Did Jesus exist?

Earlier today, a reader by the name of Edward, in hopes of stirring shit up with our of our resident trolls, who happens to be an evangelical, conservative Christian, shared the image to the right. It’s not something that I would typically move up to the front page, but I found the subsequent conversation interesting, and thought that, perhaps, others might as well. Here, with that in mind, are the original quote, from UNC Chapel Hill Professor of Religious Studies Bart Ehrman, the response from EOS (the beloved resident troll that I referred to earlier), and a comment left by my friend Doug Skinner.

Dr. Bart Ehrman:

In the entire first Christian Century, Jesus is not mentioned by a single Greek or Roman historian, religion scholar, politician, philosopher or poet. His name never occurs in a single inscription, and it is never found in a single piece of private correspondence…

EOS:

Except for:

Cornelius Tactus 55-120 A.D.
Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus 69 – 130 A.D.
Thallus 52 A.D.
Pliny the Younger or Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (62-c.115)
Flavius Josephus 37 – 100 A.D.

Doug Skinner:

Cornelius Tacitus mentioned Christians, writing c. 116 AD. This is evidence that there were Christians.

Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus mentioned Chrestus, which was a common name. Scholars debate whether he meant Jesus or not.

We don’t know what Thallus wrote; his works are lost. A secondary source quotes him about a “great darkness.” There’s no evidence that he mentioned Jesus, or that the darkness referred to the crucifixion.

Pliny mentioned Christians, writing c. 112 AD. This is evidence that there were Christians.

The passages in Flavius Josephus are suspected of being later interpolations, but many scholars accept them. That’s probably the best of the lot.

Obviously, Christianity exists, whether Christ did or not. But early accounts of Christianity are not evidence of a historical Jesus, any more than UFO clubs are evidence for UFOs.

For what it’s worth, I believe that Jesus likely did exist… but without the magic tricks. I find the idea that he never really existed at all, however, to be fascinating. And, I have to admit, now that I think about it, it is kind of suspicious that none of his contemporaries took notice of him. He was, after all, a handsome, self-assured, charismatic white dude, in ancient Judaea. You would think that he’d stand out like Sammy Davis Jr in the Rat Pack.

[And, yes, I mainly posted this here so that I could use the “Pliny the Younger” tag.]

update: After posting this, I talked with a friend of mine who happens to be a professor of religion. He’s familiar with Ehrman’s work, and noted that he’d be surprised, despite the tone of this quote, if Ehrman didn’t believe that Jesus existed.

This entry was posted in History, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

59 Comments

  1. Knox
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, I don’t believe there’s any mention of Xenu before L Ron Hubbard.

  2. anonymous
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    It would be interesting if the “great darkness” referred to Jesus, rather than to his crucifixion.

  3. Posted June 17, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    anonymous…I read it the same way. Scary.
    I think he existed but was not the son of God. I think if God wanted to mess with us, He’d just mosey on down Himself. I am, however, very much against the persecution of Jewish teachers who work with blind people :)

  4. Eel
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Surely there’s more written about him than this. If not, how is it that we know with such certainly that he hated gays, taxes, unions, universal health care and abortion?

  5. Eel
    Posted June 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

    Also, it’s kind of unrelated, but there’s no evidence that Charlie Chaplin was ever born.

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/charlie-chaplins-origin-remains-a-mystery-20120217-1tegr.html

  6. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    It is of the most profound indifference whether Yeshua of Nazarath existed or not, or whether he had ontological reality as a god-man, contemporary humans believed he did, they assimilate varient hermunetical approaches about the mysterious stories about him, construct their reality channel accordingly, and partially act out what their religious leaders (in most cases) tell them to think about it. Which perfectly accords with our post-reading population’s tendency towards lemming-like behaviour. The ontological reality is unimportant, to paraphrase Nietzsche; knowing if god exists is like being in a terrible storm at sea and someone showing you the chemical makeup of water, useless.

  7. Edward
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    I know that he exists. I have personally experienced the miracle of the midnight door buster sale on Black Friday.

