Is There Evidence That Jesus Existed (and does it matter?)

Personal

Today I received this email (below, if you read this from bottom up) from “The Nature of Reality.”

I don’t really know who they are, but I did sign up for their emails.

Here’s the nutgraph: [full text below:]

“In addition to the problem of the striking similarities between the Jesus story and the much older myths, there is the continuing difficulty of the Christian church’s failure to explain why there was nothing written about Jesus Christ during his lifetime. This lack of contemporary documentation is particularly surprising when it is about someone who, if the Bible is to be believed, is the ‘son of god’, performed miracles such as raising the dead and was followed around by multitudes of people. In fact, it was not until some forty or fifty years after Jesus’ supposed death that anything was written about him, again, inexplicable if such a character had actually existed. In short, there are no written accounts about Jesus by anyone who actually met him. Also very telling is the fact that the Jewish historians Philo and Justus Tiberias, who lived in the same period that Jesus was supposed to have lived, make no mention of Jesus Christ in any of their many writings.”

So, then: They take the same stance on Christ Jesus as The Perth Group takes on “HIV:”

“At the present time there exists no proof for the existence of–”

Their evidence here, below, that Jesus may never have existed is, I must say, rather convincing, on first read.

But we must ask the first question first: As a Christian, is it imperative to you that Christ Jesus existed as a man, was real, “fanns” as the Swedes would say….that the “myth” is “true?”

(Serge Lang always said never answer a question until you fully accept the terms and framing of the question.)

As a ramshackle, struggling, highly improvised Christian, my answer is no.

Don’t you see that we are in a hologram?

Jesus was spun forth by humanity not because millions of people decided to abandon logic and evidence (the new Gods) but because humanity was craving a relief from its own power and propensity for violence. We sought a means by which to express that beneath everything, and I mean everything, one “truth” spins eternal and that truth is love. It’s a love story.

Jesus always “said,” (I mean the Jesus who perhaps never existed,) that he, Jesus, was not important, but rather, his word.

Unlike the promises of the Communist Gods, Marx, Engels, Lenin and crew, who promised to dissolve the State as soon as the Dictatorship of the Proletariat had been fulfilled—Jesus actually did dissolve himself once his message was delivered.

Don’t you see what a powerful messenger he was, that he may never even have existed, and yet lent his imaginary soul to humanity for centuries and counting? That is to say, “he” could well be a composite of the best yearnings of “us,” in which case, what difference does it make if “he” existed?

I touch his tired feet every time I exit my Church and though he is made of a kind of strange malleable plastic, and I am aware I am interacting with something made of plastic, I experience that I am interacting with him.

I have come to the stunning conclusion after a life of futile truth-seeking, that truth is over-rated.

Letter from NoR:

Dear Celia,

Most people go through life believing a whole range of things to be true, which, in fact, are not. Some beliefs, although untrue, are fairly innocuous and therefore of no real concern. For instance, as small children many people believed in Father Christmas but, as they grew older and became aware of the facts surrounding the ‘Father Christmas’ story, they stopped believing in him as a real person. However, if they carried their belief in Father Christmas into adulthood it would no doubt create problems for them.

Some beliefs are so ingrained that people think they are facts, rather than just beliefs. One of the largest areas of ‘belief’ is religion. All religions contain many beliefs, which are not based on facts. Religions, by their very nature, rely on faith, which is a belief in something that is not proved. However, just because some aspects of a religion cannot be proved, because of their ‘spiritual nature’, does not mean people have to accept all aspects of a religion when there is evidence to the contrary.

Whatever you may think about Christianity as a religion, you no doubt presume that certain aspects of it are based on facts. One of the most fundamental aspects of Christianity is the belief in Jesus Christ, without whom the entire religion could not exist.

It may be surprising to many people to be told that the Bible is not an accurate, historical record.

It may also be surprising to many people to learn that a number of well researched and scholarly works exist that are concerned with examining the historical facts to discover whether Jesus Christ actually existed at all.

But what may be most surprising to people is to learn that the extensive, historical research undertaken by these scholars has been unable to produce any evidence for an actual, historical ‘Jesus Christ’.

What follows is a summary of a few of the salient points, which must be answered by the Christian church if they are to present a credible story about the founder of their faith.

The Jesus story is basically about a dying and resurrecting god-man. This theme is common to many, much older myths, such as Osiris, Dionysus, Mithras, Bacchus, Adonis and Attis. But what is particularly interesting is the similarity between key elements in the Jesus story and key elements in these much older myths. Listed below are the common elements running through the ancient god-man myths, which preceded Christianity:
a. Whatever the character’s name, his father is God and his mother is a human virgin.
b. He is born in a humble dwelling on 25th December.
c. His followers can be ‘born again’ through the rites of baptism.
d. He performs miracles such as turning water into wine at a wedding.
e. He dies at Easter.
f. On the third day after his death he ascends to heaven.
g. His resurrection is celebrated with a meal consisting of bread and wine, which represent his body and blood.

These details are too similar to classify as coincidence. It is obvious that the early Christians took the details of earlier god-man myths and used them as their own. In fact, just such criticisms were leveled at the early Christians by Celsus, who was a well known Pagan writer of the times.

In addition to the problem of the striking similarities between the Jesus story and the much older myths, there is the continuing difficulty of the Christian church’s failure to explain why there was nothing written about Jesus Christ during his lifetime. This lack of contemporary documentation is particularly surprising when it is about someone who, if the Bible is to be believed, is the ‘son of god’, performed miracles such as raising the dead and was followed around by multitudes of people. In fact, it was not until some forty or fifty years after Jesus’ supposed death that anything was written about him, again, inexplicable if such a character had actually existed. In short, there are no written accounts about Jesus by anyone who actually met him. Also very telling is the fact that the Jewish historians Philo and Justus Tiberias, who lived in the same period that Jesus was supposed to have lived, make no mention of Jesus Christ in any of their many writings.

History shows how a belief in something, like the Jesus story, can be taken on by millions of people without there being any actual facts to support the belief. History also shows the devastating actions that can be carried out in the name of something that is only a belief, not a fact.

As stated earlier, there are many beliefs that people hold, and upon which they conduct their entire lives, without ever realizing that those beliefs are untrue. It begs the question as to how differently they may have conducted their lives had they known the truth.

What beliefs might you unwittingly hold that are based on something that is actually untrue?

How might your life change if you knew the truth?

The nature of reality is far stranger than you can imagine.

The Nature of Reality is available from Amazon as a book, an MP3 download and a double CD set.

For more details, click the link http://www.thenatureofreality.com/products.htm

Best regards
NoR

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