ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Mythic Origins of Christianity: How is Christianity Similar to Pagan Religions?

Updated on March 24, 2016
Christianity has much in common with mythic religions and the worship of sun-gods.
Christianity has much in common with mythic religions and the worship of sun-gods. | Source

Is Christianity based on mythical characters?

During the first century CE the Roman Empire encompassed most of the territory surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, including parts of Italy, Greece, Egypt, and Judea. Many different religions flourished in this time and place—pagan religions, Judaism, and the beginnings of Christianity.

Religious syncretism --the combining of different, even contradictory, beliefs and practices—was common. It was “cafeteria religion” run amok. Various gods and religions were merging with each other and splitting off from others all the time.

During the first century, hundreds of mystery cults thrived. A mystery cult was a secret religion that involved the worship of a god (or gods and goddesses). Many of these gods were savior-gods, with rites and rituals that included baptisms, the symbolic eating of the flesh and blood of the god, and celebrations of the resurrection of the god.

Christianity may have begun as a mystery cult or it might have only assumed some of the beliefs and practices of these cults. Ancient pagan cultures shared a common set of ideas about gods. Christianity may have adopted those ideas, and applied them to Jesus. It seems entirely possible that Jesus Christ began as a celestial god, then became a character in allegorical stories, and finally was seen as a historical person who actually existed.

The Roman Empire

A map of the roan Empire at the height of it power.
A map of the roan Empire at the height of it power. | Source

Did Christianity begin as the worship of a sun-god?

The “Christ” of Christianity may have just been another celestial god. There are a number of similarities between various pagan/mystery cult gods and Christianity.

  • The birth date of most of the sun-gods is December 25. This is the date of the Winter solstice and the date adopted by the church as the date of the birth of Jesus Christ. The December 25 date is given despite the fact that the Bible says the shepherds were in their fields when Jesus was born which means that Jesus had to have been born in the Spring (Luke 2:8).
  • At the time of the Winter Solstice, the sun "dies" for three days starting around December 22, when it stops its movement south; it is then born (resurrected) on December 25, when it begins its movement north.
  • The sun was seen as traveling through the 12 signs of the Zodiac. It is possible that the twelve disciples of Jesus symbolized the 12 signs of the zodiac. The Sun-gods often had disciples or attendants (although not always 12 in number).
  • The pagan gods had magical births and some were born to a virgin. The gods frequently impregnated young human maidens.
  • The pagan gods often had titles like the “The Light of The World,” “The Way”, “The Good Shepherd, etc. These names were also used for Jesus Christ.
  • The pagan gods sometimes had a “Last Supper” with their followers before their deaths.
  • The pagan gods often were resurrected after their deaths.
  • Baptism was a common ritual among the followers of the mystery cults. John the Baptist may have been mimicking this ritual, importing it into Judaism.
  • The tradition of consuming bread and wine as the symbolic (or actual) blood and flesh of the god was part of the mystery religions. This corresponds to Jesus saying “Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:54)

The early Christian church acknowledged these similarities. Christian apologists Justin Martyr (100-165 CE) and Tertullian (160-220 CE) commented on the similarities of the Christian beliefs, rites, and rituals to those of the mystery religions. However, they attributed these correspondences to the work of the devil who planted these similarities to discredit Christianity.

Horus

Horus was often pictured as having the head of a falcon.
Horus was often pictured as having the head of a falcon. | Source

How does Horus resemble Jesus?

Horus is an Egyptian deity that dates to about 3100 BCE and was commonly worshiped during Greco-Roman times. Horus was a sky god—one translation of his name is “The One Who is Above.” He was also called “The Lord of the Sky.” He traversed the sky in the form of a falcon. His right eye was the sun and his left eye was the moon.

There are many different variations of the story of Horus as would be expected with a myth as ancient as this one. Different myths appear to have merged and become part of the Horus myth.

Horus had a magical birth. His mother, the goddess Isis, used her magic powers to reassemble her dead husband (also her brother) Osiris from his dismembered parts. His penis was missing so she fashioned a golden phallus and used it to conceive her son. The pregnant Isis had to flee her home because her brother Set who ruled at the time had killed Osiris and she knew he would want to kill her son as well. Horus was born at the time of the winter solstice.

He also came to be identified with Osiris, his father, so that he was both son and father at the same time. Horus was a god, but he also was a man because every pharaoh was considered the incarnation of Horus. The story of Horus was also blended with the story of Ra as they were both sun-gods. Ra was born to a mother who was a virgin impregnated by a divine spirit.

There are some common themes between the story of Horus and the story of Jesus Christ. Horus had a magical birth at the time of the winter solstice. Depictions of Isis suckling her son, Horus, closely resemble pictures of the Virgin Mary with the infant Jesus. Both mothers had to flee because a ruler threatened to kill them (Set for Horus and Herod for Jesus.) Both were father and son at the same time and both took on human forms (pharaohs for Horus, an ordinary man for Jesus.) Both had followers (Horus had four and Jesus had twelve) and both preformed miracles (but different kinds of miracles). Horus’ father, Osiris, was resurrected after his death.

For more about Horus, CLICK HERE.

Mithra

Mithra is shown slaying a bull.in a  2nd-3rd century Mithraic altarpiece found near Fiano Romano, near Rome, and now in the Louvre.
Mithra is shown slaying a bull.in a 2nd-3rd century Mithraic altarpiece found near Fiano Romano, near Rome, and now in the Louvre. | Source

How does Mithra resemble Jesus?

Mithra was an ancient Zoroastrian deity, a god of light. The myth dates to 1400 BCE, but probably goes back much further. He was called the “The Way,” and “The Truth and the Light.” Mithra was associated with other sun-gods—the Greek god, Helios, and the Roman god, Sol Invictus. Anahita, a virgin goddess of fertility, is sometimes identified as his companion/consort. (In some stories, she is his virgin mother.)

Mithraism was a strong competitor with Christianity to become the most popular religion of the time. Some of the Roman emperors were followers of Mithra and called him the “Protector of the Empire.”

Mithra was born from a rock and shepherds heralded his birth. He was known as a god of truth, light, justice, and salvation. He performed many miracles while on Earth and after his death he ascended to heaven. He promised to return for a final day of judgment of the living and the dead.

The slaying of a bull was part of the ritual of the cult of Mithra. His followers would eat the flesh of the bull and drink (some say bathe in) its blood. If a bull were not available, bread and water or wine could be substituted.

The worship of Mithra also included a eucharistic-style “Lord’s Supper.” Mithra had a banquet with his followers right before his death. An inscription found in a temple of Mithra reads "He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made one with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation."

Compare this to the words of John 6:53-54, "...Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." (KJV)

For more information about Mithra, CLICK HERE.

Attis

The Shrine of Attis is situated to the east of the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia. In the apse is a plaster cast (the original is in the Vatican Museums) of a statue of a reclining Attis.
The Shrine of Attis is situated to the east of the Campus of the Magna Mater in Ostia. In the apse is a plaster cast (the original is in the Vatican Museums) of a statue of a reclining Attis. | Source

How does Attis resemble Jesus?

The Attis cult began around 1200 BCE in Phrygia in Asia. Attis’ mother, Nana, was a virgin, who conceived by putting a ripe almond or a pomegranate in her bosom. In some stories, Cybelle, the “Mother of the Gods” and a great Asiatic goddess of fertility, is his mother. He was reported to have been a shepherd or herdsman beloved by Cybele.

There are two different accounts of the death of Attis. According to one, he was killed by a boar, like Adonis. According to the other, he castrated himself under a pine-tree, and bled to death on the spot. Consequently, the priests in the service of Cybele ritually castrated themselves on entering her service of the goddess. After his death, Attis is said to have been changed into a pine-tree.

Could the celibacy of Catholic priests be a carryover from the worship of Attis?

For more information on Attis, CLICK HERE.

The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems
The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems

New Testament scholar Robert M. Price, one of America's leading authorities on the Bible, has assembled in his book evidence that shows that almost the entire "biography of Jesus" is a conscious reworking of earlier literature.

 

Are the reported similarities between Jesus and the pagan gods that you may come across elsewhere all true?

They are not all true. In fact, they are not even mostly true. Many of those who proclaim these similarities have been overzealous in their quest to find similarities.

It appears that these untrue claims are based on the theories of Gerald Massey, an English poet (1828-1927) who had an interest in Egyptology. He wrote several books about the similarities between Horus and Jesus. He got his facts wrong, but his ideas have persisted.

As Richard Price, author of The Christ-Myth, wrote “Those of us who uphold any version of the controversial Christ Myth theory find ourselves immediately the object of not just criticism, but even ridicule. And it causes us chagrin to be lumped together with certain writers with whom we share the Christ myth but little else.”

I only had space to mention three gods who have multiple similarities to Jesus. There are many others including Odysseus, Romulus, Dionysus, Heracles, etc.

I have done my best to sort out the false claims from the true claims. Some of the correspondences may just be coincidences. And I should add the fact that Christianity adopted many pagan beliefs and rituals is not proof that Jesus did not exist as an actual person. Nonetheless, the similarities that I have confirmed are enough to suggest the story of Jesus was blended with the story of pagan gods.

Jesus Christ

Why is Christ often depicted with a golden orb behind his head?
Why is Christ often depicted with a golden orb behind his head? | Source

Just wondering—Why is Christ depicted with a halo?

I have noticed that Jesus Christ is often depicted with a golden round glowing orb behind his head. Does it represent the sun? Is it a holdover from the days of sun-gods?

It is used for gods and heroes in many cultures—Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and other religions.

A word about mythicism

Saying "Christ is a myth" is not something new. Some scholars have been saying exactly that since at least 1793 when the Enlightenment scholar Charles Dupuis began to publish his 13-volume Origine de Tous les Cultes, ou Religion Universelle, which postulated the mythical origins of Christianity and other ancient religions. Currently people who hold to the theory that Jesus did not exist as a historical person are called "mythers."

The myther theory is very much a minority opinion, but acceptance for it has been growing in recent years.

In this essay I tried to summarize a few of the myths and the practices of religions based on those myths. There are many variations of the mythical stories. I tried to find the most common beliefs. I tried to use objective sources for the myths. Some of the atheist websites thought the myths were identical to the Christ story; some of the Christian apologist websites thought there were no similarities at all. I looked for websites who were in neither of those camps and which told the mythical stories and the religious practices without bias.

If you do your own research you may find information that differs from what I have reported. That does not mean that one of us is wrong. There is a lot of information on this topic. I used the information I judged to be most credible.

Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned (Don't Know Much About Series)
Don't Know Much About Mythology: Everything You Need to Know About the Greatest Stories in Human History but Never Learned (Don't Know Much About Series)

Kenneth C. Davis introduces and explains the great myths of the world using a fun-to-read question-and-answer style. He examines the myths of Egypt, Greece and Rome, Africa, India, and the Americas.

 

For Further Reading

Many books have been written about mythicism--the idea that Jesus Christ never existed as a real person and that his story is based on earlier myths. For a reading list with brief book reviews, CLICK HERE.

You may also like two of my other articles on this topic.

Did Jesus Exist or Is It All a Myth

Jesus Who? The Historical Record Gives No Clue

I'd like to know what my readers think.

Which comes closest to your view?

See results

© 2015 Catherine Giordano

I welcome your comments.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      DJ Anderson 23 months ago

      Hi, Catherine, you have been doing your homework!

      Your article is well written and many historical facts are offered up

      as truth. There is little doubt that mythology and paganism have played a dynamic role in Christianity. There have been so many 'switch-backs'

      through history, that it is most difficult to find what is true and real.

      I keep an open mind, and spend much time reading and searching

      articles from all different perspectives. All points of view should be

      considered.

      The last thing I want to do is wake up dead and think to myself, "Oh,

      sh*t! I missed the boat, big time!! LOL

      A splendid article!

      DJ.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 23 months ago from New York

      There is no way to know exactly what happened over 2,000 years ago. Those of us who believe in Jesus Christ see the similarities with the Roman gods, Greek gods, even the Indians here in America. Similarity does not mean Jesus was fiction.

      The Shroud of Turin is perhaps the closest thing we have to physical evidence. No one can prove it was Jesus image no one can prove it is not, but all the research continues trying to determine how the images appear on the shroud; the wrist with the appearance of a piercing, the upward gouge in the side, small punctures of the scalp and forehead, swelling of the face, etc. The true burial cloth of Jesus? Miracle perhaps? Fact perhaps?

      There are some things in faith that cannot be explained, but are accepted in faith and love of God. Every thesis has an antithesis.

      The Bible was written by people who knew Jesus, historical fact. While they may not have written every account in 100% fact, they were there. Additionally, the Old Testament; Isaiah 7:14 - Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.

      I enjoyed this hub and all of it's facts.

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • ZRadach profile image

      Zachary Radach 23 months ago from Houston

      lol

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      DJ Anderson: Thanks so much for your positive "review." Nothing can be proved about the existence of Jesus, but we can speculate. Jesus and Christianity were clearly a product of their time and place.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      tilsontian: As I said in the article, I am not attempting to prove or disprove the existence of "Christ." There is no evidence for that either way. May I suggest that you do some reading from non-Christian source. The Shroud of Turin was proven to be a medieval fraud many years ago. Con men made their fortunes selling relics to the gullible. It is such a well known fraud that I would not even waste my time writing about it. I'm surprised to find that there are people who still believe it.

      As for the Bible being written by people who knew Jesus, that is totally false. There are no eye-witness accounts in the bible. The gospels were not written by the men whose names they bear and they were written long after the date Jesus' supposedly died. Whoever wrote them could not have been an eye-witness. or even have spoken to an eye witness.

      Why do you quote the bible verse about Immanuel? We are talking about Jesus. And the prophecy says a messiah will be born. At that time, there wee a lot of men claiming to be the messiah. The Jewish people had been expecting the messiah to come for centuries and no doubt through out those centuries someone or other was claiming to be that messiah.

      You could read my other hubs on this topic "Did Jesus Exist or Is It All a Myth" and "Jesus Who: The Historical Record Gives no Clue." After that , please verify the claims I make by going to objective unbiased sources.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Remember putting a link to your own hub in the comments is against the terms of service. HP will delete your comment if you do that.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Atheist Peeps

      the hub summed up itself here with the line....'Saying "Christ is a myth" is not something new'. ie unoriginal rehashing for no purpose.

      These are the same people who claim that even people like Shakespeare didn't exist, however like Shakespeare a few pertinent records prove he existed.

      An ignorant person merely needs to turn a blind eye to the other well documented facts such as the existence of St Paul and St Peter etc to stupidly claim JC didnt exist. How ridiculous.

      So now atheist peeps can we now hear how St Peter and St Paul didn't exist too?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine

      Interesting. You forgot one major thing! The story of the life of Jesus is contained in a book that has two parts. One is called the Old Testament and even the most liberal of scholars have dated most of to at least 600 BC (conservative ones move the date of the early part of the Bible back to around 1,400 BC but the book of Job may be older still!)

      The New Testament is actually a continuation of the old and portrays a real historical man who walked this Earth healing the sick and raising the dead. These aren't the Myths you claim but are historical records of the man Jesus.

      It is known that some of the myths you claim are actually based on the earlier Hebrew stories (eg the story of Hercules may actually be based on the earlier story of Samson bearing in mind tge story of Samson dates from around 1200 BC but Hercules from around 700 BC!)

      Mithras was the god of the Roman army and there is no way any Jew wanted to be associated with him!

      Lawrence

      Remember forvthe first 90 years Christianity was a part of Judaism and there is just no way they would do that! The Caesars did try and incorporate Jesus and the Jews into their pantheon thats what caused the rebellion of 70 AD AND 135 AD!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 23 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is an interesting hub, Catherine. I'm familiar with a lot of the information that you've presented because (as I think I've said before) I'm very interested in myths and their significance. Like you, I've explored the origins of Christanity. I think it highly likely that the Jesus character is at least partly mythical, yet I still value many of the teachings ascribed to him.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      AliciaC: Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you found this information interesting. I have degrees in psychology ans sociology and I find it fascinating to study the means and expression of myths. What needs do they fulfill. How do they take hold and spread and change.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: Christianity began as a Jewish cult, but soon split off to become a separate thing. The Jews rejected Jesus Christ as the messiah. His own people rejected him (assuming he existed; perhaps they just rejected the idea of him). Christianity diverged from Judaism and melded with the Greco-Roman religions of the day in order to appeal to the Gentiles. You claim to know so much about Christianity, but you fail to put the origins of this religion in context. Your rebuttals of my theories and facts are just quoting the Bible and Christian apologists.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: I'll try a prophecy of my own: Lawrence01 will post another comment on one of my hubs about Jesus Christ and Christianity. I further prophesize that he will quote a Bible verse.

