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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 12:50 am 
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Blogger Matthew Ferguson takes on the argument we've constantly heard from apologists like Gary Habermas, Mike Licona, Elliot Nesch, Keith "Truth" Thompson, and Chris White; that 42 sources mention Jesus within 150 years of his life, compared to only 10 sources that mention Tiberius Caesar.

http://celsus.blog.com/2012/10/14/ten-r ... ce-slogan/

And Ferguson shows that the actual number of sources who mention Tiberius is not 10, but 43! How will the apologists deal with this I wonder? :D

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"Zeitgeist Refuted" Debunked and Exposed


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:15 am 
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Comments about the Ferguson blog from freeratio.

Quote:
"an interesting article about just what abysmal standards you can have and still get to be called a New Testament scholar."

Quote:
"The article correctly shows the absurdity of the scholarship of the Evangelical apologists. However, it does not attack the absurdity of the Christian Euhemerist apologists.

These are the facts of Jesus' historical existence that Ferguson accepts:

Chronology of Jesus:
4BCE – 7CE: Jesus is born
29CE: Jesus begins his ministry
30CE – 33CE: Jesus is crucified

There is no reason to accept that Jesus was born in either 4BCE or 7CE."

We've addressed the claim of "42 authors mention Jesus within 150 years of his life" across several threads. Here's one addressing the Elliot Nesch video Zeitgeist Refuted:

Quote:
"42 authors mention Jesus within 150 years of his life.

9 traditional authors of the N.T.:

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, author of Hebrews, James, Peter, Jude

20 early Christian writers outside the N.T.:

Clement of Rome, 2 Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Martyrdom of Polycarp, Didache, Barnabas, Shepard of Hermes, fragments of Papias, Justin Martyr, Aristides, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch Quadratus, Aristo of Pella, Melito of Sardis, Dhognetus, Gospel of Peter, Apocalypse of Peter, Epistula Apostolorum

4 heretical writings:

Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, Apocryphon of John, treatise on resurrection

9 secular sources:

Josephus, Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, Phlegon, Lucian, Celsus, Mara Bar-Serapion, Suetonius, Thallus.

It's not always just what devotees say that is wrong it can often be what they don't say. For example, not a single one of the "42 authors" ever met Jesus while he was alive. The four canonical Gospel writers were all anonymous until the names Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were added as authors late in the 2nd century. There is no contemporary eyewitness testimony for Jesus at all whatsoever. Nobody ever wrote about Jesus during his lifetime and the canonical gospels didn't exist as we have them today until around 180CE - that is what the literary and historical records show i.e. evidence that actually exists.

Even top Christian NT scholars disagree that there's credible evidence for the historical existence of Jesus:
Quote:
"One would naturally expect that the Lord Jesus Christ would be sufficiently important to receive ample notice in the literature of his time, and that extensive biographical material would be available. He was observed by multitudes of people, and his own followers numbered into the hundreds (1 Cor. 15:6), whose witness was still living in the middle of the first century. As a matter of fact, the amount of information concerning him is comparatively meager. Aside from the four Gospels, and a few scattered allusions in the epistles, contemporary history is almost silent concerning him."

- Merrill C. Tenney

- Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ (WWJ) 85-86

* Dr. Tenney is a conservative evangelical Christian who was a professor of Theological Studies and the dean of the school of Theology at Wheaton College. Tenney was also one of the original translators of the NASB and NIV editions of the Bible.

Quote:
"Apart from the New Testament writings and later writings dependent upon these, our sources of information about the life and teaching of Jesus are scanty and problematic"

- F.F. Bruce, a founder of the modern evangelical movement

- "Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ" (WWJ) page 84

Quote:
"...there are very few sources for knowledge of the historical Jesus beyond the four canonical Gospels. Paul and Josephus offer little more than tidbits. Claims that later apocryphal Gospels and the Nag Hammadi material supply independent and reliable historical information about Jesus are largely fantasy. In the end, the historian is left with the difficult task of sifting through the Four Gospels for historical tradition."

