The goal here is to help those who have finally come to realize that Christianity (religion in general, actually) is not likely true. If you feel differently, that is certainly your prerogative. Just don't expect me to repeat myself in a debate. I'm not interested in further discussion.
But if, by some strange chance, any reader does have solid evidence in argument to this topic, feel free to share it below. If there really is evidence (not emotions, squishy feelings, or mere "belief") then feel free to share. I, and many others, would be highly interested.
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1. Nobody agrees on when he was born.
If Jesus ever lived, he must have been born, by a miraculous fertilization, or not. Birth is a necessity. If he was born, there must be a specific time when he was born. Records not being what they were at the time, it might be understandable if the time were off by, say, as much as even a couple years. That would be reasonable, indeed.
Instead, we have Matthew saying Jesus was born when Herod was King of Judea. Luke states that Jesus was born when Cyrenius (Quirinius in Roman history) was Governor of Syria. Between the reign of Herod, and the reign of Cyrenius, we have the entire reign of Archelaus, son of Herod. This span covers a difference of ten years, alone.
But, let's say readers accept ten years difference in record keeping as acceptable. Fine. The Encyclopedia Brittanica states "Christians count one hundred and thirty-three contrary opinions of different authorities concerning the year the Messiah appeared on earth." Wow! And here ten years seemed contradictory! 133, separate, debatable years, each credited by someone, somewhere, as to when Jesus Christ Himself came into the world! Might you think such a dispute as to when he was born is perplexing?
2. Nobody agrees on where he was born, either.
Was Jesus of Nazareth, of Nazareth? Or, was he of Bethlehem? The bible tells of the parents of Jesus traveling to report for a census called for by Augustus Caesar (which is not verified in historical records itself, by the way) with his near-due wife, when the Roman custom for such a thing was that the head of the family alone reports, at his place of residence. The Book of Luke claims that Joseph left his home in Nazareth unnecessarily, and crossed two entire provinces to make it to Bethlehem unnecessarily, and took his pregnant wife on the verge of giving birth, again, unnecessarily.
In order to be considered a descendant of King David, Jesus would have needed to have been born in Bethlehem. The historian and biblical scholar Renan stated quite plainly that, the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem was constructed "in a roundabout way." In addition, many biblical scholars also believe that during the age within which Jesus would have lived, the City of Nazareth did not even exist! But, we can discuss that later.
3. The "Gospels" Were Not Written In His Language, Nor By Anyone Who Would Have Known Jesus.
Jesus the Christ is said to have been born a Jew, as were his followers. The region of the world where he is said to have lived, worked, and occupied, was primarily Nazareth. During the historical time frame when he was said to have lived, the languages spoken by the people in that region, and the culture within which he lived spoke mostly paleo-Hebrew, Aramaic, along with some Phonoecian, and Chaldean.
Yet, no part of the Gospels were written in any of those languages. They were written in Greek, approximately 150 years after he would have lived. Furthermore, there is no evidence any of the Gospels were ever translated into Greek, from any other language. Not only were the Gospels not written in the tongue one might expect from such a figure as Jesus the Christ, they were not written by any of the known apostles. In fact, noone knows exactly who it was that authored even one single line within the four Gospels. Now, some may say that Paul is known to have written his epistles. Remember, I said noone knows who wrote the four Gospels. But, since you bring up Paul...
4. Paul knew nothing of the miracles of Jesus, and never met him.
Some even doubt whether Paul ever even existed, himself. But for the sake of this topic, let's say he did. Paul would have lived during the time when Jesus would have lived. He likely walked the same streets which Jesus would have probably walked. He would have been a member of the very church Jesus is said to have decried for being "scribes, pharisees, and hypocrites." It's a safe bet that Paul would have heard much about a man rebelling against the church, and traveling about the country performing actual miracles, and being followed by "the multitudes."
Yet, look into your bible and see for yourself, if Paul claims to have ever met Jesus as anything other than a phantasm. Add to this the documented fact that Paul also does not speak of the virgin birth, any of the miracles of Jesus, nor even any details of his crucifixion. Everything Paul speaks about Jesus is in an after-the-fact manner, and resembles not one line, not one detail of any part of the four Gospels. Perhaps, just perhaps, it's possible the miracles of Christ were just not invented yet, when the epistles of Paul were written. It's not just Paul.
5. There is no evidence of Jesus, outside of the Bible.
For those not satisfied that the bible is full of contradictions, myths, improbabilities, and fiction, let us also look to history, or the lack thereof, about Jesus.
The age in which Jesus is said to have lived was one of scholars, thinkers, and men who wrote accounts of everyday, common folk. In "The Christ" written by John E Remsburg, there are no less than forty-two inquisitive, inquiring, intelligent writers who documented facts, figures, names, and activities of everyone from commoners to royalty. Some of the greatest writers in history came about during this time in history.
Many consider Philo the greatest Jewish writer in history. Not only was Philo prolific, and active, he was born before the beginning of the Christian era, and lived for many years after the supposed crucifixion of Jesus. As well, his home was in Jerusalem.
If Jesus ever existed at all, performed the miracles he is said to have performed, been followed and adored by thousands, and even challenged local authorities to such a point the Roman authorities were willing to circumvent legal customs and kill him as an innocent, surely, Philo would have recorded at least one fact of this man. Yet, there is nothing of Jesus, in anything Philo ever wrote. Not one thing.
Josephus was said to have written "The Antiquities of the Jews," wherein Josephus is recorded as saying "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 received 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 at this day."
Oddly enough, this passage does not appear in any copy of "Antiquities of the Jews" for the first 200 years of the book's existence. None of the early Christian Fathers knew of the passage. Had this passage existed in the earliest versions of the book, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Origen, or Clement of Alexandria would have referenced it once, in at least one of their many documented controversies against their Jewish opponents. None ever did.
This particular passage is not known of until Eusebius, the first historian of Christianity, early in the fourth century, is believed to have added them, and sloppily at that. In his "Evangelical Demonstration," are these words: "Certainly the attestations I have already produced concerning our Savior may be sufficient. However, it may not be amiss, if, over and above, we make use of Josephus the Jew for a further witness."
Josephus wrote highly detailed accounts of people of minor importance, yet he is strangely brief about the most amazing man who was ever supposed to have lived. In the Encyclopedia Brittanica, Dean Farrar "That Josephus wrote the whole passage as it now stands no sane critic can believe." Bishop Warburton denounced it as "a rank forgery and a very stupid one, too." Who do you believe about Jesus? Your local preacher, who stands to gain when you pay your tithes, or historical scholars, many times willing to die before betraying the truth of history?
Just because it's highly probable that Jesus never really existed, there is no need to abandon most of the principles advanced as his teachings. Just because Jesus will one day be understood to belong to the same category as all other mythical characters, there's still billions of good reasons, for us all to be good to one another, for goodness' sake.
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