      Others will do the same. These others will sometimes resort to outright insults and condescending remarks. I will ignore them.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 23 months ago from New York

      I have no links in my comment. I have been called away so can't answer the rest right now, but I'll be back ;)

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 23 months ago from New Zealand

      Another fascinating article Catherine. I think most atheists would say a man called Jesus probably existed in history (just like Shakespeare, St. Paul, and some of the other examples mentioned by Christians here). It's the divinity of Jesus that is in question. Your hub shows how depictions of this divinity come second hand from older religions, making Jesus's divine status improbable.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      tillsontian: The comment about putting links to your own hubs in the comments was not talking about you. Someone else did it and his comment has been deleted.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thomas Swan: Thanks for commenting. I don't know if Jesus Christ existed or not. There is no definitive proof either way. I only say that it is quite possible that he did not exist. The similarities between the gods that we call mythological and Christ/Christianity suggest Jesus Christ could have begun as just another sun-god. It's just a theory--a fascinating theory. The rites, rituals, and beliefs of Christianity may have been borrowed from other religions, but that doesn't prove anything about the existence, or even the divinity, of Jesus Christ. However, it does suggest that Christianity might have been just another mystery cult at a time when these kinds of cults were rampant. Later it became the dominant religion, and the other religions were suppressed.

    • profile image

      zadok 23 months ago

      Need to know more

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 23 months ago from New York

      After giving this more thought, I decided never argue about politics or religion with friends. I leave you with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr.

      "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

      As with all things it is open to your personal interpretation.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you, tillsontitan. I am not a fan of arguments either. I write these hubs about religion for the people who already agree with me on the issue, but they want more details or for people who have questions. I'd be happy if the devout theists never saw or read them. I enjoy researching the topics, and these hubs are very popular. I do much better with this genre than with any of the others I have tried.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 23 months ago from USA

      This was such a fascinating hub, and the particular details you present are none that I have heard much about before. I tend to shy away from religion in general but I love your approach.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      FlourishAnyway

      try reading about the life of the famous eyewitnesses who left an indelible mark on the historical record: this will immediately show the foolishness of arguments against JC's existence. Such baseless arguments are like cheap conspiracy theories; the reason for this is clearly the classic one of greed for a few dollars from yet another atheist book or online articles.

      As in the case of Shakepeare there is also a huge body of work supporting a particular individual. In JC's case a brand new philosophy based on compassion that changed the ancient and modern world to this day.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Catherine

      Ten thousand documents in Greek and Latin from the first four centuries (fragments of gospels) twenty two thousand quotes by the Apostolic fathers in the first two centuries. Even the scholars you claim to quote tell us they can rebuild the entire New Testament (except the story of the woman caught in adultery in John chapter 8)

      Then we have the historical records of the executions of not just the Apostles (and not just Roman records you will claim doctored vy the Church but Hindu and Parthian records) but of thousands of believers in the first few centuries.

      This year alone 300,000 will lose their life for their faith in Christ!

      HOW MUCH PROOF DO YOU WANT?

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Lawrence

      it doesn't matter how much obvious proof is provided, an athesit will not behave scientifically when the subject is religion; often due to personal hurts or personal vendettas. The facade of objectivity easily dissolves under any serious scientific scutiny of the historical record.

    • profile image

      Bennett Pridgen 23 months ago

      So if people die for their religion that is "proof" it is true? Does that mean Islam is true too because so many will lose their life for their faith? Surely that is "proof" Islam is true as well right?

    • profile image

      BennettPridgen 23 months ago

      Also, wasn't Mark 16:9-20 also added 100 years after the Gospel was originally written? And isn't this the book that the other 3 gospels were copied from some more years after? And isn't that the resurrection story? So that means the resurrection story so many people believe in was written some 100 years after the gospel made it's way around the cultures by some unknown person or persons.

      How much evidence needs to be shown to religious people before they view their own religion in the same way they view all the others? Why don't the same arguments that convince you of the truthfulness of your religion,convince you of the truthfulness of others? "Thousands will die for their faith in Islam". Why doesn't that convince you in the same way you think it should convince us? The koran tells us how a man got on a flying horse and went to Jerusalem and they can "prove" he went there because he described certain features in Jerusalem that he couldn't have known about otherwise. Why does that not convince you of it's "historicity"? lt even explains where man originated from and gives us "objective moral values" to follow delivered "straight from revelation". Why do these same arguments do nothing to convince you of the truthfulness of a man flying on a horse but you think they should convince us that god came down to die as a man and came back from the dead 3 days later? But "atheists" lack objectivity you say? That may be true in some cases but religion is in no way immune to it either as you can see. It actually requires a lack of objectivity to even operate properly in my opinion.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Pridgen

      entirely different topic. The hub topic is about if JC existed. Somehow certain persons are trying to now steer it away from the rocks onto another reef about divinity. This is obfuscation!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BennentPridgen Thanks for your comment and welcome to HP. you make very good points. If history had gone another way, we might all be worshiping Mithra today and calling Christianity a heresy.

    • profile image

      BennettPridgen 23 months ago

      Tyvm Catherine and thanks for having me.

      Oztinato, l was trying to show how the evidence and reasoning that is given is the same as many other religions, by depending on your perspective and special considerations given to it.

      Your comment was " an athesit will not behave scientifically when the subject is religion; often due to personal hurts or personal vendettas." and I see no contribution it had to the topic of whether Jesus existed or not either. But now that I address your claim it suddenly has no bearing on the topic. Interesting, no offense, but it makes me wonder why YOU even said it hehe.

      The reason l addressed the way the bible was written and put together is because it is used as "evidence" so often. lf we can show how the bible is flawed, then it disputes something people frequently use as "evidence". Even though, using the bible as evidence, to support the claims of the bible, is circular reasoning anyway. We have many books that claim many things, the fact that these claims exist doesn't prove they are also true. We have no reason to believe that god came to earth as a man is what l am saying, just like we have no reason to believe a man flew on a horse because another book said he did. And the evidence you claim proves your religion, could also be used to "prove" other religions as well if you made the same special considerations for it that you do for your own.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Good article thanks. But I still like that old Clarence Darrow quote: "I do not believe in God because I do not believe in Mother Goose."

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: I f only HubPages didn't insist on a minimum word count, I could have just used the Clarence Darrow quote and called it a day. Thanks for your comment. This essay does not debate the existence of Jesus per se but shows how the Jesus story is a product of its time and place. By implication, if Mithra is only a myth, then maybe Jesus is too.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      BridgetPridgen: Thanks for addressing one of the comments. I have decided not to respond to comments of people who come back over and over with diatribes. I have decided to only respond to those who make a positive contribution to the topic. That does not mean the comment can not be critical; I welcome criticism that that teaches me something or that sharpens my thinking. A couple of times I have edited my essay slightly to clarify or even correct a factual error. If you stay on HubPages you will soon learn which commentators are not worth your time.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Flourish Anyway: Thanks for your comment. I try to approach these topics on religion as an objective reporter. I think that is why they are so successful. no one likes a polemic. I don't try to persuade anyone to believe a certain way, just to explore the facts.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      lawrence01: I never thought I would be telling people not to read my hubs, but please don't read my hubs. s'm starting to feel like I should put a warning at the top of my hubs about religion. Devout People: Do not read this. you will not enjoy this and it will make you angry. You will feel compelled to refute me and then I will feel to refute your refutations. this will set up rounds of refutations and counter refutations. (If I ignore your comments, you will accuse me of being unable to defend my claims, so I will feel forced to respond so that other readers will not think that I cannot defend my claims.) I will remain mostly calm although I might get a little testy after the umpteenth round, but you are likely to totally lose it and start writing in all caps. Writing in all caps is the equivalent of shouting. It is very bad form. So for your sake and mine and because we both have better things to do with our time, do not read my hubs about religion.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Had to chime in again.

      That Lawrence01 guy deletes people's responses. No guts. If you can't win an argument, just kill it, as Lawrence01 sees it. Onward Christian soldiers...apparently dying for your cause means you are correct in your belief of His (Hers? Its?) existence.

      Historical records do not prove the existence of a God to Gods, but maybe there was a reason when Jesus was asked if he was the son of [a] God, he remained silent - in so many biblical versions.

      Anyways - keep it up. Please continue to educate us, whilst the Christian Mystics continue their death march. After all, that is their greatest philosophical achievement: the worship of death. (Oh, my - I'm being a bit blunt...)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: I did not know that a frequent commenter on my hubs about religion deletes other people's comments on his own hubs. I almost never delete comments. (Once I had to delete a comment for being anti-Semitic and a couple of times for including links to their own hubs which is against HP rules.) Other than that I let my detractor's comments stand; it actually makes me more credible for people to see the fallacious arguments and insults that they post. Thanks for your praise and support.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      PS Lawrence only presented scientific historical facts to clear up a foolish misrepresentation of fact. I don't sense any anger from him just frustration at the constant obfuscation.

      Pridgen

      the hub is about the existence of JC so other discussions are for other hubs.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Interesting CatherineGiordano - I guess Oztinato means that anyone freely expressing their beliefs...if it offends others...should have their posts deleted. It is fairly interesting since some of Oztinato's 'God' posts all very unscientific. She might consider deleting them for this reason.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Atheist Peeps

      we now have ageneral consensus here that JC did exist. I acknowledge that the Hub author has changed the hub accordingly.

      The only other question remains as to why JC was related in so many ways to the past.

      Before commencing to determine the facts there is one other issue: oral traditions. The oral traditions of say the Indigenous Australians were handed down for tens of thousands of years with incredible accuracy as shown by correct stories of ancient geological changes to the Australian coast. Therefore in the case of the New Testament the brief time of oral transmission by still living eye witnesses such as St. Paul in conjunction with actual written information make the passing on of facts highly accurate.

      Now as to the question of why some of the history of JC relates to the past can be explained by firstly an appeal to the atheist Principle of Evolution. My criticism of the lack of science in atheist anaylsis of religion is that such scientific concepts are thrown out the window in discussions about religion. The Principle of Evolution changed the way we view many phenomena and crossed over from simple biology to many other areas of science. In other words the church fathers could see the need to link JC to the historical traditions in order to convey a much newer and totally revolutionary concept of compassion (or empathy as the atheists say). To us this is not a big deal because this Christian concept has influenced all of society and law for the last 2,000 years and we take it for granted. At JCs time this "love" concept was revolutionary and hundreds of years ahead of its time. This new message bears little resemblance to anything before in human history in that entire region.

      Secondly, Carl Jung coined the term archetypes to describe a phenomena both anthropolgy and psychology noticed: the recurrence of certain types of themes or "memes" that were endemic to cultures and people widely seperate from each other. In other words there are certain subconscious and very real societal phenomena that do recur for as yet not fully understood reasons.

      Between these two reasons 1. the natural evolution of religion and attempts to steer the old to the new by early church genius', and 2. the natural occurence of unexplained archetypes, together explain all of the so called references to the past without even remotely disproving JCs existence. In fact the two topics are totally seperate.

      Of course without a scientific approach and neglecting standard scientific concepts and historical research, an alleged researcher could concoct a highly specious and foolish premise that bears no relation to science (this is usually done deliberately for notoriety or money which are both unethical and unscientific).

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I did not change the hub to say Jesus Christ existed. I have made no substantive changes to this hub at all since it was published. (I did edit to correct a typo.) I have repeatedly stated in various hubs that there is no evidence to prove anything about the existence of Jesus Christ one way or the other and said that it is odd that we don't see evidence where we would expect to see evidence. This hub discusses the similarities between earlier myths and the story of Jesus Christ and posits that these earlier stories were integrated into the story of Jesus Christ.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I will not reply to people who insult me and tell lies about me. However, I will leave their comments up for a while so that their own ignorant words will humiliate them more than any response from me every could. I think the main reason they post here is to try to gain publicity for themselves because I am a vastly more popular writer than they are. Their purpose is to bait others to view and comment on their hubs.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      If we do not respond, we lose by default. I like to light one candle and hopefully, in the process, burn mine brighter. But a warm fire, only to burn ignorance and hatred where it hides: in the jungle of lies. But...like Leonard Peikoff, I am a pessimist. I think that the Witch Doctors are on the rise. That, or the Witch Doctor-Attila combination rerun. In Iran they are one and the same.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: If you don't respond or if you delete the comment, you get accused of not being able to defend your position. I feel that the facts given in the hub are adequate refutation. but you are right--it is damned if you do and damned if you don't.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      I was thinking that after I posted last, herein.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      I have made rational scientific comments offering another point of view, no more no less. By providing an alternative view point a greater degree of honesty has been created. I see no mention of archetypes or the evolution of religion in the hub therefore I have mentioned it to add science to the debate. There is no reason to leave out rational science from the analysis. If the debate is for "atheists only" it makes no sense to have a comments section. I have not labelled anyone a "troll" or used hate speech but I note I have been subjected to such aspersions by the author in the past. What are objective viewers to think if debate is constantly shut down and if only self congratulation is shown? My personal income comes from freelance art and music therefore HP is not a popularity contest to me at all. By using historical scientific facts I am hoping to add substance to the debate and to clear up very cloudy assertions.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 23 months ago from New Zealand

      Archetypes can easily be explained in terms of our evolved cognitive biases. We're all born with innate dispositions and ways of looking at the world that shape cross-cultural phenomena in common ways. This must partly be why many religions appear similar. However, the level of similarity between myths about Jesus' divinity and prior myths is too high to be attributed to archetypes. There isn't a cognitive mechanism that tells people to celebrate the birth of their deity on December 25th. This can only have been plagiarism.

      Similarly, a Great Flood may actually have happened (just as Jesus may have existed), but the story of Noah's ark and divine action was clearly plagiarized from the Epic of Atrahasis because sections of it are identical. Sequences of words aren't stored in our genes, but a disposition for religious interpretation of notable events within particular constraints probably is.

      Regardless, archetypes don't even support what you're suggesting. In fact, they argue against it because they're creations of the human unconscious. The more you develop the argument, the less you see religion as requiring a deity, and the more you see it as a mundane delusion fabricated by our cognitive biases.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Catherine Giordano: thanks for allowing me to post here. And you are probably right, some Hubbers, reject any form of rational discussion on the grounds that, allegedly, it is not 'on topic'. I'll no longer think about them.

      It reminds me when my son was very young, folding his arms at the dinner table, staring...saying "No Daddy, No pinish." Lower lip sticking out. Defiant.

      "But spinach is good for you. Don't you like Popeye the Sailor Man? He's strong and brave!"

      Stare. Mouth firmly clamped shut. But barely nods about Popeye.

      "How about some cookies?"

      Happy nods.

      "Then eat your spinach."

      Stares. Then eats it. Holding his nose. Watery eyes. Swallows. Looks at the cookie jar. Waits.

      I give him his cookies.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you Thomas Swan for your information about archetypes. I discussed the issue briefly in my hub "Did Jesus Exist or Is It All a Myth." You make very good point about archetypes proving that Christianity is a myth. They predate Christianity and are evident in myths that go back to the beginnings of history and are found in every culture. The Christ story shares those archetypes.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: I like you story about Popeye. maybe one day, people will think Popeye was a real person. Maybe Popeye will be the central figure of a religion. The sacraments will include the eating of spinach. Followed by milk and cookies.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Thomas

      archetypes are a part of the answer. Carl Jung was a deeply spiritual person who claimed certain archetypes belonged to the human soul. The church fathers realised that a few past spiritual images needed to be included to make people understand the unique new message. Religion was and is evolving to a better form suited to the social environment. It is a combination of these two factors that explains why JC was related to the past. He himself often spoke of the Judaic past and His relation to it. The resulting new testament changed the course of history. The writers put the work in their own historical context. Libraries are filled with dissertations on this topic so a tiny hub can't even begin to cover this. Divinity is a totally different discussion.

      A cartoon character or a fictional Gandalf are not real historical personages who changed history and culture!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Another excellent hub, Catherine! Definitely food for thought for those who wish to more comprehensively examine the question of Jesus' existence.

      Incidentally, I happen to suspect that a human named Jesus DID exist about that time, if only for the reason that it's much more likely that a religious cult formed around an actual person (or perhaps an amalgam of multiple persons) than around a complete myth. That said, the actual historical evidence for Jesus' existence is almost non-existent, and there is absolutely NO evidence that he was in any way divine.

      -------

      Oz, you haven't merely "made rational scientific comments offering another point of view." From what I can see, what you've mostly done is made repeated accusations about the supposed greed and obstinacy of atheists.

      Yet, predictably, you've actually offered NO compelling evidence for the historical existence of Jesus of Nazareth. Let's see it...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Some people have been using my comments section to write off-topic polemics--sometime they post very long comments 3, 4, and 5 times a day. I have suggested that they save that material for their own hub, but they keep coming back to put them here. Some of my readers have mentioned that they read the comments, and I'm sure they don't want to have to slog through a lot of off-topic comments. They also use my comments to try to promote their own hubs which is totally unnecessary since HP lists "Related Hubs" on every page.. Those types of comments have been deleted. Don't waste your time posting them anymore--they will be deleted. Comments that are on topic are welcomed even if they are critical or refutations. I often learn from my readers.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Cath

      cudos as off topic comments are an anathema. I will continue to post pertinent scientific comments.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      You mean "scientific comments" like this? --

      "...it doesn't matter how much obvious proof is provided, an athesit will not behave scientifically when the subject is religion; often due to personal hurts or personal vendettas. The facade of objectivity easily dissolves under any serious scientific scutiny of the historical record..."

      So, again, where is your "obvious proof?"

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      once again there was ample historical proof provided by another hubber but it has been deleted. If I provide the same proof it will probably be deleted again. Stifling debate is not scientific

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      CatherineG:

      History aside, correct me if I am wrong, but don't scientific arguments require more than mere witness statements, not to prove that JC ever existed in his many incarnations, but that he was a son of a God. That one is a bit more difficult, is it not?

