREDS, maybe even THOUSANDS of characters in their books - including minor nobodies like servants and family, un-important names mentioned once in passing.
But NOTHING about Jesus - who must have been LESS important, LESS known, LESS notable than the most minor nobody.
Heres a few others you may want to look up.
Aulus Perseus (60 AD)
Columella (1 st. cent. AD)
Dio Chrysostom (c. 40-c. 112 AD)
Justus of Tiberious (c. 80 AD)
Livy (59 BC-17 AD)
Lucanus (fl. 63 AD)
Lucius Flours (1st-2nd -cent. AD)
Petronius (d. 66 AD)
Phaedrus (c. 15 BC-c. 50 AD)
Philo Judaeus (20 BC-50 AD)
Phlegon (1st cent. AD)
Pliny the Elder (23?-69 AD)
Plutarch (c.46-c. 119 AD)
Pomponius Mela (40 AD)
Rufus Curtius (1st cent. AD)
Quintilian (c. 35-c. 100 AD)
Quintus Curtius (1st cent. AD)
Seneca (4 BC?-65 AD)
Silius Italicus (.25-101 AD)
Statius Caelicius (1st cent. AD)
Theon of Smyrna (c. 70-c.135 AD)
Valerius Flaccus (1st cent AD)
Valerius Maximus (fl. c. 20 AD).
There is no historicity for a jesus person.
Now to the gospels
It is consensus among modern scholars that the first Gospel to be written was G.Mark - but it clearly was NOT by an eye-witness, for several reasons :
* G.Mark shows ignorance of Palestine geography,
* G.Mark shows dependence on oral tradition,
* G.Mark was most likely written for a Roman audience,
* Ireneus says G.Mark was written in Rome.
* G.Mark was largely crafted from the whole cloth of the OT.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/mark.html
For more detail, I suggest Michael Turton's great work on G.Mark:http://www.michaelturton.com/Mark/GMark_index.html
It is sometimes argued that Mark was the secretary of Peter, but this seems unlikely for several other reasons -
* there is no evidence in the NT stories to support Mark being Peter's secretary,
* G.Mark shows the structure of literature crafted from the Jewish scriptures, not recorded conversations,
* G.Mark includes many scenes in Peter was NOT present, which can only mean they are fiction.
* Peter is a cowardly dullard in G.Mark which ends with Peter un-redeemed after having betrayed Jesus (G.Mark ended 16:8 with the empty tomb - G.Mark 16:9-20 is merely the most popular of one of a number of later endings which were attached to the abrupt end 16:8.). A secretary recording the words of a hallowed elder would hardly portray him like that.
It is also sometimes noted that Papias gives early evidence of G.Mark (and is the source of the Peter connection) - but Papias refers to G.Mark being the recollections of Peter but "adapted as needed" ... "but not in order". This just does not match at all well with G.Mark, which is in chronological order, and shows no sign of being the adapted words of Peter.
It is the firm consensus of scholars that G.Matthew was NOT written by a disciple, because :
* it depends largely on G.Mark, copied word for word, while making changes based on theology, not history
* it conflicts with statements by Papias and Ireneus,
* it shows signs of being a 2nd or 3rd generation workhttp://www.earlychristianwritings.com/matthew.html
It is also sometimes noted that Papias gives early evidence of G.Matthew - but Papias refers to G.Mark being written in Hebrew - this just does not match at all well with G.Matthew, which was written in Greek.
Scholars agree that the letters attributed to Peter were forged by 2 different people, neither of whom had ever met Jesus - 1 Peter probably writen in Rome c.90, 2 Peter in early-mid 2nd century.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/1peter.htmlhttp://www.earlychristianwritings.com/2peter.html
Scholars agree that the Gospel of John could NOT be by an eye-witness - because :
* the issue regarding expulsion from the synagogues - such a glaring anachronism could not be by an eye-witness,
* at one stage this Gospel was believed to be written by Cerinthus (and thus rejected),
* it tells such a different, and fantastic, story.http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/john.html
False NT attributions
The same is true of all the NT documents (apart from Paul1) - NONE are by an eye-witness, all are later FORGED by unknown authors who never met Jesus -
* James (FORGED in c.80s)
* 1 John (FORGED in c.80s)
* 2 Thessalonians (FORGED in c.80s)
* Ephesians (FORGED in c.90s)
* 1 Peter (FORGED in c.90s)
* Jude (FORGED in c.100s)
* 1 Timothy (FORGED in c.120s)
* 2 Timothy (FORGED in c.120s)
* Titus (FORGED in c.120s)
* 2 John (FORGED in c.120s)
* 3 John (FORGED in 120s)
* 2 Peter (FORGED in c.130s)
The arguments for these can be all be found at Peter Kirby's or in Brown NT Commentary e.g.
No NT author met Jesus
So, of the NT authors we find -
* Paul only met Jesus in a VISION,
* several of "Paul's" letters were forged by unknown authors,
* G.Mark was written in Rome by someone who never met Jesus,
* G.Matthew was largely copied from G.Mark, not by an eye-witness,
* G.Luke was largely copied from G.Mark, not by an eye-witness (A.Luke does NOT claim to be an eye-witness, A.Luke does NOT claim he spoke to eye-witnesses, he merely refers to eye-witnesses as distant sources),
* G.John was written long afterwards by someone who never met Jesus,
* Jude - forged by an unknown author who never met Jesus,
* 1,2 Peter - forged by 2 unknown authors who never met Jesus,
* James - forged by unknown author who never met Jesus,
* 1,2,3 John - forged by unknown authors in early-mid 2nd century who never met Jesus.
In other words - the general consensus of modern NT scholars is that NOT ONE SINGLE NT document was written by anyone who ever met Jesus. You can check this is any modern commentary - try Brown's or the New Jerome or see Peter Kirby's.
"This article is only about the historicity of Jesus - whether he existed as a real person. That is the only point that historians regard as effectively proven; that he existed, not that the claims made about him are true."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Historicity_of_Jesus
nowhere in any Roman records does it state that a jesus person, was executed by Pilate, this is only written in the NT. And the Romans kept meticulous records.
Continues next post.