  8. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    That doesn’t stop the fact that some of the most brillant thinkers to ever walk thought about this problem constantly, and it bore terrificly important philosophy. Now I know none of you care about thought, or thinkers, but here is little a hit-parade of thinkers who influenced the contemporary world who either believed in Jesus or spent a lot of time thinking about it; Hamaan, Hegel, Schelling, Herder, Kierkegaard, Lessing, Nietzsche, Goethe, Tolstoy, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Aquinas, etc. The importance of the Bible in shaping thinking about the world cannot be overstressed, and an ignorence of the Bible is intellectually unforgivable.

  9. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    One other thing, once you’ve really studied the intellectual history of both the East and West, you’ll find there is really no reason to follow exclusively the Bible and the western tradition over, say, the Ramayana of Kampan? The Upanishads? The Mahabharata is full of as much linneage, facts, historical places, historical conflicts, miraculous charecters, prophecy, philosophy, etc and it is far older then the Bible, in fact the Upanishads are the oldest known human wisdom tradition, and undoutably amongst the most profound. Other then the popularity, I have no reason to totally follow one to exclusion of all others, I have just as much reason to believe the Bagavad Gita as the Bible, they are just as remote and fantastic as the other..

  10. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Clearly Edward’s “Biblical Scholar” is incorrect. Go to the links on the previous thread for the full version of the discussion of secular historians account of the existence of Jesus on Earth. But I wouldn’t believe in Jesus based on a few historical accounts by non-believers. Believe because He lives today. If you sincerely ask him to be your Lord and Savior, and invite Him into your heart, then your life will be dramatically changed and you’ll never be the same again. Human wisdom might be found in other philosophies, but Godly wisdom is only found in Jesus Christ. For those who accept Christ, there is no further doubt, and no comparison to anything on earth or man-made.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7hQU3hW9l8&feature=fvwrel

  11. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    What we have in EOS is a pristine exemplar of the single minded reality channel, unaware of the multifarious nature of human conceptual superimposition upon the unknowable and fundamentally mysterious ultimate reality. “For those who accept Christ there is no futher doubt, or any compairson to anything on earth or man made” Right, for those who think they have gained absolute truth, in any field, they have no reason to question what they percieve to be as absolute truth. Unfortunately for this conception, there can be only one ultimate reality be definition, and that isn’t a thing human beings have access to, no matter what partisans of particular absolute truths have to say.

  12. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    There is, of course, only human wisdom. Gods and Godessess are culturally conditioned realities, which are mysterious aspects of our ancient conciousness, which we share with all living beings. They are thouroughly culturally determined expirences. Why do Indians see Kali, or Rama and not Jesus? Why don’t Westerners see Kali? Why does Jesus appear to people in the West and not to aborigional Austrialians? The anwser is that the religious impulse in the human has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, and has a profoundly important psychological/neurophysiological componant to our being. There is truth in the world religions in that they make the world a sacred, weird place, which it truely is.

  13. Posted June 18, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t think there’s enough evidence either pro or con to determine if Jesus really existed. And when there’s not enough evidence, it’s best to suspend judgment. (Thom will recognize Sextus Empiricus here.) The sources EOS cites are not solid evidence for a historical Jesus; you can Google them and find out more. I think it’s likely that Jesus did exist, and that myths grew up around him; but that’s not a testable theory, so I prefer not to lose time over it.

    Life without doubt sounds awful: a living death, deprived of growth, curiosity, change, or humility. Thanks, but I’ll pass.

  14. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Doug,
    There’s overwhelming evidence for those who seek the truth. Read “The Case for Christ” by Lee Strobel. The man was an investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune. His wife became a believer and he set out to check the historical, archeological, and other evidence to show her the error of her beliefs. In the process of writing the book to discredit, he was convinced by every aspect of his investigation.

    “…a living death, deprived of growth, curiosity, change, or humility”

    Wow, couldn’t be further from the truth. Eternal life,with constant growth and change for those who humble themselves and submit to God’s authority.