      To prove JC walked the earth does not validate his divinity. Is that not what we are asked to believe? In Mother Goose?

      We have a local pastor who has (had?) photographs in his church of little angels floating over his shoulder as he gave a sermon. We were told just to 'believe'. Those photographs were his evidence. They hung in the doorway where you would pass as you entered his church. His congregation grew. The Church was in Tangerine, Florida. It was over 100 years old, if memory serves. The pastor was from England, if I'm not mistaken. Does this prove something? It certainly made the pastor a few bucks.

      I attest, under the penalty of law, that the above words are true and correct to the best of my knowledge, that I have witnessed them electronically digitize before my very eyes at the time/date given by Hubpages, so help me, me.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, I don't know who this other hubber was (though I have my suspicions), and I don't know what the nature of this supposed "proof" is that he or she posted. However, Catherine has clearly stated that it was deleted because it linked to another hub -- something that she obviously does not wish posted in the comments of her hubs.

      So, all you have to do is provide this "obvious proof" without the link to another hub, and you'll be fine!

      So let's see it...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: I am concerned that some of my readers who may not know very much yet will read false information in the comments and take it for truth. So I have to refute it. This was taking up too much of my time especially when the comments were off topic. So I decided to delete them. People can make their own case for their beliefs in their own hubs.

      I also felt that some people were just using me to try to get attention for their hubs. So I am deleting comments which contain links to their own hubs.

      Those types of comments are not contributing to the conversation, especially when the comment 10 times saying pretty much the same thing every time.

      HubPages TOS says comments are not to be used to promote your own hubs.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: I never believed that Jesus Christ was a god, but I always thought he existed as a man. However, the more I research this issue the more convinced I am that there was never such a person. The whole thing is a fabrication. I'm not saying someone sat down and made up the whole story. It appears to have developed the way most myths do, building upon earlier stories with things added and deleted over time until we have an entirely new myth. Unlike biological evolution, a myth can evolve into a new "species" quite rapidly.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Catherine, if Oz presents his "obvious proof" for the historical existence of Jesus, I'll be more than happy to critically examine it on everyone else's behalf.

      If it's the same old half-baked references to Josephus and Tacitus we've both surely seen a hundred times, then I'll go through the motions, once again, and explain them to the uninitiated. However, if it's something new and compelling, then I'm sure we'll all have something to gain in the process!

      Of course, we'll never know until Oz replies...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: In my hub "Jesus Who" The Historical Record Gives No Clue" I address the Jospheus , Tacitus, etc. "proofs."

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I'll be sure to check that out when I have time. Thanks!

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      CatherineG: Was doing some fun research on this and discovered some interesting things. Some of this may be repetitive, but...

      There is a lecturer from Australia named Ralph Lataster (University of Sydney). He has made a lot of good points. He talks about their being no independent witnesses, implications that Paul's Epistles ruling out 'human' sources as verification and no eye-witnesses contemporary accounts of Jesus. This is pretty strong 'evidence' and even the Roman Scholar named Josephus and the Historian Tacitus, were about 100 years latter than the alleged Jesus. Recently Bart D. Ehrman and Maurice Casey attempted to prove the existence of Jesus (wrote books on the subject) but according to Lataster, they often rely upon the Gospels. The Gospels, Lataster indicates, are have numerous non-existent sources and are untrustworthy.

      Lataster is a Dudeist Priest.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldin

      Are you and others saying that St Peter never existed? or any of the apostles? That alone is the stuff of conspiracy theories. The recent history of the Hub shows deletes of others hard work. Would you spend a lot of time logging reams of info knowing it will be deleted? I actually work for a living and dont spend 90% of my life on HP.

      So please tell us all if you believe St Peter and the apostles never existed?

      What about other religious leaders like Buddha or Muhammad? All just a conspiracy?

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Nice try at the ol' 'bait and switch,' Oz. But I'm still waiting for your evidence for the historical evidence of Jesus.

      I'm not asking for "reams" of info, just a tiny portion of the "thousands" of pieces you've claim exists. I don't spend 90% of my life on HubPages, either, but I can wait...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: I have asked Oz and Lawrence01 (and others) to put their reams of information into their own hubs. You can then comment there. I don't like to have reams of off-topic information here because my readers don't want to have to slog through it trying to find something that is relevant.

      Any book written about the "real" Jesus, including Erhman's book, is nothing but speculation, not history. That's why the books disagree with each other in major ways. The Gospels and books of the Bible are definitely not historical records. The stories are not factual, but rather, they are allegory and metaphor to describe the nature of the "Divine." Add to that, they were written not by eyewitnesses, but by unknown authors as much as hundreds of years after the time of the supposed events. (Different dates are given.) If an author is unknown there is no way to evaluate his credibility. The only author that we know is St. Paul, and only about half of the books in the Bible that are credited to him were actually written by him. I have read that writing using someone else's name was quite common in those times and was seen as totally appropriate.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Understood, with apologies to Oz.

      However, if Oz wishes to continue to insist that there are 'thousands' of pieces of evidence for Jesus' historical existence, I look forward to him composing his own hub on the subject. Or, if he wishes, he can present it on any of my hubs ("The Missing Messiah" would be an excellent fit).

      I have no problem with people posting large comments on my hubs, as long as they're not simply cutting and pasting from some other website. Still, I prefer they present their 'evidence' or arguments one by one, so they can be examined more comprehensively, in detail. If one is truly interested in genuine debate, that is the way to proceed.

      The only time I've had to draw the line was when one mutual acquaintance of ours tried to copy and paste a comment of more than 4,000 words on one of my hubs. It's one of the only two times I've ever deleted someone's comments on my hubs (the other was when someone tried to publish their poetry on one of my hubs, after I specifically (and politely) asked him not to do so).

      Not only is copying and pasting large theses in comments incredibly annoying and lazy, it smacks of a dishonest attempt to present such an overwhelming amount of text that the average person simply doesn't have time to assess and respond to it all. Naturally, this leaves many of the points unchallenged and, presumably, therefore correct.

      This is actually a common trick among creationists during debates, and there's even a name for it -- the "Gish gallop" (named for creationist Duane Gish, who would present such a long litany of falsehoods and misrepresentations of evolution that his opponent would spend all his alloted time trying to refute them, and not actually have a chance to put forth their own debate position).

      So, I invite Oz -- time allowing, of course -- to present some of his 'evidence' for Jesus' historical existence on any of my hubs he chooses, though "Missing Messiah" would certainly be the most appropriate.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thanks Paladin. I'm just out of patience with people who post off-topic comments and restate the same idea over and over as if mere repetition could make their fallacious arguments true.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldin

      I note there has been no response to the eyewitness evidence of the apostles or to the veracity of their existence. The only reason I have repeated it is because no one has bothered to respond yet they keep asking for evidence.

      When I get a response I will forward another then another piece of evidence based on established atchaeology.

      I note also no response to the value of oral tradition as stated above.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Fine, Oz. But if we're going to accept the "eyewitness" accounts of the apostles, you're going to have to demonstrate two things:

      -- First, that the apostles actually EXISTED!

      -- Second, that, if they did exist, their accounts are historically or factually accurate.

      All you're doing is making your own task more complicated. But I'm game if you are. (Just remember that we'll have to do it somewhere else).

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 23 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Paladin

      I would be happy for you to visit the three hubs I wrote on the subjects you are debating. They pertain to the historical evidence for Jesus, the gospels and some of the Apostles (I didn't cover Peter or Paul because I expected that their existence was never in doubt!).

      You'll find the links on my profile.

      Lawrence

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 23 months ago from Japan

      You claim Mithra was called the "Way" and "the Truth and the Light". What text is this from?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      There are no eyewitness accounts by anyone, not the disciples or any other apostles.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      CatherineG:

      I guess some people want to discredit source material now. The Mithra "Myth" is well documented from texts much older than the many bibles regarding the Christ stories. Maybe they should try Google? Wikipedia?

      The point is that the "Mithra" myth parallels the Jesus story as if the Romans stole the story from earlier culture in the Middle East. In fact, as is pointed out repeatedly in any college level history of religion course (Level 101) in the United States, the Jesus story, under many difference names and cultures, was often repeated, with some minor tweaks here and there.

      Look to the sky...you will see Him. He is called the "Sun" of God. Sun...not Son. And there began the weaving of the myth...according to many an educated mythologist, historian, and rational humans in general.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jamie Banks: Mithra was a sun god. You can find information about his various names here. http://www.truthbeknown.com/mithra.htm

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: Mithra was a sun god, but we need to keep in mind that only in English are "sun" and "son" homonyms. When Jesus is called the "Son of God," it is a metaphor just like when we say things like "We are all the children of god" or "Heavenly Father."

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      The Sun of God and the Sun God, are interchangeable, but arguable, sure. It's the solar deity myth, essentially. "I am the light of the world", "the morning light" , "his face shown like the sun". The Horus-Jesus connection. It is very difficult to ignore so many myths as not being related.

      The ancients, I'll wager, looked to sun, planets, and stars and made up nice stories to tell their children. Things evolved from there. I'm going out on a limb here. No independent witnesses. Just big pyramids, documents and glyphs, which predate Moses (unless he to is a repeated myth).

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldin

      if people actually think the apostles never existed and that JC never existed or that St Paul never existed or that early house chapels didn't exist etc etc they are claiming a conspiracy.

      Once again I work for a living and am very busy with back to back gigs so I dont have time to argue with conspiracy theorists.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Methinks the Lady doth protest too much. Did you hear that Horus, Ra, Atum, Osiris, Shamash, Rigong Riguang Pusa? You are all conspiracies! Your scriptures, your temples, your ruins, your history all - never existed! In conclusion, Jesus Christ, you are the one true God Son. Isn't this "hate speech" against all other religions? To assert that Jesus is the one? Let me ask a Muslim. (He said yep.) Sorry, I don't know how to ask a Buddhist - they just keep talking about the "oneness". Kinda vague.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: Moses may be a myth also along with the whole Exodus thing. I haven't researched it yet, but I have heard that some make those claims. Not too long ago there was a report from archeologists. No artifacts were found on the route. A group of that size would have left traces of their journey.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Oz: I appreciate that you are very busy. Please, you needn't spend any more of your precious time arguing with conspiracy theorists. That will also save me the time I currently waste arguing with conspiracy theorists.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      So, if I don't wish to admit I'm wrong (about evidence, or whatever), all I have to do is point out that someone is skeptical about multiple items in a particular topic, call it a "conspiracy," and say I'm too busy to discuss it (though, apparently not too busy to make my claims in the first place -- repeatedly)?

      What didn't I think of that?!!!

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Ayn Rand called it a "Blank Out". When anyone questions their love of any particular God, Savior, or Prophet...then you should banished to the boiling pits of Hades or Iceland. Both are a bit hot in certain areas.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Ok we have established that atheists here believe JC was a conspiracy. This is what I suspected. No ones going to "burn in hell" but scientific research will be presented.

      Pldn

      when I get some time off I will send you a personal link via your fan mail re archaeology. One piece of evidence at a time.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 23 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Since nothing in archeology dsys anything about a historical Jesus, but lots about his followers over time, this should be interesting. I wasn't aware that finding links that you already have and know exist was too time consuming, though. It takes me less than a minute.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      JMcFarland: Archeology can show that Christianity existed, but it won't show that Christ existed. If this proof existed, don't you think it would be such big news that no one could have missed it.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      How did anyone establish that atheists here believe JC was a conspiracy? I'm just exploring the possibilities. There are many. I am are not a closed-minded convert with 'the' answers. Looking for only one thing. I'm afraid it's not that simple. I'm looking for what ever answers present themselves.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Actually, Oz, you haven't 'established' anything.

      As for providing a link, I'm perfectly willing to investigate whatever 'evidence' you can point to. Still, it would be better to hear you express it in your own words -- if only to be convinced that you actually comprehend its implications, and aren't just citing it because it appears to agree with your theology.

      I don't say this to be condescending or insulting but, you may recall, we've been down this road before, with Gödel's ontological theorem -- which, you fully admitted -- you don't understand, yet you repeatedly cited it as "proof" of God's existence.

      So, while I'd like to hear it in your own words, I suppose a link is a start...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      it previously took me a dozen or more patient posts before you even began to slowly realise you had two of Godel's theorems all mixed up!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Yes, Oz. But that only demonstrates the VAST difference between your approach and mine. I was (and am still) willing to admit my ignorance and learn, where you apparently aren't -- at least, you have yet to demonstrate it.

      For example, once I heard of Godel's theorems, I investigated both of them -- especially his ontological theorem. I spent weeks comprehensively analyzing it, ultimately writing a hub examining it in detail, point by point, even offering simpler translations of Gödel's tortured syntax so others could grasp its meaning more easily.

      You, on the other hand, never even attempted to examine it. Even though you admitted repeatedly you don't understand it (even though I posted it word for word in my hub), you readily accepted it as "proof" -- solely because you believe it supports your belief in God.

      I suspect this is also the case with your so-called "obvious evidence" for the historical existence of Jesus. I'm guessing that you simply found something somewhere on the internet that appears to support your presuppositions, and didn't even bother to comprehensively (and OBJECTIVELY) examine it on your own. This would explain your reluctance thus far to reiterate it here...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      The historical so called primary source evidence for Shakespeare's existence is slim: a few entries in an account book, a relative or two, a modest tomb etc. His unique body of work of course is proof. If we look at St Peters tomb and compare it to Shakespeare's for example we can see proof of his existence. Why is one believed in and one doubted: prejudicial mindsets.

      I don't sense the astounding terminal arrogance in you as certain others here, just a lot of enthusiasm and too much time on your hands. Yes you sometimes admit error which is good.

      .

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Ah, the Shakespeare Conspiracy. As the alleged bard sayeth: "in the name of Jesu Christ, speak fewer."

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Jg

      I certainly know Shakespeare existed. Not sure if you understood my point.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, for someone who makes snide comments about others having "too much time" on their hands, you certainly seem to be doing a lot of talking. Thus far, you've posted 17 comments on this hub. I've posted 11.

      Yet, strangely, in all those posts -- and despite repeated requests -- you STILL don't appear to have the time to provide the "obvious proof" for Jesus' historical existence, even after promising to send me a link more than a day ago. I wonder why that is...

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      this is the only hub I am currently checking as it's important to clear things up. I keep mentioning evidence but either no one responds to it or it gets deleted etc. See above.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 23 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Ozzy,

      Your point was absent a valid premise. The Bard had many contemporary witnesses. Jesu? None. And yet the world has much evidence, bones even, of man and beast within the alleged time frame of the Great Jesu, as the Bard hath so labeled. This is a great conundrum. To find contemporary writings, tablets, art, temples...but minus the Jesu. Some indicate that this was because, at the time, historians did not record the lives minor priests, especially one later executed as a common criminal. This being the case, one would simply have to take it on faith, that the Great Jesu existed, and was not a fable told to children...to give them false hope...and instruct everyone to make sure to pay taxes to the Romans. 'Tis a grand old mystery...is it not? That naughty Titus destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Maybe he erased all the evidence then?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: You bring up a good point. Jesus is purposrted to had said 'render unto to Caesar..." The Jesus fable must have come in quite handy for the Roman emperors around tax time.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 23 months ago from Japan

      Thank you for your reply. I am often suspicious of the wording "the way, the truth and the light" since that combination is not found in the Bible.

      What I don't understand is why people would go outside the Bible for sources when the vast majority of the New Testament is composed of allusions to the Hebrew text. The miracles of Jesus, for example, allude to previous Biblical miracles - I don't see any reason to bring up miraculous tales found in other religions. The celibacy of Catholic Priests can be directly traced back to, once more, internal sources - that of Paul's epistles.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Jg/cath

      as I said there are people here getting into an unscientific sensationalist "dan brown" type conspiracy theory here that doesn't bear up to archaelogical scrutiny at all.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Here are some sensationalist conspiracies about Shakespeare's non existence

      http://www.newsweek.com/2014/12/26/campaign-prove-...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jamie Banks: And where did Paul get the idea for celibacy. I have also heard that the priests of Mithra were all celibate. Seems to be a common theme in ancient religions.

      The Bible is not a source. It is what is being debated.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 23 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I'm sorry, was this a hub about the historicity of Shakespeare? If people are arguing against the premise bit continually change the subject with wild accusations and of topic links, it's an indication that they don't have the "scientific" evidence they're so insistent about. How is it that time is found for finding links about Shakespeare, but after days there is no time for finding links for Jesus?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 23 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Oz: Please don't discuss Shakespeare here. There are plenty of hubs about Shakespeare where you can discuss that. I know that you are making the point that if I think Jesus didn't exist, I should also think Shakespeare didn't exist. It is not the same thing at all. I won't go into it because it is off topic. Whether or not Shakespeare existed has nothing to do with Jesus.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you have time to make multiple posts about Shakespeare, even posting a link to an article about Shakespeare conspiracies, but don't have time to post a link for your "obvious proof" of Jesus' existence?

      Your Shakespeare link didn't get deleted, and I've told you REPEATEDLY that I would examine whatever 'evidence' you provide, and STILL you're making excuses for not providing at least one link regarding Jesus.

