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Heresies



Jesus probably didn't exist.



There is no contemporaneous evidence of Jesus.

Nobody wrote about him while he was supposedly alive.

The accounts in the Bible of Jesus' life comprise the work of a few men writing in a language foreign to any possible Jesus of Nazareth,1 years after the time of his purported existence. It is thin evidence indeed. Considering that some of the writers apparently copied2 the work of others of them, it appears even more dubious.

Of course there were men living at the time of the Gospel stories with the name that translates into English as "Jesus" — but that's not a real argument.

The real question is whether "this Jesus" existed — Jesus of Nazareth, born of a virgin; King of the Jews; the Son of God; crucified and risen.

It may be generous to allow that he existed while disputing his divinity — but that's dishonest, because Jesus without his divinity is not Jesus.

Even the supposed evidence of Jesus' mere existence is not credible.

The most-cited so-called evidence of the historical Jesus is a piece of writing by Flavius Josephus — a paragraph, the Testimonium Flavianum.3 Yes — a paragraph with a title. That paragraph, though, is the strongest non-biblical evidence for the story of Jesus — a story of key importance in Western culture. The Testimonium — three sentences — is clearly at least partially forged.

A short reference, no more than a comment that was probably not even written by a man who was not even born until A.D. 37 is the principal external element of support for the Holy Bible's assertion that Jesus even existed.

This appears to show that even the enormously powerful church — curator of knowledge for centuries — could do no better than to produce as its key argument one small piece of text poorly inserted into a real historical document as the evidence for the basis of its mythology.

The Bible tells that Jesus was famous from birth. The Jews and Romans were literate.

But nobody wrote about him? ...

It's almost impossible.


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2. It's not any wonder that the Gospels are "synoptic," or of similar perspective. What is notable is that they do not concur with each other more fully.

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3. The Testimonium Flavianum was written (probably, mostly) by Flavius Josephus, a Jewish man who produced a voluminous history of the Jewish people in the late 1st century.

The Testimonium Flavianum:
"Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was
the Christ;* and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct to this day."

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*Josephus was a practicing Jew who never believed the "Christhood" of Jesus Christ. It would have been for him a serious lapse of reason to write that "[Jesus] was the Christ." The phrase is more likely to have been fabricated by somebody else.

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1. It's possible that Nazareth did not exist in the first century AD.

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