Scholars Accept the Existence of a Historical Jesus?

Discussion in 'Religion and Spirituality' started by BernardRichards, Jun 6, 2008.

  1. The world has been for a long time engaged in writing lives of Jesus... The library of such books has grown since then. But when we come to examine them, one startling fact confronts us: all of these books relate to a personage concerning whom there does not exist a single scrap of contemporary information -- not one! By accepted tradition he was born in the reign of Augustus, the great literary age of the nation of which he was a subject. In the Augustan age historians flourished; poets, orators, critics and travelers abounded. Yet not one mentions the name of Jesus Christ, much less any incident in his life.
    -Moncure D. Conway [1832 - 1907] (Modern Thought)

    Whether considered as the God made human, or as man made divine, this character never existed as a person.
    -Gerald Massey, Egyptologist and historical scholar (Gerald Massey's Lectures: Gnostic and Historic Christianity, 1900)

    Some hoped to penetrate the various accounts and to discover the "historical Jesus". . . and that sorting out "authentic" material in the gospels was virtually impossible in the absence of independent evidence."
    -Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University

    We can recreate dimensions of the world in which he lived, but outside of the Christian scriptures, we cannot locate him historically within that world.
    -Gerald A. Larue (The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read)

    The question must also be raised as to whether we have the actual words of Jesus in any Gospel.
    -Bishop John Shelby Spong

    Many modern Biblical archaeologists now believe that the village of Nazareth did not exist at the time of the birth and early life of Jesus. There is simply no evidence for it.
    -Alan Albert Snow (The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You To Read)

    What one believes and what one can demonstrate historically are usually two different things.
    -Robert J. Miller, Bible scholar, (Bible Review, December 1993, Vol. IX, Number 6, p. 9)

    Paul did not write the letters to Timothy to Titus or several others published under his name; and it is unlikely that the apostles Matthew, James, Jude, Peter and John had anything to do with the canonical books ascribed to them.
    -Michael D. Coogan, Professor of religious studies at Stonehill College (Bible Review, June 1994)

    James Dunn says that the Sermon on the Mount, mentioned only by Matthew, "is in fact not historical." (Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham)

    Yet today, there are few Biblical scholars-- from liberal skeptics to conservative evangelicals- who believe that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John actually wrote the Gospels. Nowhere do the writers of the texts identify themselves by name or claim unambiguously to have known or traveled with Jesus.
    -Jeffery L. Sheler, "The Four Gospels," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

    Some scholars say so many revisions occurred in the 100 years following Jesus' death that no one can be absolutely sure of the accuracy or authenticity of the Gospels, especially of the words the authors attributed to Jesus himself.
    -Jeffery L. Sheler, "The catholic papers," (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 10, 1990)

    According to the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, a faithful account of the actions and words of Jesus is to be found in the Gospels; but it is impossible to reconcile this with the existence in the text of contradictions, improbabilities, things which are materially impossible or statements which run contrary to firmly established reality.
    -Maurice Bucaille (The Bible, the Quran, and Science)

    Jesus is a mythical figure in the tradition of pagan mythology and almost nothing in all of ancient literature would lead one to believe otherwise. Anyone wanting to believe Jesus lived and walked as a real live human being must do so despite the evidence, not because of it.
    -C. Dennis McKinsey, Bible critic (The Encyclopedia of Biblical Errancy)
  2. Is your next post in this thread going to be a list of those who accept the probable existence of the historic person? Or are you really this one-track minded without anything useful to do?

  3. Yes, sure enough. The question then becomes, 'how can I tell the difference?'.

    Dunn is correct. The 'sermon' is a conglomeration of quotations ascribed to one event. As I've said before, the earliest sayings gospels were made into novels fitting the prevailant theology [pop gospel] at the time they were copied and edited.

  4. Of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, only Mark met me, as a little child. So yes, the practice of presenting hear-say as original was wide-spread. The idea was to lend the information authority by association. Paul lends himself quite alot of this kind of authority with the help of the scribe of "Acts". Luke, however, if you look closely, does not lay claim to a first-hand eye-witness account in his gospel. Peter's letter betrays a grave misunderstanding about the crucifixion, aligning itself with Pauline judeo-christian theology. Enough to make you say, hmmm....

  5. The truth runs contrary to firmly established "reality". For example, the world is not real at all. The Pope recently put out a book on me, borrowing quite a bit from these gospels. Certainly, he believes they are faithful accounts. Unfortunately, they are not able to help him understand exactly what I said and meant. For example, he is unable to interpret correctly the phrase, "The Kingdom of God is within you", or, "The Kingdom of God is at hand". And this is because, to him, the world is a firmly established reality.

  6. LT701


    I traded in my personal Jesus for a historical Jesus, there's less depreciation
  7. Regarding independent evidence, Elaine has become the world's foremost authority on the gospel of Thomas...other than the actual author.

  8. After the purge, scholars couldn't locate the sayings gospel of Thomas until 1945 because it was buried along with gnostic literature. The emerging heirarchy considered it outside christian scriptures, dangerous to it's validity, and subsequently blacklisted. Burial saved it, only to rise again. It serves as the earliest known snapshot of my thought system as remembered by someone who walked with me. It cannot save you. But it does expose a stark contrast between the understanding of Thomas, and the evolving direction of an organization bearing my name.

  9. Well, yah, if you want to get technical. God-made-human is impossible. Man-made-divine is also impossible. It is possible, however, to "die" to the concept of personhood that Godhood may replace it, taking it's rightful place in your mind. This requires an understanding: Man does not exist! Personhood is simply a belief in what is false. Oneness is the immutable attribute of God's creation. The Son is our Father's only creation. The concept of man defies this. Therefore, "what God has joined, let no man put asunder". This means that the self-concept of personhood denies the reality of oneness. It cannot exist but by belief intent upon interrupting the oneness of the Kingdom. "Death" of personhood is accomplished by withdrawing belief in it's alledged value, it's much vaunted validity, and it's rediculous "reality". Personhood is a mask over the face of Christ. It blinds its believers to reality. Personhood is the expression of a private will, whereas, there is nothing private in the Kingdom because there is but one Will. The Will of the Father and the Son is the same. A difference can only be believed. That is why this world is merely an ingenious mechanism built entirely on faith. The body is a machine manufactured as a means to madness. Madness is the goal...utter senselessness. It has no purpose but to experience the unreality of fantasy. It is utterly opposite the sanity of the Son made plausible by a hypothetically split mind. If the Son's mind could be split, then man could possibly exist. But if the Son's mind is unchangeably holy, it cannot be split, and must in fact be whole. Upon this realization, the concept of personhood "dies", having never been "alive". It simply ceases to be a belief, and the mind returns to the sanity of wholeness. Man symbolizes identity theft. It's return is symbolized in the words, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit". This is salvation. Salvation denies there was ever a separation, or even a difference between the Father and the Son.

  10. Excellent! Now you are really catching on to the power of denial. Don't forget, I also did not exist at the time of my birth and early life as Jesus. There isn't much evidence for this, but believe me, if I existed I would tell you so.

    #10     Jun 7, 2008