      Please, put up or shut up! You're just making yourself look foolish!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 23 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      I have put numerous points forward as any impartial viewer can see but there are no responses to those points ( they just claim no points were made). St Peters tomb was the last of several truisms. The only time I spend here is on "bathroom" breaks.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Actually, Oz, you HAVEN'T put numerous points forward. You've only made vague assertions for which you're not willing to provide any evidence -- with the notable exception of your comments regarding Shakespeare, which isn't even relevant to the hub topic!

      Surely, if you have enough time on your bathroom break to post links about Shakespeare, you have enough time to send that link regarding the "obvious proof" for Jesus' existence.

      Still, I'm a fair-minded person, and I'm willing to wait. So, when you get the chance, please send it to me.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 23 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      And when you get it, Paladin, please send it to me. :-)

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 23 months ago from Japan

      "The Bible is not a source. It is what is being debated."

      That's exactly why the sudden reference to Catholic priests is hard to grasp. It's really outside your main point which is that the Bible is influenced by outside sources. The Bible IS a source for Catholic priests.

      And as for the source of celibacy. The idea of "not doing something sexual" for God is also in the Hebrew Bible. And virginity was held up in high esteem. It's not peculiar to Judaism but that doesn't mean Christians borrowed from outside the Bible.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 23 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Will do, J. But don't hold your breath...

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      I have not been a practicing catholic since age 17 but as far as I remember they have their own version of the Bible. You will never find one in their pews maybe a hymnal or donation envelope but not a Bible. Everything man made is just that ... made by man with all of the human aspirations and limitations that that brings. Everything that God made is indeed good. Century after century the bible survives. "My words will never pass away."

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Damain10: How do you know your God exists?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jaime Banks 99: I'm not saying celibacy came from the other mystery cults; just noting the coincidence. personal I prefer fertility cults. Denying ones sexuality is not healthy. Sexuality it life affirming and should be celebrated.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Atheist Peeps

      a good teacher leads his students into answering their questions by providing analogies and comparisons. Tombs and letters for example provide primary source proof people existed.

      Still no response about St Paul's tomb by those claiming no evidence exists. You can find it online; it has a very large monument and huge building above it. St Paul=eyewitness. Get it?

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Witch Doctor Peeps:

      The pyramids are older. Does that also prove Ra's existence. Praise be onto him.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Typo: St Peters tomb.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Oz: St. Paul was not an eyewitness and he never claimed to be. I don't know if there is a St. Paul's tomb or not, but even if there is, what does that have to do with the mythic origins of Christianity?

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Jgbird ... I guess I just believe. Kind of like our planet is perfectly placed near the sun.. Not too close not too far. We breathe in oxygen which trees and plants give off. The whole gravity thing. I am not sure exactly what a human is supposed to be looking for from God Almighty. Perhaps it is not supposed to be easy. I do not know I can just tell you that I feel Him. You guys seem to want proof. That kind of sounds like doubting Thomas. I am sure you do not want to be compared to a biblical reference. God bless always.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Folks

      Catherine is right about Paul not claiming to be an eyewitness. There is a Tomb of St Paul under St Paul's Basilica in Rome a few hundred meters from St Peters Tomb (located under St Peter's Basilica and you can actually get to see the Tomb).

      Damian. You are talking about the 'fine tuning of the universe' argument which every Physicist on the planet agrees that our universe is fine tuned to sustain life on Earth.

      Most don't like the idea and some have invented the Hypotheses (because they are unproven ideas and they admit they are unlikely to ever prove them) of alternate universes so that they can keep the idea of it all being by 'chance' (which even Quantum physics disproves I'm discovering!). Lee Strobel has a great book on the subject called "Case for a creator"

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jghoresbird

      The great pyramid was built by Cheops of the fourth dynasty! The second one was built by Khephren (sixth dynasty) and the Sphynx was originally his. Ra had nothing to do with the bulding of them!

      By the way, the first pyramid ever (in Egypt at least) was built in the first dynasty by a man (later deified) called Imhotep a Canaanite "prime minister" of one of the pharaoahs whose story bears striking resemblance to Joseph!

      Lawrence

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Peeps

      I corrected the typo (see above)

      : St Peters tomb proves easy verification of an important eye witness.

      There are people here verifying ancient egyptian personages with far less proof of their existence. Hypocrisy perhaps?

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      I Agree with that

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Cath

      there has been an uniformed attempt on this hub to link JC to pure myth and to make claims of his non existence. It should be abundantly clear to all that the relevance of primary source evidence has a crucial bearing to this topic.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      The existence of Peters tomb says nothing about whether or not Jesus existed. It's a tomb. There are millions of them. The writings of Peter may be, if we had any - but the authorship of the Peterine epistles is debated by biblical scholars - not atheists, mind you, but biblical scholars, the majority of which are understandably Christian.

      ^ 'Most scholars believe that 1 Peter is pseudonymous (written anonymously in the name of a well-known figure) and was produced during postapostolic times.' Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 352

      ^ 'Virtually no authorities defend the Petrine authorship of 2 Peter, which is believed to have been written by an anonymous churchman in Rome about 150 C.E.' Harris, Stephen L., Understanding the Bible. Palo Alto: Mayfield. 1985. p. 354.

      Since we have no indisputable writings from Peter, anything he may have to say about the existence of Jesus is unknown, and therefore irrelevant to the conversation at hand. Next.

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      That would depend on your view of how Mark's gospel came about as there are still scholars who defend the view that Mark was Peter's secratary and wrote Peters account of the life if Jesus.

      The gospel itself doesn't identify the writer but there are many good arguments to accept it is just that.

      Lawrence

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Good arguments based on what, exactly? That's a hypothesis that has absolutely no evidence. It does not, for example, contain passages that you'd think Peter would remember, like "on this rock i will build my church". But it's absent from Mark, but present in Matthew. Curious, isn't it? Mark makes no claims as to its authorship or its sources whatsoever.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, your comments are now nothing but a joke. Once again, you're talking about the "relevance of primary source evidence," yet you STILL refuse to provide any, despite repeated requests -- along with your promise to send me at least one link, more than two days ago.

      Please, just go away, and let the grownups talk.

      At least Lawrence attempted to provide what could be considered genuine 'evidence' for Jesus' supposed historical existence! Though his comments and link were, unfortunately, deleted, I'm presuming he linked to his hub "Jesus, Fact Or Fiction?"

      I visited the hub, and the 'evidence' presented therein is rather unconvincing. Of the list of five historical references it cites -- only ONE (Josephus) refers specifically to Jesus (not Christians or Christianity in general), and one doesn't refer to Christians OR Jesus! Another (Suetonius) makes a brief reference to "Chrestus," but refers to someone who was 'instigating' the Jews to make disturbances -- contrary to the portrayal of Jesus in the NT.

      Of course, the hub omits the fact that all these references are decades AFTER the events to which they supposedly refer. While this doesn't invalidate their authenticity (as much of history is written after the fact), it's compounded by the further omission that NONE of the historians who DID live in Jesus' supposed time took notice of him!

      Incidentally, Lawrence, you are quite mistaken when you assert that "every Physicist on the planet agrees that our universe is fine tuned to sustain life on Earth." To the contrary, I would wager that most physicists would agree that our immense and chaotic universe isn't "fine tuned" to sustain ANYTHING, let alone life!

      That said, Catherine has made it clear that tangential discussions must be taken outside the hub, so if you wish to contest this, we'll have to go to the forum or find another hub. In any case, I thought that was an important point to make.

      As for St. Peter's tomb, if I recall correctly from my own visit to the Vatican, it's nothing more than a bunch of bones stuffed in a wall. It could be the remains of Peter, or it could be the remains of some unfortunate homeless person. As others have noted, a tomb doesn't prove anything!

      Further, it should be pointed out (lest we forget) that nobody has actually disproven the many similarities between the Jesus myth and other myths that predated it -- which is ACTUALLY what this hub is about, NOT the literal historical existence of Jesus!

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Great information in the Hub thus far!

      Lawrence01: I'm still sticking with my New Sun-God Ra Theory. To state that the Great Ra did not inspire the building or perhaps the maintenance of the Great Pyramids is historical blasphemy! But you can call him Horus, Amun, or Jesus. The pyramids, predating The Great Jesus by 3000 years, during the Second Dynasty or earlier, surely affirms that He (Ra) is the one true Jesus myth or thereabouts. Maybe I need to check with the Aztecs or the Ancient Chinese. Oh my. Too many Sun God (Jesus) Myths abound! Where is the one true myth?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Another great hub, Catherine! By the way, astronomers recently discovered an earth-like planet--its year is 385 days--1400 light years away from earth. It's in the correct orbit to sustain life and is suspected to have water on it in some form. I wonder what kind of Gods and zealots may exist there? :)

    • lawrence01 profile image

      Lawrence Hebb 22 months ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

      Jghoresbird

      Sorry. I didn't mean to offend. I was just laying out the historical facts as I kbew them. They were built as Mauseleums and in themselves are an incredible achievement. The earliest known pyramid is the step pyramid at Sakkara and is for Djoser but built by Imhotep the "prime minister" of his time but even this is undergoing re-dating at the moment as archaeologists have realized that they had some of the pharoahs wrong and two or three dynasties may have ruled at the same time thus shortening the time of tge pharaohs considerably!

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      The bottom line still is that you have not proved or for that matter disproved anything at all. References ( albeit human ones ) from 2000 years ago which do not include Jesus do not prove He did not exist. Political pressures and difficulties would have been quite different from today. Technology was certainly quite different. What if He is exactly who He says HE is? According to the bible He will be the one at the judgment table and your answer is going to be , "Well you see there was this website that said ..." Hmm I wonder how that will go over? HE evidently thinks He has done enough and does not have to prove anything. Ah the faith of a mustard seed.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Some here are claiming that Earth is finely tuned to support life and that is why life exists on it. I think the idea that Earth was created to be "just right" for humans is called the anthropomorphic fallacy. The truth is if Earth were different, there would be a different type of life or no life at all. Humans are not the end-goal of the universe--we are incidental. There may be other kinds of life in the universe and maybe right now they are marveling at how everything was created to be just right for them.

      Here's an interesting thought. Maybe God's chosen ones are the bacteria. There are more bacteria on earth than anything else. Humans are just here because we are hosts for bacteria. This is not my original theory. I think Stephen Jay Goulding said it. I heard it on a TV interview many years ago.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      So Randy ... How do we get to this inhabitable planet? Sounds like a good vacation spot.

      J Mc. You are quoting books written in 1985?

      J bird. Sun Gods?

      With all due respect I am starting to wonder what is the real myth.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Peeps

      I note that no serious response has been given re St Peter's tomb only yet another conspiracy theory.

      jgshore

      you might not realise that Imhotep was a real person not a "god".

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I believe that all the pharaohs were thought to be gods.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      The man you are referring to is Stephen Jay Gould... :S

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      About celibacy, a "carryover" and a "coincidence" are two concepts totally at odds with each other. Can you clarify what your stance is please?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jamie Banks: Thanks for correcting me on Stephen Jay Gould. As for your other question, I pointed out similarities. I don't know if some aspects of the cult of Attis became part of Christianity or not? Do you know? Can you offer definitive proof one way or the other? Maybe it is only a coincidence. but when there are too many coincidences it starts to look like evidence.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I didn't realize that quoting actual biblical scholars was a conspiracy of any kind. Not did i realize that the existence of Peters tomb proved in any way that someone else entirely existed. What kind of serous response would you like to see, oz? The tomb does not prove Jesus any more than your existence proves my existence. When you provide some sort or relevant, serious proof that is actually related to the topic we're all trying to discuss, maybe we'll get somewhere. Until then, why bother with all this bs? We've gone from Shakespeare to Peters tomb. Do you have anything at all on topic, or are you just wasting everyone's time?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      @Damian--If civilization lasts long enough here I believe we will eventually solve the problem of space travel to other galaxies., but probably not soon. The mere vastness of space and millions--if not billions or more-galaxies pretty much guarantees the existence of many such inhabitable planets.

      After all, comets and asteroids can carry bacteria across vast distances in space and more than likely it was how earth's life forms came to be.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Catherine....Once again I must compliment your work. Your articles are clearly fascinating as well as educational. I'm impressed with your impeccable research. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this particular hub.

      It would be so nice to read through the comment section w/o having to skip over the clutter and litter left behind by the street barkers. (In the City where I worked (a bad section of the City) there were pathetic, drug & alcohol laden, shabby old men. Here & there on the streets they screeched out verses from the Bible, repeating themselves to an annoying fault.. I would sometimes bring them food. To feed them, yes....also to shut them up for a while! Poor things, their brains had been long ago eaten up by their addictions.)

      I'm sorry to say that scrolling through some comment sections brings back those sad, unpleasant memories. I'm relieved to know that you leave certain bizarre comments up "only temporarily." It is important to help expose those who have so much garbage to share, but are much too lazy to compose their own Hubs. How ignorant and assuming of them to use YOUR site to spew THEIR trash. I understand why you continually need to remind them how to behave.

      Once again, thank you for a fabulous read, Catherine.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      fpherj48: Thank you so much for your compliments and support. Funny yu should mention "street barkers." Today I was thinking that if Jesus did exist--but without the miracles and "multitudes"--he would have been akin to the guys that preach on street corners as everyone walks by them ignoring them.

      I sometimes think these pesky gadflys are trying to drive me away. More than once I have felt like I can't take their "pestering" any more, maybe I will just quit. I also considered just not reading comments any more, but then I would have missed your delightful comment.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Peeps

      i am waiting for the penny to drop in certain people's minds. I have drawn insightful analogies to hopefully aid the penny dropping process. Primary evidence means such things as tombs and letters. If we contradict primary evidence we're on the conspiracy road.

      PS imhotep was an architect and genius similar to da vinci.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      But primary evidence for one person is not primary evidence for someone completely different. The existence of Peters tomb says nothing about Jesus. I'm not sure why this is not getting through to you, although i suspect it's intentional. Does your existence prove my existence? Would the existence of your tomb prove i exist?

      Aside from tradition, what evidence is there that Peter is buried in Peters tomb, as he was allegedly executed as a criminal by the Romans, and criminals were not given burials commonly. What does that have to do with the existence of Jesus, aside from the gospels claims that Peter and Jesus were connected, since the bible cannot be used to prove the bible, which is circular logic.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      Catherine: I can’t understand what your position is. Either you were “just noting the coincidence” between Attis and Catholicism (as you said in your previous comment) or it is “evidence” as you are now suggesting. Can you make it clear whether you think it is just coincidence (in which case why mention it?) or real evidence (in which case why say you were just noting the coincidence?)? I’m happy to answer after that. Thanks! :)

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      JMcF

      This is why I have been drawing connections to other historical personages who only have a few primary sources to back up their actual existence ie. people who knew them, a few logs in an account book, their tomb etc.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      You're drawing those connections poorly. The existence of one person who may or may not have known this other person does not in any way, significantly or not, prove the existence of the other person. For someone who claimed an over abundance of evidence, you are falling far short of demonstrating your claim. It's not surprising, but it is a little humorous.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      It is the tip of the iceberg: letters written by contemporaneous people, sites visited by others who established the first churches, 12 famous witnesses to events (including Paul/Saul)..the list of primary source evidence is very long. By pointing the way to scientific reasoning I was hoping my "students" here would work it out for themselves. eg why believe in people and events that have far less primary source documentation than JC? It shows an "intellectual" prejudice to solely religion.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      JB....Now here's a coincidence for you!! I can't seem to understand what YOUR position is either! Other than the obvious,( that being you are obtrusively brash) precisely what are your intentions here on HP?

      You have only very recently joined, have written NOTHING and display three Zeroes on your bio thus far. FYI, this is a writing site, not primarily a debate platform for total strangers to come barging in to rudely ask of writers WHY or HOW they should present a question.

      In fact, the reality is, it is not your place to offer your rendition of advice unless it has been requested. While you may be "happy" to answer your own question, I can assure you, you will find that the master writers here will not be happy to receive your unsolicited, pompous, snarky remarks and obtrusive comments.

      Create something worthwhile and try to display your writing talents. Get to know the writers and mind your manners. Your input since joining will simply prove to cut your visit here extremely short. It's a mystery whom you think you are, Sir, but allow me to inform you, the impression is less than acceptable.

      Perhaps you can arbitrarily comment again when you have proven yourself the high caliber of writer Catherine is.....with a similar gracious attitude. We have an over abundance of trolls here presently. Another is not necessary....NOR desired. Thank you.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Shakespeare has far more evidence than jc, even his own writing. Other than that, you've mentioned Peters tomb. That's it. That's all you've brought to the table, aside from your polemic on atheist bias and conspiracy theories. That's not overwhelming evidence. That is absolutely no evidence for Jesus at all. So either your claim of overwhelming evidence is just blowing hot air, or by your claim you mean no actual evidence of Jesus, but dozens of examples for other figures that you hope to connect and compare to Jesus abstractly. I'm sorry, but that's not good enough, and it's a waste of everyone's time - including yours that you have so shockingly little of that you can do everything except what you claim you can do easily.