- John P. Meier

- "Who Was Jesus?" page 86

* Dr. Meier is a Catholic University New Testament professor, Catholic priest and monsignor

Quote:
"The gospels are in fact anonymous"

- Dr. Craig L. Blomberg

- WWJ (60)

Quote:
"The Gospels are neither histories nor biographies, even within the ancient tolerances for those genres."

- Dr. John Dominic Crossan

- WWJ (24)

Quote:
Jesus famed far and wide:

"These "great crowds" and "multitudes," along with Jesus's fame, are repeatedly referred to in the gospels, including at the following: Mt 4:23-25, 5:1, 8:1, 8:18, 9:8, 9:31, 9:33, 9:36, 11:7, 12:15, 13:2, 14:1, 14:13, 14:22, 15:30, 19:2, 21:9, 26:55;

Mk 1:28, 10:1; Lk 4:14, 4:37, 5:15, 14:25, etc."

- Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ" by D. M. Murdock page 85

"Additionally, even though many times in the gospels Jesus was claimed to have been famed far and wide, not one historian of the era was aware of his existence, not even individuals who lived in, traveled around, or wrote about the relevant areas. The brief mentions of Christ, Christians or Christianity we possess from non-Christian sources are late and dubious as to their authenticity and/or value. Nor is there any valid scientific archaeological evidence demonstrating the gospel story to be true or even to support the existence of Jesus Christ. Despite this utter lack of evidence, Christian apologists and authorities make erroneous and misleading claims that there are "considerable reports" and "a surprisingly large amount of detail" regarding the life of Jesus and early Christianity."

- WWJ page 257

The one constant theme is, there's no credible evidence for a historical Jesus, same as there was no valid evidence amongst the 1st Xians either. The earliest Christians never had any evidence they could point to in order to demonstrate Jesus actually existed. If Jesus was really a carpenter, there was no work done by his hands. There were no paintings, rock carvings, writings - nothing by him at all. And, there's no evidence that the earliest Christians ever tried to claim anything by him ever existed. And what about Jesus' own family? Isn't it odd that nobody ever went to them for an interview of any kind? Where's Jesus' supposed family today? If they were real people i.e. Joseph, Mary and Jesus' siblings etc. don't you think Constantine and his mother would've sought them out? NOPE, nothing, notta, zippo, ZERO! There's never been anything beyond 'anecdotal evidence' or evidence based on hearsay.

So, it appears that in 2,000 years nothing has changed. Which is significant considering all the research, investigations and all the money / funding spent on them. So, it's really bad form for NT & biblical scholars to rigidly adhere to the a priori assumption that Jesus must have existed when there's no valid evidence substantiating that claim.

- 'Zeitgeist Refuted' by Elliot Nesch Debunked

Quote:
Justin Martyr, The First Apology, XXI (around 150 CE):

"And when we say also that the Word, who is the first-birth of God, was produced without sexual union, and that He, Jesus Christ, our Teacher, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended into heaven, we propound nothing different from what you believe regarding those whom you esteem sons of Jupiter. For you know how many sons your esteemed writers ascribed to Jupiter: Mercury, the interpreting word and teacher of all; Æsculapius, who, though he was a great physician, was struck by a thunderbolt, and so ascended to heaven; and Bacchus too, after he had been torn limb from limb; and Hercules, when he had committed himself to the flames to escape his toils; and the sons of Leda, and Dioscuri; and Perseus, son of Danae; and Bellerophon, who, though sprung from mortals, rose to heaven on the horse Pegasus. For what shall I say of Ariadne, and those who, like her, have been declared to be set among the stars? And what of the emperors who die among yourselves, whom you deem worthy of deification, and in whose behalf you produce some one who swears he has seen the burning Cæsar rise to heaven from the funeral pyre?"

Here's an image of the list of evidence between Jesus and Caesar

Image

- Of Caesars, Plato and Divine Births

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2013 Astrotheology Calendar
The Mythicist Position
Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection
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