  15. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Of course faith requires no evidence, and isn’t what makes people believe a religion. Faith, despite what materialistic modern xtians have to say, has nothing to do with logic, science, reason, historicity, archeology, and every other catagory they use try to show how undeniable their partisan adherence to a particular hermuentic is. Faith is, as Kierkegaard says, a leap. It is an orienting concept (Grundbegriffe) you live out your life believing, which gives meaning to your existence. Whether it turns out to be so called ‘objective’ truth is totally meaningless, religions are purely existential, in that they help human being to grapple with the mystery of being. Why there is something at all as opposed to nothing.

  16. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I’m gonna need to see a birth certificate.

    I was just reading some quasi religious ramblings on the “Truth Contest” website, and it sounds a lot like it was written by Thom Elliott

    Interesting read, but sort of came off like that dude from the Time Cube website.

  17. Posted June 18, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    There’s overwhelming evidence for anyone who wants to believe anything. That’s how confirmation bias works, and it’s been tripping us up for ages.

    By the way, some scholars think there’s a more reliable record for James; and that he may be one of the best bits of evidence for a historical Jesus. Of course, his relationship to Jesus is also controversial; and many Christians don’t like the idea of Mary having other kids.

    But, as Thom, pointed out, faith is belief without evidence. It may be comforting, but I don’t trust it as a foundation for either personal or social decisions.

    “Eternal life” sounds like an oxymoron to me. We live, we die, and then the kids take over. That’s enough to keep us busy.

  18. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Bob Dutko says it better than I can:

    Belief in the Bible as God’s Word and a faith in Jesus Christ is not dependent upon science and logic,but it is backed up by science and logic. Christianity is the only religious belief system that doesn’t crumble under intellectual scrutiny and investigation. If you examine the Bible with logic, evidence, facts, science, reason, intellect and history, you will see that Evolution really is false, the Bible really is true, God really does exist, Jesus really is the only way and He really did rise from the dead, physically and historically.

  19. kjc
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    give yourself more credit. bob dutko sounds like a moron.

  20. Watching Laughing.
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I went through the Catholic Meat Grinder for 12 freaking years, 1 through 12th grades.

    Don’t remind me, please?

    WL.

  21. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    It is hilarious the best you can come up with is the ponderously dull Bob Dutko (who I infact happen to scrutinize daily). I want to see either you or Bob do a proper Modus Tolens on a propositional statement of classical logic, then tell me how logic relates to your religious belief system. Of course because of your catagorical ignorence of logic, you and Bob use that word when you mean reason, but clearly faith isn’t reason, faith has different attuement or ground then reason. As Heidegger says, questioning is the piety of thought, whereas theological piety is belief without question.

  22. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    EOS,

    Are you a young earther? What part of science agrees that Jesus had a pet dinosaur?

  23. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    If he uncritically listens to Bob Dutko, then yes EOS is a young earther. The line is that the earth is only six thousand years old, Bob believes the majority of scientific evidence confirms this hypothesis, along with T-Rex descriptions from Marcus Auralis, and Pliny the Younger’s descriptions of dragons fighting with elephants confirms that dinosaurs and humans existed in the same time and space. What all of that nonsense does is actually take away from their own tradition’s poetical existential truth of creation, and its eloquent strangeness and mystery and pretend it is the same as biology, which they are constantly trying to refute needlessly.

  24. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Thom,
    Why do you listen to Bob daily if you find him so dull?

    The Bible doesn’t attempt to prove the existence of God. It starts, “In the beginning, God created…” Observing creation provides evidence of a creator. There is design and information storage. Your Modus Tolens challenge is beyond my introductory logic class. I’m not a philosopher, but I’ll try.

    If an object shows design, information storage, and purpose, then it cannot have occurred by random chance. Human DNA is exquisitely designed, the order of purine and pyrimidine bases codes for functional and life essential proteins, and the complete genome provides the blueprint for a unique individual organism. Therefore human life cannot have occurred by random chance.