      Also, don't place yourself so high on your pedestal to claim that any of us are your "students". You are not doing anything substantial enough to earn the title of teacher.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Fpherj48 ... You are correct. This demands a great deal of time and research. Catherine is an excellent writer and researcher whether you agree with her or not. Obviously these hubs are thought provoking or she would not receive so many comments.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      fpherj48: What can I say to your comment except Amen. Unfortunately, I appear to have attracted trolls to this site. And you are very correct--the proper etiquette on HP is to comment on someone's hub once or twice and then if you have more to say on the topic, put it into your own hub. Unfortunately, the trolls apparently have no talent for writing or research, their only talent is for snark and insult. They know they would get next to no views for their own hubs.

      That being said the team at HP has said that comments are good for my rankings. And thus I am tolerating them. So keep them coming. My hubs are gaining in popularity. (However, I am not sure if off-topic comments and insults help me or not. Since I am gaining views, I'll assume not.)

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Indeed, Catherine! You have a built-in source of never-ending comments in Oz, our "teacher." Just keep asking him for evidence, and wait for excuse #257. Then ask again, and wait for #258!

      Apparently, he has HUNDREDS of excuses....

      ...but no evidence!

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Pal.....Is that what they're calling rudeness, ignorance & repeated jibberish these days????....."hundreds of excuses?" Thanks for the info. I was unaware of this. I just know it's the most agitating, abrasive, annoying crap on the site.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The trolls have been quiet today. Let sleeping trolls lie. Now the rest of us can discuss the mythic elements of Christianity.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      This was from a website entitled Ancient Evidence for Jesus from a Non- Christian Source:

      Ancient Evidence for Jesus from Non-Christian Sources

      By Michael Gleghorn

      I will not give you the entire article but here is his conclusion:

      His Conclusion:

      Let's summarize what we've learned about Jesus from this examination of ancient non-Christian sources. First, both Josephus and Lucian indicate that Jesus was regarded as wise. Second, Pliny, the Talmud, and Lucian imply He was a powerful and revered teacher. Third, both Josephus and the Talmud indicate He performed miraculous feats. Fourth, Tacitus, Josephus, the Talmud, and Lucian all mention that He was crucified. Tacitus and Josephus say this occurred under Pontius Pilate. And the Talmud declares it happened on the eve of Passover. Fifth, there are possible references to the Christian belief in Jesus' resurrection in both Tacitus and Josephus. Sixth, Josephus records that Jesus' followers believed He was the Christ, or Messiah. And finally, both Pliny and Lucian indicate that Christians worshipped Jesus as God!

      I hope you see how this small selection of ancient non-Christian sources helps corroborate our knowledge of Jesus from the gospels. Of course, there are many ancient Christian sources of information about Jesus as well. But since the historical reliability of the canonical gospels is so well established, I invite you to read those for an authoritative "life of Jesus!"

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Horse hockey! You've apparently been visiting fundie sites to get most of your info on Josephus and Pliny the Elder, Damian. Both of these ancients scholars had their writing tainted by the church as their earlier writings was corrupted just because there was no mention of Jr. in them which embarrassed the church so much they added Jr. into the script. Every biblical scholar know that.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Yeah but all of them?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Daimian10: Are not familiar with all the sources you cite, but most of them are well known forgeries that keep getting trotted out. Please see my hub "Jesus Who. The Historical Record Gives No Clue" for details about these forgeries.

      I'm reading "Misquoting Jesus" by Bart Erhman. He says nothing of the gospels can be relied upon as history. And that was just the introduction. There are copying errors, deliberate additions and deletions, and no copies earlier than the third century. All we have are copies of copies of copies of copies (you get the idea) and no way of knowing what was in the originals

      Gleghorn is NOT a non-Christian source. I just looked him up. He is affiliated with Probe Ministries. His work is published on an apologist website called "bethinking." If this is your idea of an objective source, stop wasting my time. (And your time.)

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Randy Godwin: I f I may amend your comment a bit. Every independent honest Biblical scholar knows that.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      The sources Gleghorn is quoting are NON- Christian sources. Are they ALL inaccurate? I am not quoting them he is. I am just reading what he writes. Then I imagine you are questioning all of your NON Christian sources as well.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Damian10 All of the sources that you cite that I'm familiar with are inaccurate. Also I forgot to mention translation errors and the suppression and destruction of writings deemed heretical by the Church. Basically, Damian10, all you know about Jesus Christ is what the early Christian church wanted you to know. Once they came into political power, it would have been worth your life (heresy was punishable by death) to say a word otherwise. Even possession of the writings could get you dead.

      Take the claims one by one and investigate them. Use objective sources and sources who oppose your point of view. See if what these sources say make sense to you. (I always research using some Christian sources so I can evaluate both sides f the argument and see what makes the most sense.)

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Some of the apologist sites are a hoot. One of them claimed Jesus had blond hair and blues eyes. LOL! I too examine both pro and con sites to get the true picture of what is factually known about Jesus. Nothing but hearsay so far.

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      To add, Damian, not all of these sources are forgeries or altered renditions. That being said, however, none of them are contemporary or independent. Josephus is a known forgery that is known by CHRISTIAN biblical scholars - the vast majority, in fact.

      As to the others, they are not independent. There is no reason to think that any of those sources got their information from historical sources or independently. They got them from Christians. What would early Christians be likely to say about the founder of their faith? Exactly what's written, and (in the case of lucien) mocked. Sources bed on what Christians are claiming about Jesus are not evidence for Jesus. They are claims that need to be investigated for their own merit.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      I know but all six references he cites. All six of them are hearsay? I am a history guy and I guess I should look at all history as speculative. That really starts to become quite cumbersome. ... When in doubt ... Doubt everyone and everything. So tell me Catherine and Randy as well ... What do you believe in? If you think there is no God how do you think we got here? You realize I have only come to Catherine's Hubs because they keep appearing at the bottom of my faith hubs as recommended sites. I guess someone at HP thinks that all of us should consider alternate ideas from our own. If you had told me two weeks ago that I would be on the Hub(s) of non-believers I would have told you no way. The God that I believe in keeps humbling me in the most interesting ways. I guess I just have a lot to learn. Blessings to all.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Damian, I was raised in a family who inherited their religious beliefs from ancestors who--most of them--inherited their beliefs also. I suppose I simply did not indoctrinate well as a child because I felt a need to question things which made no sense.

      There may be many gods, but so far I've found no indication or evidence of them. Yes, I've researched Jesus and cannot find anything factual about him at all. The Romans kept excellent records during his supposed life, so where are their supporting records?

      I believe in life and death. I need no vengeful god to worship nor those who fall for the myth so completely they ignore facts. Just saying...

      How did you obtain your religion, or did you inherit it like the majority of believers do?

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      I guess some of it I did inherit. I like to think that when I was 17 and got saved that I had at least something to do with it. Certainly no one forced

      me and in fact most of my family and all of my siblings remained catholic. So I kind of became the first bible nut of the family. I still am and I am going to turn 50. Do you think He is vengeful rather than forgiving? You are certainly correct in certain aspects as I believe that while faith is fantastic; Religion is actually quite dangerous. Any time you have people that think they are better in some way is about as far from God you can ever get. Blessings to you Randy.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      I assume you mean by "How did we get here," how did humans come to exist on earth? Have yo heard of a fellow called Charles Darwin. I think he pretty much explained it. Maybe not every single specific, but in a general way.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Damian, I want to thank you for the reference to Lucian, of whom I was heretofore unaware!

      I'm quite familiar with the Josephus references (some which, as Catherine noted, are widely accepted to be interpolations -- inserted years later by Christian transcriptionists), as well as Tacitus (who refers only to Christians, not Jesus) and Seutonius, who refers to "Chrestus" as someone who was "instigating" the Jews to "make disturbances" -- a description totally contrary to Jesus' depiction in the NT.

      There is also Pliny the Younger, who makes references to "Christians" and "Christ." But "Christ" was a title, not a name ( and there were a whole plethora of people claiming that title in the time when Pliny and the other historians were writing about "Chrestus" and "Christ"). (Incidentally, "Chrestus" also happens to be the name for Egyptian god, Serapis, who apparently had a big following in Rome at the time).

      But this is the first I've heard of Lucian! Checking the reference myself, it does seem that he makes a generic reference to Jesus, though not mentioning him by name:

      "...The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day,--the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account..."

      In the end, it should be reiterated that NONE of the references you've listed -- included Lucian, are "first hand" accounts of Jesus. Each of these historians lived in the decades and centuries after Jesus supposedly died. For example, Lucian wasn't even born until 125 CE -- nearly a century later!

      That doesn't necessarily mean that their references aren't authentic, but it does follow that -- at the very least -- they had to rely on second-hand sources, including possibly Christians themselves, which would be necessarily tainted by bias.

      And I'll also reiterate that NONE of the historians who actually lived DURING Jesus' supposed lifetime mention him! The only references come long afterward, once Christianity was growing as a cult, and had become a concern for the Roman authorities.

      Still, this is reference to Lucian is quite an interesting bit of information -- and an important reference to remember in my discussion of Jesus' historicity. Thanks again!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Damian, believe me, if there was any indication of a god or gods existing I'd be right there with you. Who wants to burn for eternity anyway? Not me! I cannot make myself believe in something I know is not true, especially if my soul--I don't think souls exist either--depended on such evidence as is included the old novel you refer to as the Holy Bible.

      I'm not trying to insult you in any manner, but the Easter Bunny is just as real to me as gods are to you. Have a good day. :)

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Damian, your question on how we got here arms to me an argument from ignorance (the logical fallacy, not an insult). In other words, it seems like you're saying that since you can't imagine any other explanation for existence, than god must have done it.

      I'm a history person, too (pursuing an eventual phd in ancient and medieval history), but history is not a hard science. It deals in probabilities and weighing available evidence. In regards to Jesus, however, the evidence is significantly lacking from objective, non biased sources. The complete lack of contemporary sources is also troubling. Either Jesus was a nobody, contrary to how he is portrayed or he had crowds filling him around as depicted but no one see fit to mention him. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, but it does leave sufficient room for doubt.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Well then something good came from the reference. Catherine pointed out that someone would have been in big trouble if they disagreed with the church. This is certainly true and especially with Constantine after the 300's AD. Prior to that time period it was actually the opposite. Often early Christians were being persecuted, stoned, beheaded, crucified and ex-communicated. The early Paul ( Saul) was going around feeding Christians to lions. It would have been much more dangerous to be a Christian not long after Christ's time. So is it that unbelievable that not much is recorded about this so called troublemaker who was bad for business both for the Pharisees and the Roman officials of the time. A common villager from Nazareth would have been put down and He was. We always seem to forget about the human condition. No one would have wanted to give Him credit and certainly not the political pressures of the time. Faith involves believing in something that you do not see.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      CatherineG:

      Is Isis, Mary? And Horus the virgin birth?

      I understand that Horus (Jesus?) was born as the first man-god to rule Egypt. And all other Pharaohs after Horus, were then considered his reincarnations.

      What is the significance of the golden phallus as it relates to this myth?

      Isis is the star Sirius and Osiris is the Orion Constellation. Isis then, was the life giving force of ancient Egypt. The mother, the beginning of their calendar?

      Isis rose just before sunrise then. She was visible in the glare of the sun and announced the regular flooding of the Nile River. She had been absent for 70 days. The Nile River Valley – ancient Egypt was reborn?

      Oddly enough, due to Precession, by the time of the alleged birth of Jesus Christ, Isis (or was that now Mary?) popped up around Christmas time...heralded in by the Three Magi (the three stars of Orion's Belt). A coincidence?

      Ancient Egyptians used self-derived truths, imagination, myths, just as the Christians, Muslims, ad infinitum. No scientific method.

      The language of the Gods - divinity. The old Egyptians communicated with their Gods via sensing (feeling) them, via the sun, moon, stars, fertility of the land, etc. They invented writing for this purpose...to symbolize their god speak...according to some Egyptology experts. Codification of worship. The bible is no different.

      Isis, Osiris, Horus cult evolved, but its core myth spread as far as England, Germany, and France. Temples were built.

      Persian version/Mithra Cult developed. The Isis myth spreading again. It was the Jesus story, before Jesus. (How do many Christians explain the nearly identical story of Jesus over a thousand years before Jesus and in a different place? They can't.)

      The Gnostic Religion develops. A missing link between the ancient Egyptian Horus and the modern incarnation as Jesus Christ. They worshiped at Egyptian like carvings and taught resurrection stories, before Christ.

      There was a 'mythic' clash in Ancient Rome. Christian Cult was on the rise. Jesus won. Rome fell. Coincidence?

      (There is also the Greek God Dionysus, of fertility and wine. In one version he was executed on a stake of wood and then brought back to life. This story was before Jesus Christ.)

      One historical coincidence means little. Dozens of Pre-Jesus myths, means plagiarism. The Christian Faith appears to be a regurgitation of Egyptian Myth.

      I wonder where the Egyptian myth got its start?

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      Damian -

      you are partially correct, but I think you forgot a crucial point in that post. The gospels were written in the 100 years after Christ's supposed death and resurrection. If writings were dangerous as you suggest, then how do we have them? Additionally - as a history person, I have to correct a minor point. Paul was a Roman citizen, but he was not feeding Christians to lions. He was stoning them, under Jewish law as a Pharisee - as in the case with Steven.

      Roman emperors did persecute Christians, but that gives no indication of the truth of their claims. Lots of people throughout history have been persecuted for many different faiths, Christian and non-Christian - and in the history of the church, a lot of times it was the Christians that were doing the persecuting. This doesn't mean that all those claims that were persecuted were correct, does it?

      Faith involves believing in things when evidence to justify that belief is insufficient. Yet having evidence doesn't necessarily negate faith. The apostles would have had faith, yet - according to the Christian faith - they had evidence, did they not? So are you arguing from a position of faith, or are you arguing from a position of evidence? In the current debates, it seems to be one or the other, but rarely both. It seems that a lot of conversations start off about evidence, but as that evidence is examined and rebutted, it reverts to faith.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      J Mc For me it is about both. Some would call it blind faith but I do not feel this way. I can only speak for myself but to me He is Real. Certain things I will keep to myself as all of you will just think me crazy. I do not put any person down for whatever they believe. I actually believe that what each of us believes will be our destiny. So for all of you I wish blessings.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      JmcF

      if you do a little more research you will see that there is very little primary source evidence about Shakespeare (see link above, unless it was deleted!). His writings are put down as someone else's by the same "conspiracy mentality". Of course his writings are proof just as the unique philosophy of JC is proof and the letters in the Bible are proof.. People proven to know JC are also proven to have existed. It is sheer common sense.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paladin

      here is some light homework for you. Please do not use conspiracy theories to argue about it.

      http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/th...

      Peeps

      I have listed several valid points regarding the way ancient myths were built into the New testament to make the new message of enlightened love understandable to the general populace at the time. Even today we use chocolate eggs to make Easter more palatable. Of course no one has bothered to respond.

      I note that for some reason hate speech is being allowed on this hub!

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 22 months ago from New Zealand

      Was there a "unique philosophy of JC"? I thought Buddha laid most of that down 500 years earlier.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Thomas

      in the time, place and conditions of that region, yes it was unique. Added to this were mysterious references to selfless sacrifice which purified and changed all previous ideas of the older primitive blood sacrifice into a brand new symbol. It was a rapid evolution of older outdated practices. These ideas also prophetically appealed to a very wide cross section of indigenous cultures many hundreds of years later.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Oz:

      Should we not stick to clear speech here? Come on. "Mysterious References?" "Purified?" "Rapid Evolution?" "Prophetically?" These are all very vague. I thought we were examining facts. Science. Witness Statements. Ancient Temple words. Not fantasy.

      How things appeal does not make them correct. Horus appealed to the Ancient Egyptians. Catherine G. posits that he could be your Jesus Myth. Pretty powerful stuff. And you come back with unscientific rhetoric?

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      Thank you fpherj48 for your comments. I am very upfront with my comments and questions and am genuinely confused by the two different statements Catherine has made, and which one indicates her position. I also do not understand why, when Catherine makes personal criticisms or judgements of others or their beliefs that she is praised and when others challenge her ideas and logic that they are attacked.

      I joined Hugpages because I was very concerned after Catherine posted one of her hubs on a Facebook group I belonged to. It contained significant inaccuracies which she has not corrected and which continue to mislead others. On reading the comments on the hub it was clear that a number of people were believing what she was writing without questioning it. Hence why I initially signed up – to make sure people were aware of those inaccuracies since she wouldn’t pull the blog down.

      I don’t think it’s a good idea to be characterising people you haven’t met as “lazy” or “pompous” when you haven’t met them but I should reflect on why you have responded the way you have and will try to improve accordingly. I have always sought feedback and correction in my writing – especially from people of opposing viewpoints – before publishing. I think Catherine would benefit from that approach. It would save time in the long-run too. And yes that was unsolicited advice (like her unsolicited posting in our Facebook group of her blog), but it’s not that bad is it?

      Catherine: I would like to make the following points:

      1) Regarding Attis: In a short space you have identified far more differences between Jesus and Attis than similarities. As you yourself point out, stories of miraculous births are reasonably common in religion (especially in the Bible). To make any kind of reasonable case for influence, you would need to show things in Christianity that are uniquely related to Attis and not found elsewhere. However, you don’t achieve this. As I said, Catholic celibacy goes back to Paul, and Paul’s recommendation (not legislation) of celibacy seems to relate to his belief that the judgement day was imminent. The idea of legislating celibacy is actually anti-biblical and I have read one theory that it was to allow the church to inherit possessions of the clergy (since they would have no heirs). I have also seen a rebuttal to this theory but you will have to excuse me for failing to remember this.

      2) Regarding the three days: It has been pointed out on many websites about the relationship between December 25th, the Winter Solstice, and the “resurrection of the sun” after three days. However, the three days mentioned in the New Testament are actually allusions to the Hebrew Bible – first the story of Jonah (which the Jesus of the Gospels refers to) and also the prophecy of Hosea explicitly relates a future resurrection to a three day period (which Jesus appeared to refer to on numerous occasions too). Of course, the date of December 25th is not Biblical – I think most people can agree with that – but the three days has nothing to do with the sun.

      3) As for John introducing baptism into Judaism from mystery cults, actually Jewish baptism preceded John and was required of converts to Judaism.

      I am glad you have pointed out that most comparisons between Jesus and ancient religions are inaccurate. The problem I have with this debate is that it is so speculative, particularly if one looks online for information. Nobody should believe this blog just because you say you were objective – though I think it’s great that you made efforts to be so. When it comes to these issues I tend to trust university-produced literature, professors and articles that give references to the “original” texts more than other sources.

      It was interesting you raised the issue of the 12 disciples. I don’t think there’s much of a case of saying that they were directly inspired by the 12 signs of the zodiac because they are undoubtedly a parallel to the 12 sons of Israel. Israel also had one daughter, with one set of twins, and one could make a better case for relating that to the zodiac.

      My general rule with these subjects is that it is best to find internal sources first. If something in the New Testament is found in the Hebrew Bible or Septuagint – that is its likely origin. Knowing the Old Testament well is therefore an important pre-requisite for making convincing-sounding articles on this subject.

      To see what parts of the story of Jesus might be influenced from outside religions requires us to look for things that are in the New Testament and those other religions but not in the Old Testament. Comparatively speaking, very little fits into this category. One exception is Jesus’ reference in Luke to an afterlife that is conscious and in which painful fire exists for sinners. People are not shown to be conscious in the afterlife in the Hebrew Bible – or to be punished there. But of course in Greco-Roman religion this is the case. And Luke happens to be, according to tradition, the only non-Jewish author (of Greek background) of any New Testament book…

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Banks 99:

      Interesting; however, why is one required to look into the New Testament (NT), when it cannot be shown that any witnesses existed to validate the Jesus Christ story?

      Wasn't that the entire thrust of Catherine G.? To expose the fables of the past, prior to Jesus, and compare them? Is that not what a good historian would do? Question?

      Why must one accept things upon faith? Are we not advanced beyond the old Egyptian belief of "feelings" in order to "know" and "communicate" with our alleged God(s)? Should one not examine the natural world, as it is, as well as all the records created by man as far back as one can find them in pre-history?

      Why would one demand that another accept anything without critical examination? Why would the other shrink from the challenge, retreat into the NT and call upon the Gospels, John, Paul and not Imhotep or the legends of the Hopi and their similar stories - before Christ?

      This debate, even if it becomes heated, casts a serious doubt upon the entire Jesus Christ Story simply because it has been repeated - prior to the New Testament. Simply because there are no witnesses. Simply because Temples and bones, absent more definitive evidence, errs on the side of myth - until hard evidence can be unearthed. Then, I will accept that a MAN named Jesus Christ existed. Not a God son. I would still require evidence of His divinity, to accept that.

      Duplicate myths existed before Jesus. How does one rationalize these prior Jesus Myths away? How does one ignore them? Surely, one cannot simply open the NT and ignore Horus and Mithra? Why the retreat? Why not debunk the Mithra myth, for example? You know why? Because it is too close for comfort and this is the problem. Perhaps turning the cheek for a good dose of myth is required... Just saying. Actually, that is not even original. That was said, (turn the cheek) long before the Great Jesus or before Moroni flew around with Gold Tablets.

      One believes in Jesus Christ, just because? Sounds a bit thin on evidence.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thomas Swan: You are correct that their are many similarities between Buddha and Jesus. It appears that whoever wrote the Bible put the words of Buddha into the mouth of Jesus. Of maybe Jesus did actually exist and he was fond of quoting Buddha. Or maybe there are only so many ideas about how to live a good life, and it is all coincidence--Jesus or the Bible writers came up with these ideas all by themselves. Choose the answer you think is most likely.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jamie Banks: You joined Hub Pages merely to be in a better position to comment on my hub. You never had any intention of writing your own hubs. It seems to me that JMcF was right about you. it has been nearly two weeks since you joined and you haven't written anything. I am on the verge of reporting you. I'm not sure if joining simply to troll is against TOS, but it ought to be. Write a hub of your own if you want to correct any inaccuracies you feel exist in my writing.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Jamie

      you will see that honest debate substituted with personal attacks is the norm here. Dissent is stifled.

      Others

      the constant theme of using the historical existence of Buddha (a great person with less primary source documentation than JC ) to somehow disprove JC has to be classed as hypocrisy masquerading as intellectualism.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Catherine...."Banks" may now take a formal bow. He is definitely not too "bright." (And it does NOT require personally KNOWING a person to clearly see their ignorance in print, Mr. Banks!)

      JB.......

      You have just stepped into your own pile of Feces! You boldly (and stupidly) ADMIT to "joining Hubpages to harrass Catherine, one of our top writers!".....This will most surely get you banned in the near future. In fact, just as soon as this is pointed out to our TEAM.

      WHO the hell do you think you are to say that someone (ANYONE) has written inaccuracies? Seriously? Mr. Banks, are you a certified mental patient? Well, little boy, take your meds and FOCUS on this: ~~ Writers are free to write on the topic of their choice, free to research, share info, state their opinions, ideas and beliefs........in any manner, at any point a writer chooses to do any of these. YOU may think, believe and/or feel as you choose.

      However, it is not up to you to zero in on a writer to specifically intrude upon their work with what you THINK are "corrections" to what you believe are inaccuracies!!! This is ludicrous and you merely make a total jackass of yourself.

      If YOU wish to share YOUR info.....what you believe to be YOUR accuracies......again, I repeat, WRITE YOUR OWN DAMNED HUB!!

      You may not STALK, follow, harrass and boldly push your way through any hubbers site...onto THEIR work and muddy up the waters to suit yourself.

      Take note! The TROLLS at HP are IGNORED, disrespected and barely tolerated. Welcome to your world of the HP Trolls. We writers shall not waste one more moment of time on you or any other troll.

      My letter to our Moderator Team is on it's way.

      You are pathetic!~ Get OFF this site and go back to where you came from........WHERE EVER that is.

      (You may have been observant enough to notice how the major troll on this thread has been IGNORED? This is what a troll deserves. They aren't smart enough to know when they are a complete "waste of our efforts." Try to smarten up, JB.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      So, Oz, you FINALLY provided a link to (supposed) evidence for the historicity of Jesus -- the "obvious proof" you've repeatedly cited. It took two weeks of lame excuses, but better late than never, I suppose...

      Unfortunately, the "evidence" you link to is one huge, rotting horse -- which we've already been flogging for at least a week now. Your link ("The Historicity Of The New Testament") presents the VERY SAME arguments you've already been putting forth for some time now -- that the supposed "eyewitness" accounts of the New Testament are reliable evidence for the historical existence of Jesus.

      I'll reply to this just as I did the FIRST time you tried to pass this off as "evidence" more than a week ago: If you expect us to accept the supposed writers of the gospels as authentic historical references, you (and Dr. Moreland, at the link) must demonstrate two things:

      -- First, that the apostles actually EXISTED!

      -- Second, that, if they did exist, their accounts are historically or factually accurate!

      NEITHER of you have done that. Yet, you keep trying to present it as one of the supposed "thousands" of pieces of "obvious" evidence you keep insisting exists.

      So, can we expect another two week wait until you present us with some actual, compelling evidence?

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I should add something regarding the work of Lucian, of which I've read a bit more, as it seems to add a bit of historical insight into the early Christian cult and the potential for multiple "messiahs."

      Lucian was apparently a satirist, and his reference to the "distinguished personage" who was crucified is included in a fictional story of a character named "Proteus/Peregrine" (in "The Death Of Peregrine"), in which he mocks the Christians as credulous rubes:

      "...I can tell you, he [Proteus] pretty soon convinced them of his superiority; prophet, elder, ruler of the Synagogue--he was everything at once; expounded their books, commented on them, wrote books himself. They took him for a God, accepted his laws, and declared him their president....Well, the end of it was that Proteus was arrested and thrown into prison. This was the very thing to lend an air to his favourite arts of clap-trap and wonder-working; he was now a made man. The Christians took it all very seriously..."

      Though it is a fictional story, it reflects the perception in at least some circles that the Christians were prone to accept as divine anyone who could con them into it. While it doesn't prove that references to "Chrestus" or "Christ" in Rome DON'T refer to Jesus, it certainly makes much more plausible the possibility that they refer to someone else!

      I think that's interesting food for thought...

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Yes, Catherine, ditto to what Randy said. Please delete my comment not related to your hub. I just wanted to message Randy. Thanks!

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      Wow, I'm really shocked to read these comments. I still don't understand why it is okay to write an entire blog undermining people's religious beliefs but it is not okay to write comments making corrections to that.

      I have every intention of writing a blog in the next few weeks. But it takes time to think about it, write it, and make sure it is accurate...

      I hope to have time later tonight to respond to jgshorebird's well thought-out message.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      WOW!! We writers are really shocked that you are so socially unskilled that you don't realize what you do is WRONG!

      It's quite clear that Catherine's intention was NOT to "undermine anyone's religion.!!!" Did she write a personal letter to a specific person to trash what they MAY or may not believe in?? No, she did not.

      WHAT is wrong with you? Repeating myself once again.....This is a site for WRITERS to engage in their passion, express their ideas, share information and knowledge with their readers....The public!

      Each writer has their purpose in their work. If you choose to read it, read it as the writer has written it. It's not for you to dig deeply into the possible reasons a writer has for writing a particular article!

      If you dislike an article.....that's your prerogative. Who the hell died and left you in charge of "correcting" anything about another author's work??!

      Tell me......Do you read a book using a hi-liter for the parts you don't like and then write to the author and tell them where YOU SAY they were wrong??

      Get OVER yourself oh frigging learned one and just WRITE YOUR OWN HUB. (For the 4th time)......No matter how you slice this buddy...you are wrong to do what you did. Just as WRONG as our major Troll whom we've had to tolerate for much too long. But at least we've gotten to the point where we just laugh at him... One day he'll be gone too.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I must admit, I don't know all the particulars of the history between Catherine and Jamie, but I'm a little befuddled by the level of emotional reaction to some of the comments here.

      Clearly, there is more to the story here than any of us (beside Catherine and Jamie) know. That said, at the risk of playing the "Devil's advocate," it seems to me that -- whether he's wrong or not -- Jamie is being reasonable in his attempts to challenge what Catherine has written here.

      Putting myself in someone else's shoes, I can understand why someone would want to go out of their way (even opening a HubPages account) to correct what they perceive to be misinformation -- especially regarding a topic that is obviously so important to all of us.

      This is Catherine's hub, and I wouldn't presume to tell her what sorts of comments to tolerate or reply to. But from my personal perspective, I always try to remember that the most fundamentally important part of all the discussion and debate is to discern and disseminate the truth.

      That means that, if I may be getting something wrong, I WANT someone to correct me or point me in the right direction. If it turns out I AM wrong, I want to know! If it turns out I'm right, I want to become more certain, and to educate those who sought to correct me. To put it another way, what's most important isn't merely PROVING I'm right, but actually BEING right!

      Anyway, I don't mean to offend. I guess I'm just a little confused by all the vitriol...

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Paladin:

      Having interrogated many a not so nice fellow and recalling that even in the early days of the U.S., vitriol was heaved in great piles upon the opponent, I have no problem with all the fiery name calling. It's all part of free speech, as long as HP's allows it, since it's their show. But it's not my Hub. I too would love to discover some new gem here...about Jesus Christ. But so far nothing new has been offered. In fact, unless someone finds an old scroll with more specific details, we are still where we started. Somewhere in Egypt, sitting on a pyramid looking, up at Isis, the virgin mother of Horus.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      if you keep claiming no apostles existed etc you are claiming a conspiracy theory.

      Its clear you didn't read the link: it's a more detailed look at how the same people who reject religious primary sources still accept much weaker evidence for other historical persons and events. This inevitably leads to the conspiracy theory route.

      I have presented a number of historical research methods in this hub (reliabilty of verbal traditions, evolutionary approaches, archetypes, primary sources etc) only to be met with conspiracy theories.

      The last link was to point out to you the intellectual hypocrisy of solely denying religious proofs/people but accepting less well documented people/events that are seperate to religion without question. You have failed to respond other than with a widening conspiracy theory. I only give conspiracy theories "bathroom break" time.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      So this one goes out to believers and non-believers alike:

      Who in your opinion is the most famous person in all of history?

      Follow up: After we are all gone and pushing up daisies who will they still be talking about?

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Elvis, of course! :)

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Did you know that I am a huge Elvis fan! Especially love his gospel music.

      Elvis studied all the religions and always came back to Christianity.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      Sorry fpherj48 I have never been on a page/online community before where corrections were unwelcome. This is all very new to me! It seems every time I bring up a difficult point to answer though that suddenly the point disappears and instead there are a lot of comments about me. Can we bring the discussions back to these points rather than discussions about my social skill levels etc.?

      In terms of the "undermining of religion" Catherine says: "The Jesus fable must have come in quite handy for the Roman emperors around tax time." I think it's fair to say that this is an undermining comment. Not to say it is incorrect - just undermining ("must have" indicates certainty). However, in other places she says, particularly on this hub, that she doesn't know for sure whether Jesus existed. I struggle to understand her position. I apologise if I have misunderstood or taken her out of context in this case.

      Catherine, your words, "You never had any intention of writing your own hubs" are not correct. What initially brought me to this site was your postings on the Facebook page but it quickly occurred to me that it is a great place to share ideas. However, I take a long time to put together high quality work (18 years in one case) so please forgive me if I am a bit slower than the average writer.

      Jgshorebird: Your message deserves a longer reply than I will give it I'm afraid. But just to summarise, I don't have a strong position on the majority of the claimed similarities between ancient religions and Christianity, mainly because it is hard to determine the veracity of information on this topic (more so than other topics). Of course I agree that questioning is what good historians do, but good historians also quote original documents wherever possible, and know that they can't possibly be correct about everything.

      Like you, I am against blind faith. Sorry again for the inadequate reply. But I must leave now or will miss my train. Take care all!

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      I was a Criminal Investigator in my former life...also Internal Affairs Investigator... Retired from that. My brain requires evidence. I would not even consider bringing this case to court. I would be laughed at. In fact, and this is no joke, not a dig at Jesus or any religion, but often in court, when the bad guy was on the stand, he would say he had found Jesus and would never commit a crime again. The judges were wise to this 'lie' and sentenced them anyway.

      My point is, as discussed in this Hub, (and apparently the Oz poster never reads this information) the earliest information one would have to prove the existence of Jesus Christ is Flavius Josephus, who wrote about second/third/fourth? hand information, approximately 100 years after the birth of Christ. Even historians disagree about the Josephus account. They doubt it's authenticity. All of the accounts after this, in the Bible are immaterial, in the sense that they cannot help one prove that Jesus ever existed...in a courtroom.

      Why CatherineG brings up material predating Jesus Christ, in my mind, is to show that it is not an original story. This is a big smoking gun. A jury would certainly give credence to this smoking gun. Even considering the centuries between the accounts. Mithra is a very big 'smoker'.

      With all of these other stories, predating Jesus, even CatherineG admits it is not enough to disprove his existence, but relying on that argument from ignorance in logic, won't fly. Such an argument is a cop-out. To say since one cannot disprove Jesus...so there!...is a bit childish. Of course we can't prove Jesus. There is not enough evidence, but there is a large cache of evidence before Jesus, which casts a disparaging light upon the 'story'.

      If I was taking a Creative Writing Course and submitted a story to my professor about a 'savior', about a Demigod 2000, 3000, 5000, 10,000 years ago, I would be cited for plagiarism. It's been written...many times...long before Christ.

      The only other source around the time of Jesus Christ are the Dead Sea Scrolls, but as of yet I have seen/heard no definitive information which can validate that the "Pierced One", as mentioned in the scrolls, is a clear reference to Jesus. This is even more flimsy than the Josephus account.

      And there it is. Is there more? I'm all ears.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Jgshore

      you miss the point : most proven ancient historical facts have much less going for them than the wealth of evidence regarding JC and the apostle witnesses,sites etc.

      Archaeology is not criminal law.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Oz:

      There is zero evidence to prove the Christ. Zero. That is the problem.

      Your alleged 'wealth of evidence' is a forfeit, when you fail to produce it.

      Name a single Jesus eyewitness. Just one.

      Name a single piece of evidence that is attached to Jesus. Just one.

      Evidence works the same way in court as it does in archaeology, geology, anthropology, history and so on.

      You are in the American Courtroom. Prove your case.

      Can't?

      Next case, please.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      JB......Let me try to help you UNDERSTAND. If you INSIST upon "argument," expounding upon inaccuracies (according to you) and/or "Corrections" of any kind.......This is NOT done on a writer's hubs, which are their works of art.