    Dan,
    Yes, I am a young earther. Geology has found human fossil footprints superimposed inside fossilized dinosaur footprints. Many dinosaur bones have shown carbon dating less than 10,00 years. Several biologists have found soft tissue in/on dinosaur bones. But I am not aware that Jesus had any pets.

  25. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    what about the thousands of other fossils, radio isotope dated back millions of years?

  26. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    Their conclusions are a result of circular reasoning combined with a fanatical belief in uniformitarianism. (They can’t imagine the possibility of a world wide flood.)

  27. Watching Laughing.
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    If somebody came out hard on the air waves today, saying they saw a burnng bush;
    what would everybody think?

    They would lock the guy up. Please people, this is crazy.

    WL.

  28. Brainless
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “Dan,
    Yes, I am a young earther.”

    Ergo, you are demonstrably a complete fucking idiot.

    EVERYONE — PLEASE stop talking to this idiot. Mark, you should know better than to start these moronic bait threads. We have women being shit on by our male legislators – HERE, NOW. This is simply not important.

  29. Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    All I know is that Jesus was probably gay.

    He didn’t have a wife, so he must have been gay.

    I can’t think of a single piece of writing that suggests otherwise.

  30. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    “Their conclusions are a result of circular reasoning combined with a fanatical belief in uniformitarianism. (They can’t imagine the possibility of a world wide flood.)”

    I assume those fossils you claim to be dinosaurs that were dated <10,000 years old, did not use the same circular reasoning?

  31. Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I agree with Brainless, but do have to quote a wise judge I once knew: for believers, no proof is necessary and for skeptics, no proof is enough.

  32. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    There should be absolutely no C14 left in a dinosaur bone if it is millions of years old. Therefore, when scientists use the Carbon dating methods to determine the age of dinosaur bones, they get answers that are totally outside the range in which they think dinosaurs existed so they through out the data. The method is flawed.

    Same principal applies to fossilized stratified objects. They estimate the age of the object based on the strata in which it was found. Then they date the strata based on their estimate of the objects age.

  33. Watching Laughing.
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    My girlfriend had kidney surgery, last year and her mom is a complete Johovas Witness a crazy. After all the surgery, we were changing the bandages from her surgury and her mom, said, and “people don’t don’t belive in creationism, there is no other way this could of healed.”
    I held back BIG TIME, of course. These people are NUTS.
    So, somebody with a magic wand is healing all on a wim???

    OKAYYYYYYY,,,

    WL.

  34. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    EOS

    Carbon is not the only isotope used in dating

  35. Posted June 18, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, people tend to become most passionate about those propositions that can’t be proved. You don’t find people arguing about whether their noses have nostrils.

    EOS — You may enjoy earlychristianwritings.com. It’s a good scholarly site on the sources, chronology, and texts of early Christian literature, Biblical and otherwise. The Bible was not lowered from heaven on a string; it has an interesting history.

  36. Watching Laughing.
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    People, this is soooooooooo stupid.

    WL

  37. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    When I’m not listening to electronic noise music or classical music or reggae as I drive for hours a day as a legal assistant, I tune in to monitor the hardcore political protestant right’s surreal and dark worldview on 560am The Word, which must be the same station you listen to uncritically. I find one of the shows interesting authentically, Dr. J. Vernon Mcgee’s Through The Bible Radio, but I listen to the bizarre xtian typology and shallow and mindless interpretation of sinister people I think of as dimwitted, like Chuck Swindal, Dr Julie Slattery, or Dr. Michael Josef for the rest of the day.

  38. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    It is clear you aren’t a philosopher EOS, and that you don’t know what logic is, so it can’t possibly support your belief in the way you/Bob claims; you don’t know what classical logic’s rudimentary functions are. Actual logic isn’t freindly to your belief, ex nihilio nihil est, nothing can come from nothing, God creating the universe out of nothing isn’t logical, it is a contradiction, and thus cannot be proven logically. It is something you believe, not a corrollary of propositional logic, which is what logic is; the science of well formed, and contentless syllogistic statements which are transendentally true, or true regardless of observer.

  39. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think life arose through random chance at all, I think human being is the way the universe realizes itself, a kind of historical revealing of the spirit which is a mystic understanding stemming from German idealism, granted. We are the ontological difference, we are the being who speaks the difference between beings and being, we are non-different from being, always ignorent to always already being in being. I tend toward Pythagoras and Plato, Sankara and the Upanishads for my religious beliefs, which are rooted in the love of wisdom, logic, ethics, mystery, and ontology.

  40. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    “God creating the universe out of nothing isn’t logical, it is a contradiction, and thus cannot be proven logically. It is something you believe, not a corrollary of propositional logic, which is what logic is; the science of well formed, and contentless syllogistic statements which are transendentally true, or true regardless of observer.”

    So how is the big bang of science any different? The supposition that all matter in the universe arose spontaneously as a result of a “big bang” violates the first and second laws of thermodynamics and still has no logical first cause. By your standards, modern day science is not logical. At least my belief postulates a non-natural force not in observable in the universe today.

  41. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The difference, EOS, is that a scientist admits he doesnt know for sure what caused the big bang or what was before it. He doesnt make up a mythology to describe it, so he can feel better about his lack of knowledge. He make come up with hypotheses and theories to describe it, but true science doesnt assume to be true regardless of evidence to the contrary.

  42. Mr. X
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Brainless, do you know how to scroll? (I’m sure you can find a tutorial online in case you don’t.) If you did, you’d know that 3 of the last 5 posts on this blog have been about the assault on women’s rights by Michigan Republicans. It’s not a subject, as you suggest, that’s being overlooked.

  43. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    I find the Big Bang as the cosmological end-all be-all about as unsatisfying as you do, which is one of the many counterintuitive ways philosophy dovetails with your belief, but for mutally exclusive reasons. Quantum physics says the quantum fluctuations in the singularity caused the explosion of existence into multifariousness from out of singular substance, I don’t see how they can say this is the beginning of the universe, what this singularity is, how it came into being, or why the universe is speeding up as opposed to slowing down like terristrial explosions, why time must exist first in the human mind prior to any expirence of beings-in-time etc. This is why the essence of being is unthinkable, unknowable, impregnable thing-in-itself.

  44. Posted June 18, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    I am going to give a dollar to fundanabortion d. o.r.g. for every post that EOS makes from now on.

  45. Posted June 18, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Finally, I got it in. I tried to post my new campaign (of which EOS is a sponsor) to help fund abortions for women without financial means THREE times and every times, Mark deleted it.

  46. Alice Krum
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    I’ll do you one better, Pete. If EOS doesn’t post a receipt by the end of the day tomorrow, showing that he’s given $100 to Planned Parenthood, I’m going to take my fertile ass to the bar, find a man capable to secreting sperm, get myself pregnant, carry the baby just shy of nine months, and abort it. And then I will start all over again.

  47. Alice Krum
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    Lest anyone think I was serious, that was a joke. Like a good progressive, I practice birth control, and all of my abortions are first trimester.

  48. Jesus
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    I have a message for all of you.

    http://imgur.com/bRoZV

  49. Meta
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Appropriate?

    Tensions flared Friday evening at the annual Arab International Festival in Dearborn as members of some Christian missionary groups — including one called the Bible Believers — taunted Arab Americans with a pig’s head and signs that promoted hatred of Islam.

    “You’re gonna burn in hell,” one missionary shouted at a group of young Arab-American boys listening to him speak on Warren Avenue, where the festival takes place.

    The festival continues today in Dearborn, but the members of the Bible Believers won’t be there because they’ll be protesting a gay festival in Ohio, said Arab Festival organizers.

    More:
    http://www.freep.com/article/20120616/NEWS05/120616015/Christian-missionaries-with-pig-s-head-taunt-Arab-Americans-at-Dearborn-festival?odyssey=tab|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE

  50. Dan
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    meta question on Meta. Is this mark linking posts up, or someone else?