      You may WRITE YOUR OWN HUB (for the FIFTH time).....or certainly you can visit the FORUMS, which is the appropriate venue for debate. Is this simple enough for you? Get it now?

      Comment sections below our articles are meant for somewhat brief, personal/professional opinions on the work itself, writing talent, simple opinion and or compliments on research, style and expression.

      Once AGAIN, whether this is "what you are accustomed to" or NOT.....Try as hard as you can to understand how it is here at HP.

      HP is NOT a "social" site.....It is a Community of writers to create, edit, publish and display the results of their talent & passions....

      Repeat this to yourself until it sinks in.

      EVEN though you may SEE other trolls indulging in this unacceptable, rude, unnecessary and unwelcomed habit, try to rise above the stupidity. Thank you.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      In court you would lose the argument for Georg Washington's existence because there are no physical eyewitnesses They are all dead and buried.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Randy......Yes, of course "Elvis," what other man could it possibly be? And if I may.....in the female category: "The Amazing, incomparable MARILYN MONROE."..........Not possible there could be more famous persons in History. Let's be mature, factual and realistic here, folks!!

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Damian10:

      Are you kidding me? Easy case. Slam dunk.

      I can cite thousands of eyewitnesses. Being dead has nothing to do with it.

      You know this.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Right but old George had no children and no (painted ) picture shows him with wooden teeth. Plus that whole cherry tree thing. I am actually a big George fan but where is the evidence?

      I do like Elvis though.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      In court cases, eyewitness testimony is considered a type of evidence.

      I would love it if just one Jesus eyewitness was found...say an old scroll that read..."and he was taken down there, nailed to the cross, between two common criminals etc. etc., and his name was....and his mother's name was...and his was born here...on this date...etc." Alas, we have no such thing...yet?

      And please don't say you are an eyewitness.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      No, while it is true I am getting old I am not that old yet. My only point is/was I believe you could conceivably question everyone and everything. All of this is speculation. Belief or non-belief it ultimately comes down to a choice. Your choice. No one's but yours. You have heard me state that Catherine is an excellent writer and I do not have to agree with her to realize that. She indeed is. The thing about the famous person is just 2,000 years and we still talk so much about this guy. Depicted as a poor Jewish carpenter?

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Point taken. But it is more than that. It is the greatest question of all. I think that is CatherineG's point as well.

      Where did we come from? The recent Jesus Christ story, a mere 2000 years old, a likely copy of older myths, just embodies that: the greatest question.

      The Creator, if there is one or two, allowed me the privilege to question everything, form conclusions based upon reality and not forget that there are those who will accept the latest myth, out of complacency.

      It's not about 'belief'. You mean 'Faith'. It's really about the brick. The brick thrown at a car window by a street thug is evidence. An eyewitness to the crime is also evidence of that crime. Even if that crime occurred 20 years ago and the videotape (evidence) is missing.

      The real crime is to 'believe' the latest (2000 year old) myth, without a critical, external to one's own feelings, examination of the relevant known evidence. The bricks and the scrolls, so to speak. The bible is not evidence. It is not even circumstantial evidence.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Ok everybody let's all take a deep breath and calm down. I have no objection to someone pointing out an error in my work. I always look into and I have actually edited my hub because of a point someone made in the comments--either a clarification or a comment. However, once you have made your comment and I have responded to it, continuing to make the same point over and over is just bad manners. As is calling into question my honesty, my professionalism, and my intellect. Shame on the trolls and thank you to the people who have tried to educate them on what is appropriate conduct on HP.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      My apologies for not responding to every comment individually, but calling out certain of the people who have commented here would only serve to embarrass them further. One more time. Repeat after me. There are no eyewitness reports to the life of Jesus! Nothing in the Bible was written by an eyewitness! The Gospels were not written by the men whose names they bear! This is not the least bit controversial among honest Biblical scholars.

      P.S. Whether or not Buddha existed, or Julius Caesar, or George Washington, or even Elvis are separate issues. The historicity of any of these says nothing about the historicity of Jesus.

      BTW, Thanks Randy Godwin for your Elvis comment. It made me laugh.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Oz: Your comments are not being deleted. I tried that some weeks ago in the hopes of discouraging trolls. It didn't work. I tried not responding. It didn't work. So I have given up. You may now fight amongst yourselves.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: Thanks to the information about Lucian. I guess the reason I did not come across it when I was researching the evidence for the existence of Jesus is that a satirical work of fiction written in the latter half of the 2nd century has nothing to do with the topic.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Catherine ...you are gracious as ever. This is YOUR hub by the way and all of us are just guests. thank you for the thought provoking hubs. Very well done.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, it appears that part of the problem you're having (and that everyone is having with you) is that you seem not to be able (or perhaps willing) to comprehend what you read.

      For example, you begin your last comment by insisting that I "keep claiming no apostles existed." NOWHERE in the comments of this hub -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- have I claimed that no apostles existed. I honestly DON'T KNOW whether or not they existed, but if you expect me (and anyone else) to accept their supposed New Testament accounts as "evidence" for Jesus, you need to demonstrate that they actually DID exist, and that that they actually wrote what is in the gospels regarding Jesus.

      You're presenting "evidence" and expecting us to accept it -- solely on your word -- that it's authoritative and authentic. Then, when we ask you to demonstrate it's authenticity, you keep insisting that we're engaging in "conspiracy theories" -- as if that somehow absolves you of any further responsibility.

      As for the link, I DID read it, which is how I know that it essentially repeats your assertion that the apostles are reliable eyewitnesses to Jesus' historicity. All he adds is a lot of personal assertions (for which he also offers no proof) about their authenticity. Apparently, it is YOU who didn't read the page at the link! (again, a seeming comprehension problem).

      Lastly, you claim that you've presented "...a number of historical research methods in this hub (reliabilty of verbal traditions, evolutionary approaches, archetypes, primary sources etc)..."

      No, you haven't. All you've provided thus far is accusations about the character of atheists, complaints about having your comments "deleted" (which, apparently, hasn't occurred), comparisons of Jesus with other historical figures (which says NOTHING about Jesus' own historicity!), repeated assertions that the apostles are reliable "eyewitnesses" to Jesus' historicity, and a lot of gibberish about "conspiracy theories."

      Clearly, what your comments thus far represent is someone who is trying to use a lot of smoke, mirrors and awkward verbal sleight of hand to distract from the fact that he actually has nothing of importance to say.

      -------------

      Catherine, I'm afraid you'll have to thank Damian for the Lucian reference. Up to this point, I'd never even heard of him, so I was glad to be introduced to a new bit of useful and insightful knowledge!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      So sorry if I gave credit to the wrong person for the info on Lucian. I had to work last night(I sometimes work as an actor.) It was an all-night photo shoot for Disney. I got home at 9am and slept for three hours and I am kind of a zombie today. I am doing only the minimal amount of work today. I thought enough brain cells were firing to answer comments.

      P.S. There is no history between me and Jamie Banks. He joined here two weeks ago and just stated his barrage of comments. There are other hubs making the same claims that I make. (See Related Hubs on the right of this page.) I wonder if he trolls them too. I'll check tomorrow. Too tired to do anything today.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Cath

      accusing a new or old member of being a troll is unacceptable behaviour.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      you are ignoring the principle of that link which clearly shows that the historical evidence for JC, apostles, sites and events is of a higher quality than many other historical truisms.

      This is why you are always getting stuck with the conspiracy route and are getting found out with double standards.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      To the Person of Oztinato:

      "NUTS!!!"

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thank you, visitor, for taking the time to comment. I'm glad you found this hub interesting, and I hope you will also enjoy some on my other hubs. I write on a variety of topics. I'm sorry that your experience on HubPages is marred by people who misuse the comment section. The people in charge tolerate this behavior and so I must also.

    • Thomas Swan profile image

      Thomas Swan 22 months ago from New Zealand

      Catherine, it might be worth deleting the recent guest comment. Whether he (or she) is right or not, I think hubs have been taken down for allowing less. In fact, I'd suspect the mysterious guest of having exactly that ulterior motive. You might want to compare the IP address below the comment with people who'd want to see this hub taken down. You can delete this comment too if you like because it doesn't really add anything to the hub. Just a friendly head's up about what can happen here.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Thomas Swan: I wondered who the mysterious "visitor" was myself. On the other hand, his comments while a bit insulting and raunchy appeared to me to be no worse than those of some hubbers. I even wondered if the person being insulted in the comment was behind it. I didn't know HP would penalize anyone for something someone else said in comments, but I did hesitate to allow it because something about it didn't feel right to me. I even thought the person being insulted in the comment could have been behind it. If you are right, it is a devious action by some one who feels he can't make his case in an honest manner.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Jgshore

      another personal attack/hate speech. Why does that happen every time someone loses an argument? :)

      Personal attacks have no effect whatsoever on the correct application of historical evidence.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      No, Oz, the link does NOT "clearly show that the historical evidence for JC, apostles, sites and events" is of a high quality. It is an opinion piece, pure and simple.

      He does provide a very impressive-looking chart noting the number of copies of various historical documents, and cites the large number of Biblical manuscripts.

      What he's careful to NOT reveal is that, collectively, they contain TENS OF THOUSANDS of variations among them (copies of copies of copies, etc.). And of course, they're ALL dated centuries after the supposed events they describe!

      This is the author's supposed "evidence" for the historicity of the New Testament -- and, presumably, the historicity of Jesus. And this is the 'evidence' that you cite -- among the "thousands" of "obvious" pieces you say are available. Perhaps you can't discern the difference between actual reliable evidence and spitting in the wind, but others certainly can!

      Actually, I'm even happy to provide the link again here, just so people can visit it themselves and see what the magical Oz considers to be clear "historical evidence:"

      http://www.bethinking.org/is-the-bible-reliable/th...

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Actually, I must correct a statement I made in my previous comment, where I claimed that the link in question is an "opinion piece."

      To be fair, the author does attempt to provide "evidence" to support his allegations regarding the authenticity of the New Testament -- at least in one area -- the number of existing manuscripts. Of course, the number of existing manuscripts says NOTHING about their authenticity, but why let logic get in the way of a faulty argument?

      The rest of the piece IS nothing more than opinion and conjecture, but the 'manuscripts' segment of it can't be properly characterized as "opinion." It's simply unconvincing "evidence," with irrelevant information emphasized and important information omitted.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: If I may add to your comment, if the number of copies proved something was real, Harry Potter is an actual real live wizard. Maybe Harry will be the new Jesus.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Paladin: I keep saying to people who want to refute the facts I present to go to INDEPENDENT sources, but they keep using Christian apologist sources, and then they wonder why they are told it is proves nothing at all.

      jgshorbird: Please put your comment (that you addressed to Paladin) about a lunatic in an email to paladin. I don't think it is appropriate here.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Hehe. Actually, when I read JG's comment, being a history buff, I was reminded of General McAuliffe's response to the German army who had his 101st Airborne Division surrounded in Bastogne during the World War II Battle of the Bulge. When they demanded his surrender, he replied with one word:

      "NUTS!"

      As for Oz, I honestly don't know what to make of him. Sometimes he seems rather 'trollish,' but I suspect he actually believes what he's saying, and isn't just trying to get a rise out of everyone. Of course, I could be wrong!

      I think the problem is that he's so firmly entrenched in his ideological bubble that he literally no longer has the capacity to rationally discern truth from fiction. He appears to evaluate arguments and 'evidence' EXCLUSIVELY on the basis of whether or not they agree with his theology.

      I've been interacting with him for months now, and the pattern is always the same -- he makes a theological assertion then, when pressed to defend it, he points to someone else's work. Sometimes (as in the case of Gödel's ontological theorem) he even ADMITS that he has no comprehension of the source he's citing. But it appears to agree with him, so it's de facto legitimate and authoritative.

      I actually regret that I spend so much time here deriding so much of his lackluster 'evidence' and argumentative comments, and I'd MUCH rather spend my time debating more legitimate points. But he's so arrogant and condescending in his ignorance that I find myself regularly sinking to his level. It's one of the weaknesses of being human, I suppose.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      in fairness to you personally I don't sense the same level of hardened bigotry as in others. You were just starting to get on track in your analysis. Of course we have to disagree. In anthropology courses the lecturers are big on the fact that different commentators have various personal biases hence the need to read bios. However the idea of accepting historical facts for non religious matters boils down to this: ALL ancient manuscripts are hand copies of hand copies because before the printing press that was the only option! There can therefore be onlyprejudice involved if we discount very weighty religious evidence. There is far far less evidence for many ancient personages often only a single mention in a copy of a copy but such non religious persons/events are held to be historical fact. Take the Iliad. Troy was fact but the story is couched in the dramatic poetry of the time which included allusions to ancient gods. If we can't accept that people thousands of years ago spoke that way due to cultural and artistic fashion we lose both the literary beauty and the historical facts contained therein.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      PS

      I rest my case and will now move onto greener pastures.

      Adieu!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      PPS

      joking!! You can't get rid of me that easy:))

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Oz ... Why not try the nice approach? I don't agree with any views here yet I respect Catherine's writing and another's opinions. When in doubt... Always take the high road. Blessings!

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      Jgshorebird: Thanks for your comments. Of course there is no evidence to prove the existence of Jesus. There are however, two issues that have perhaps been conflated here. One is, “Did Jesus exist?” and secondly, “If he existed, were the details of his life embellished in some way, or adapted to suit a particular audience?”

      It seems to me that sometimes evidence that is relevant to the latter question is used as evidence to answer the first question. There are several similarities across religious history which are quite remarkable. Similar patterns may be drawn between successful businesses or business people, or great humanitarians but these do not indicate plagiarism. Some things are just the nature of the beast. Catherine states for example of Horus and Jesus “They both had followers”. Businesses have customers. Religious leaders have followers.

      Catherine also states that Horus and Jesus both performed miracles. The problem is that Jesus’ miracles are based in the Old Testament. Jesus is shown in the New Testament to be the new Elijah, the new Moses, the new David and the new Joseph. Hence Jesus’ miracles are variations on the miracles of these prophets in particular (mostly in a superior fashion). Both Elijah and Jesus are recorded as raising the son of a widow. Elijah is carried into heaven in a chariot, but Jesus ascends by himself without this vehicle. The Israelites received manna from heaven in the desert but Jesus provided bread and fish for thousands in the desert himself (if we accept the gospel). What evidence is there that Jesus’ miracles were borrowed from Horus? I don’t see any here.

      As for this blog being accepted as evidence in court? I don’t think so. There are no references to original texts of the religions that are claimed as potential sources.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      And thanks to anyone who has commented to try to support or educate me about your opinions of how the system works here. It has certainly been a steep learning curve this week!

      I am not here to insult anyone and although I mentioned something about hubs being "taken down" this was before I was aware that hubs could be edited. I am quite happy to look over any drafts of new hubs if you like Catherine and use my limited knowledge to make suggestions. Although I have studied the Bible by attending various churches' study groups, taking religion for four years at university, and writing two books about it, I still consider myself a beginner - especially on the cultural and religious context in which the Bible was born. But you might find the small number of things I do know useful if you want to tap into them.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Jamie that was a very well thought out, quite lucid and very diplomatic response. Keep up the good work.

      Blessings!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, you're correct that transcriptionists can have biases that affect their work. And the fact that hand transcription was the only available method in those days doesn't mitigate the fact that countless mistakes were made!

      What we're dealing here is an ancient, patchwork text filled with numerous supposed miracles and outlandish supernatural claims. And, as the very astute axiom reminds us, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence! Such an account demands much more corroborating evidence to demonstrate its authenticity!

      Further, ALL the accounts in the New Testament are -- at the very least -- second hand accounts! As I understand it, NONE of the gospels were actually written by the apostles for whom they're named. Instead, they were written anonymously DECADES after the events they supposedly describe.

      And Paul, the presumed author of much of the New Testament, never even MET Jesus! He simply wasn't there when the story happened!

      So, we're beginning with -- at minimum -- second-hand accounts, written down in a language (Greek) different from that spoken by the participants in the story, transcribed AGAIN into other languages (usually Latin), and altered -- both accidentally and purposely -- countless times by numerous transcriptionists.

      This is NOT what any objective observer would call compelling evidence!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      No my meaning is that modern commentators have prejudices about modern interpretations of ancient history.

      Comparatively speaking the new testament writings have a much more reliable history than many other writings. This plus the associated phenomena of early sites and such things as explosive early expansion etc

      reinforce the legitmacy. Paul himself is contemporaneous with events and witnessed many of these associated phenomena. Biased Jewish texts as well label JC as a minor historical actual person .

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      But here's the problem, Oz. You just made a declaration:

      -- "Comparatively speaking the new testament writings have a much more reliable history than many other writings..."

      This is an assertion without proof, and I can't simply accept it on your word. If you wish this to be a valid premise to your argument, you MUST demonstrate that it is factually correct!

      You follow with another assertion:

      -- "Paul himself is contemporaneous with events and witnessed many of these associated phenomena..."

      Again, this is an assertion without proof, and you can't expect us to accept it on your word alone. You must document it with corroborating evidence.

      And, of course, even if you now admit that Paul was merely "contemporaneous" with the events, it STILL doesn't change the notion that he wasn't actually wasn't an EYEWITNESS to the events -- contrary to one of your earlier assertions:

      -- "...St Paul=eyewitness. Get it?"