    Thanks in advance

  51. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Peter,
    Ozone House called. They’re pissed that you never gave them the money you promised.

  52. Posted June 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Fortunately for Ozone House and fundanabortion, my charity knows no bounds:

    “Thank you so much for your donation to support the National Network of Abortion Funds.

    Your donation will go to work for women like Monica, who are making the most of tough situations and just need some help to get through the worst of it.

    …for women like Leila, who have, despite the odds, pull together nearly everything they need…and just need a little bump…

    …for women and girls like Darcy, who want a second chance and who intend to make the most of it.

    You’ll receive a confirmation email shortly, but in the meantime, you may want to read about how women’s lives are affected by unfair laws like the Hyde Amendment…and how your donation will make a difference.

    The National Network of Abortion Funds is a 501c3 non-profit organization and donations are tax-exempt to the fullest extent of the law.

    You may print a copy of this page for your records.

    A confirmation email has been sent to pslarson2@gmail.com :
    Name:Peter Larson
    Date:2012-06-18 22:16:25
    Gift Amount:$10.00
    Transaction ID: 1817148″

  53. EOS
    Posted June 18, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    “Thank you so much for your donation to support the National Network of Abortion Funds.

    Your donation helped us slaughter:

    Ann, who would have had a promising career as a major philantropist…

    Bill, who was going to find the cure for AIDS…

    Carol, who was to have solved world hunger…

    Dave, who would have spent a lifetime educating the poor…

    Evelyn, who would have fostered 40 children …

    … Your donation made a difference – their blood is on your hands.

  54. Thom Elliott
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    World hunger could be cured over night, but our addiction to weapons hoarding, the monsterous greed of our corperations, and our obese people’s grotesque demands have made sure of its existence in perpetuity. World hunger is of course 100% political, no one person will stop it untill the governments of the West stop useing food for fuel, and think of the rest of the planet as somehow connected to us and our behaviour, and not just god’s own master race of amoral warmongering flesh eaters who are an exeption to the earth and not a part.

  55. Megan
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I was taught in a college history of religion class that he was mentioned by a Jewish scholar in passing. He didn’t write about him, per se, he just mentioned that there was a guy over there doing stuff and moved on to another topic. Pretty sure that was Josephus. But Josephus didn’t write anything specific about him, like the life and times of Jesus. Just simply mentioned he was in the news.

  56. Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Ehrman ends up concluding that Jesus existed in his book, I believe.

    Anyway, in 2000 years there may be more surviving evidence for Robocop’s existence than Mark Maynard’s.

  57. Mr. Y
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    If you crack open the Robocop statue, what you find inside is a small, sniveling statue of Mark, curled up into the fetal position. (Don’t tell the people at Gallery 555. They’ll “rescue” it.)

  58. I do not exist
    Posted June 19, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Did Buddha ever exist? Doubtful. Ghandi? You kidding? MLK? Hollywood.

    It’s a bit freeing, isn’t it, to realize all these judgmental dogoodies never really lived. All these people who called for us to live for something bigger than ourselves. Our neighbors. Broadly defined.

    If we can rid ourselves of their alleged moral impositions on our natural impulses, if we can be free to serve ourselves, well then, we can really live.

    Thank the lucky stars Ayn Rand was real and fucking “love of the other Jesus” is a figment of historical record…

    We’re now emerging from the greatest joke played on human history.

    There was no Jesus, is no Jesus, and never will be.

    Proceed accordingly.

  59. Posted July 13, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    EOS says, “Christianity is the only religious belief system that doesn’t crumble under intellectual scrutiny and investigation.”

    Well, that depends upon what you mean by “intellectual scrutiny”. If you mean the sort of fast-and-loose “history” and pseudoscience that EOS seems so fond of, just about any religious belief system can stand up to that. On the other hand, if by “intellecutal scrutiny” you mean what pretty much everyone else here means, Christianity is on the same shaky footing as most other religions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Connect

BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative Steve