      Simply making assertions doesn't constitute "evidence." And I'll remind you once again that you've clearly stated previously in this hub's comments that there are "thousands" of pieces of evidence -- and that there is "obvious" evidence -- for the historical existence of Jesus.

      If this evidence is so plentiful and so obvious, your task thus far should have been a cakewalk! By this point, we should be overwhelmed with the plethora of "obvious" evidence here in these comments.

      Yet all we have thus far is your personal assertions supported by the flimsiest of 'proof' (such as the number of copies of the New Testament manuscripts, or the "associated phenomena of early sites," whatever the heck that means!).

      Incidentally, I'm curious about these "biased Jewish texts" to which you refer, which supposedly label Jesus as a "minor historical actual person." This is (honestly) news to me, and if you have a source link, I would very much appreciate it!

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      So true and I believe it has been offered that Paul begins writing only about 5 years after Christ. If you believe Paul and his meeting Christ on the road to Damascus which changes his life forever, then maybe you have this witness you are all in search of. In two thousand years and with human error and self serving aspiration one can probably ascertain that text was indeed changed and possibly many times. Yet that does not prove the events themselves never happened. It certainly does not prove that Christ did not exist. It only proves that everything including record keeping is subject to human error. That goes both ways. You cannot say that because a certain author or group of people do not speak of or acknowledge the Christ that they must be correct because they did not mention Him. You still have to consider the time as well as the lack of technology and ultimately the ramifications of going around saying, Hey you killed the Christ! The political complications of that would have gotten a person killed and it did. In some cases Paul was doing the killing. At that time, Jesus was not some popular figure but a troublemaker and blasphemer.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Me too! As one of the jurors in the O.J. trial asked, "where da poof?"

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Indeed, the multiple errors and inconsistencies in the thousands of copies of New Testament manuscripts doesn't prove that the people described in its narrative didn't exist, or that the events didn't happen.

      However, it does make it essentially impossible to employ the New Testament itself (as represented in those contradictory manuscripts) as sufficient evidence that they DID.

      Furthermore, even if there WERE only one unvarying version of the New Testament (in one copy or thousands of copies), the stories related in its narrative are so outlandish and fantastic (resurrections, gods, demons, miraculous healings, walking on water, zombies in Jerusalem, etc.) that an extraordinary amount of corroborating evidence is required under any objective standard.

      For example, if I tell you my name is Bob, it's reasonable that most people would accept it on my word alone. It's not an extraordinary claim. However, if I tell you I have invisible wings and can fly to the moon -- an extraordinary and amazing claim by any measure -- I'd wager they'd require a significant amount of proof! And it would doubtless make them doubt anything else I had to say, even if it WASN'T extraordinary!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      this is the reason I put that link in: it demonstrated that relatively speaking the proofs available for JC (and the associated events) are of a much higher level than other historical truisms.

      This is the principle you and others are avoiding.

      Take any major figure from Ancient History and you will see very little primary source evidence: take Alexander the Great. Not much at all in terms of primary sources but we take it for granted he existed. If we had letters from a person within a five year period after Alexander's death who attested to immediate events surrounding Alexander's actions it would be taken as undeniable proof that Alexander existed.

      By your mode of thinking only religious phenomena and leaders are under a cloud of doubt while all other major historical persons and events are ok. Why?

      Hence it is pointless to keep putting forward proofs as they will all be met with the same conspiracy stuff.

      The Jewish Talmud mentions Jesus. Of course you will say "hold on this was after the events" but once again such reports were based on long established traditions and have a much better level of historical evidence than many secular events/people.

      In one of my earlier posts I mentio0ned the reliability of oral tradition: the Indigenous Australians have oral traditions that accurately describe geological events that date back almost 100,000 years. Hindu scriptures were passed on orally using amazing musical and mnemonic patterns for tens of thousands of years. Therefore to argue that a mere five years or even a few hundred years is relevant is not correct. Painted images of JC occur in the catacombs for example only a matter of years after JC walked the earth. Early baptismal fonts begin appearing in ancient roman houses in the first century AD. Such secondary proofs are legion in the proper scientific study of early Christianity..

      If we apply your thinking to all ancient history there would then be NO history at all left of a verifiable nature.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Pal

      Outlandish and fantastic from our perspective but certainly not from God' s perspective. All of us are entitled to believe or not believe whatever we choose. Certainly some things are sheer coincidence but I stopped believing in coincidence a long time ago. Some things just feel like they were supposed to happen in the way they did happen. I cannot seem to get past the prophesy and I do not believe all of this is supposed to fit nicely in a box and all of the pieces come together. Trying to reason and rationalize God from a human perspective is really quite impossible. Take the great temple for instance. While the apostles were marveling at it , Jesus tells them it will be destroyed and it is where we get no stone left unturned. It is sill in ruins in Jerusalem today. Also, if you had told a Jewish person 100 years ago that Israel would become a nation again they would have looked at you like you had two heads. Yet, on May 14, 1948 Israel does become a nation again just as the prophesy predicted. They had not had a home for 2000 years and it is where we get the flower/weed The Wondering Jew. They were scattered throughout Europe and the world but did not have a home of their own. Again, perhaps it is not supposed to be so very easy or fit in a human box like we would all like. Jesus tells Thomas, " Thomas, you believe because you see. Blessed are those who don't see yet still believe."

      Maybe there is a lot of doubting Thomas in all of us.

      Blessings

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Perhaps so, Damian, but you musing on "God's perspective" hinges entirely on whether he actually exists, doesn't it?

      As for the impossibility of trying to reason and rationalize God from a human perspective -- if THAT'S impossible, then how can YOU be certain that you understand him at all, or that he even exists? After all, if you can't trust human reason, perhaps YOU'RE wrong about his existence altogether!

      As for the prediction of Israel becoming a nation, it occurs to me that you're being very selective about what aspects of that 'prophecy' actually occurred. As I recall from the Old Testament, Israel was to become a nation again only on the return of the "Messiah," and was to be ruled by David.

      Perhaps Thomas made more sense that you recognize! ;-)

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Actually, Oz, we DO apply "my thinking" to all ancient history. Any objective historian would expect a higher standard of evidence for any 'ancient' manuscript that includes the plethora of miraculous and supernatural claims made in the New Testament.

      They would also consider the relevant time period. We're not talking ancient Sumerian history here, where all we have is a handful of words scrawled on a shard of pottery. We're talking the turn of the first millennium CE, at the height of the Roman empire, full of official accounts and numerous historians.

      Thus, they would naturally expect plenty of corroborating historical accounts of the events supposedly described in the New Testament. Yet there aren't ANY! NONE of the existing Roman records mention Jesus. NONE of the contemporary historians mention Jesus.

      It's only decades AFTER Jesus supposedly died, and once the cult of Christianity emerged as a social and political phenomenon, that ANYONE mentions Jesus.

      And it goes without saying that they would expect extraordinary evidence for the miraculous and supernatural claims made in the New Testament account.

      And, again, no, the link you provided does NOT demonstrate that "relatively speaking, proofs available for JC (and the associated events) are of a much higher level than other historical truisms." It only makes the same assertions you're making here -- that the number of existing copies of 'ancient' NT manuscripts somehow demonstrates their historical truth, despite the countless discrepancies in them.

      You simply refuse to accept that merely comparing the number of existing ancient copies of a manuscript has NOTHING to do with their authenticity -- especially when there are countless discrepancies between the transcribed copies! I don't know why you can't seem to grasp this.

      What you (and the author at your link) also fail to realize that -- even by your OWN absurd standard of numbers and ages of copies -- the New Testament has LESS authenticity, not more!

      There are actually only a handful of copies of the New Testament (often in mere scraps) that date anywhere NEAR the events they supposedly describe -- and even they're dated CENTURIES after! And the vast majority actually come from the medieval period, when most of the transcribing was done! These are your 'evidence' for the historical authenticity of the New Testament?

      And I'll emphasize this very salient point once AGAIN -- comparing the New Testament to other ancient documents says NOTHING about its own historical accuracy.

      As for your assertion that the Jewish Talmud mentions Jesus, you'll have to specify where in the text that supposedly occurs. Since Jesus is never mentioned ANYWHERE in the Old Testament, that seems incredibly unlikely!

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I've separated this comment from the rest, because I feel it merits its own consideration. Oz, you've mentioned supposed "painted images" of Jesus in the Roman catacombs "only a matter of years" after he supposedly walked the Earth.

      This is significant, and would constitute excellent evidence for Jesus' historical existence if you can clarify and prove certain details:

      First, can you actually prove that these images unequivocally represent Jesus?

      Second, what do you mean by a "only a matter of years?" Ten years? Two hundred years? A thousand?

      Third, if it's within a relatively short time afterward (early enough to possibly constitute an "eyewitness" account), can you verify the dating?

      Otherwise, what we have is some paintings in the catacombs that ANYONE could have put there, at ANY time, and wouldn't demonstrate anything!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Damian10: Israel became a nation again because the founders of the new Israel deliberately set out to fulfill the prophecy. They used The Bible to assert their moral claim to part of Palestine. A self-fulfilling prophecy.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Great comments here. It is interesting to read all the twists and turns the faithful make, in an attempt to corroborate their positions. In an attempt to salvage just one piece if physical evidence or perhaps an eyewitness, to somehow validate that their God Son Jesus, walked among us in the past. As they say, they will just take it on faith. Oh...let me help define that for them...

      The one line that keeps running through this entire thread, albeit in a tortured way, is old idea of mysticism. In this case, the 'believers' cite that man cannot conceive of God or his son, but then they fail to explain how they (men and women) are able to conceive of God...and his son. It's beyond our understanding, they say. Then how do they understand it? Blank Out. Or they just feel it, like we might feel our pulse or how the ancients may have read the tea leaves or how the Shaman read his bag of bones.

      This spiritual mysticism negates man's (and women's) consciousness. The ability to reason, think, judge, rationalize - all are cast aside as being unnecessary. One must feel God, they say, just 'know' it, and submit to Him or his son or both. We exist only because God placed us here, upon this earth and He is beyond our understanding our knowledge. Then how do the faithful comprehend Him? Blank out.

      To the faithful, ours is not to question, but the serve, like zombies, for unfathomable reasons. Our reward? Our reward, say the faithful is Life after Death, so long as you follow God's plan, whatever it might be (they cannot know it).

      So don't be selfish, deny yourself earthly pleasures, give up all personal desires, renounce yourself, make your life the great "subtraction" and all will be well in this temporary place called Earth. Sacrifice all to the cause of the next life. Ignore the now.

      Mysticism. Make-believe. Faithful. Blind. In this way, we can reach the the sublime morality, the absolute pinnacle of morality, the grand heights of virtue.

    • fpherj48 profile image

      Paula 22 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Damian.....I believe you meant, "WANDERING Jew." We are ALL "Wondering humans" quite obviously.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      jgshorebird: You last comment was very philosophical and poetic.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oops. I just realized I repeated myself in my next to last comment. Oh well. That's what happens when you're in a hurry to be somewhere, I guess... ;-P

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Yes, wandering thank you. You guys do not know me personally nor do I know you. What I do know and I will reiterate it once again is that understanding God from a human perspective I believe is impossible and that certainly goes for me as well. I do not understand Him any better than any other. One thing He has blessed me with is humility. J bird I do not think He wants us to suffer or always be completely denying ourselves. Rather, I think He is trying to bless us. Actually you make a very good point in that why would He send His Son to die for us and then make us endure earthly suffering. I cannot believe what I am about to tell cause I said I would never blog about myself. 9 months ago I was diagnosed with MS. My wife, who is a nurse said you do not even know how to be sick. It is true I never get sick. My prayer then was and still is that I could help someone else. Instead of feeling sorry for myself God showed me so many others that were in such terrible states. I pray for these others constantly. In April I was offered to participate in the senior mission which involves going to nursing homes on Saturdays and Sundays and providing a worship service. In truth, they are giving me much more than I could ever give them. All of you are certainly entitled to their own opinions. Certainly no person should force their beliefs on another. I am not judging any of you. He is what works for me. I am aware of some of the difficulties and yet I actually feel His love. I know you will think me crazy. Maybe I am. They say different strokes for different folks. If I have offended any person with my belief I certainly apologize. That was not my intention. Rather, I wish all of you a multitude of blessings. You can never go wrong if you follow your heart and that is my wish for each of you. There are people out there that are terminal and some are hungry and some are depressed and so many other sad things. I am truly blessed and am one of the lucky ones.

      Blessings.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      CatherineG.

      I try to make the 'blind' see.

      But thanks for the compliment.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Pal

      You say Jesus is never mentioned in the New Testament. You are right that He is not mentioned by the name of Jesus but one could certainly argue that He is referenced.

      Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22 are clear reference to a future crucifixion and there are others although these two seem to be the most prolific. In Genesis, God refers to Himself as a plural God saying that we will make man in Our image. The Old Testament references are clearly written prior to the time of Jesus and before crucifixion was even invented by the Romans. Even the wording of, "My god, why have you forsaken me." As well as, " It pleased The Lord to bruise Him." These are clear references to someone who is going to get it.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Sorry I meant Old Testament. Oops!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      it's not just about written records but also contemporaneous events, sites, persons such as St Paul etc. They all go together as a group of primary source evidence for JC and apostles. The level of evidence is far higher than most other events in ancient history. Google catacombs: if you say the symbols and images are simply concoted then you've lapsed back into another conspiracy theory.

      The miracles and divinity are an entirely different topic out of the range of this hub.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Oz, it doesn't matter how many 'sources' you cite for the historical authenticity of the New Testament if THEY'RE ALL FROM WITHIN THE NEW TESTAMENT! That's like saying's something's true because I say it is! It's why we need independent corroboration.

      As for your "Google" suggestion regarding the catacombs, I see you're reverting to your standard pattern -- You offer something as 'evidence,' then when someone asks you to substantiate or authenticate it, you scurry back into your little "conspiracy theory" bunker.

      It would all be amusing if it weren't so truly pathetic.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Damian, I must say I truly appreciate your efforts to put forth a rational argument (unlike certain others who tell you to "Google it."). That said, there are a number of flaws in with your two suggestions of Old Testament references.

      The first, from Isaiah 53, is one of the most popular supposed prophecies of Jesus from the Old Testament. However, as I can demonstrate, it definitely does NOT refer to Jesus. There's no clear reference to crucifixion, either (the closest it comes is a reference to being "bruised for our [supposed] iniquities."

      I've actually addressed this 'prophecy' (which actually begins at the end of Isaiah 52) in detail in one my hubs. Though Catherine discourages links to other hubs on her pages, you can find it easily enough if you go to my profile page and select "Isaiah 53: It's Not Who You Think."

      As for the Psalm 22 reference, that is much more intriguing (I may even write a hub about it later!). The relevant portion from the King James Version definitely sounds like it parallels the crucifixion story in the gospels:

      "...For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet...."

      However, if you read the (awkward) word-for-word direct translation from the original language, you'll see it paints a very different comparison:

      "...they-surround·me dogs crowd-of ones-doing-evil they-cencompass·me as·the·lion hands-of·me and·feet-of·me..."

      With this more direct translation, one can see that the comparison is to an animal being hunted and surrounded, NOT to a future crucifixion!

      If you're not already familiar with it, I HIGHLY recommend the Hebrew Interlinear Bible Online (using the Leningrad Codex -- the oldest existing complete Old Testament manuscript). It's an excellent resource, for believer and non-believer alike!

      http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/Heb...

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Thank you for the info on the Hebrew Bible. I will look into it. Is it true that the real Hebrew name of Jesus is actually Yeshua? You seem to be quite learned on the topic. Thank you again.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      You're welcome. And thank you! I say that because I learn as much from others as (hopefully) they learn from me. I've already picked up on a couple of new things, thanks to your participation here.

      As for the name 'Yeshua' -- I'm certainly no expert, by any means! But this is my knowledge of it, for what it's worth: As I understand it, "Jesus" is a Greek variation of "Yeshua." And "Yeshua," in turn, is a shorter variation of "Yehoshua" (like "Bob" is a shorter alternative to "Robert").

      As for "Yehoshua," it's a composite of two Hebrew words -- "Yeh-ho," which represents God himself, used as either a prefix or suffix in Jewish names, and "shua," which means "saves." So, together, the name literally means "God saves."

      Hope that helps. :-)

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      the catacombs are not "inside the new testament" they are warrens beneath the ground. The Talmud are Jewish documents. St Peters tomb is an actual tomb. Damascus is a real place. The list is huge. The new testament is one of the oldest primary source documents still being used by archaeologists and law makers alike. Its practically a legal document and occurs in every western court and goverment. It's accuracy is unparalleled in the entire ancient middle east.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Thomas

      it is quite correct to label personal attacks, hate speech etc as arrogance. It is not allowed by HP. My behaviour remains polite and scientific at all times. Accusations of trolling against

      a new member is particularly heinous and has in the past resulted in the offender being barred. Likewise accusations of being a troll or a nut made against a long term established and respected member. I am of course building up to a full report about such behaviour.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      No one likes a tattletale, Oz. You should be a moderator for HP as they like such people. Why don't you simply stay away from hubs which upset you? But then, you wouldn't get to report people. :(

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Randy

      I am not in the least upset at all. Pointing out personal attacks undermines any facade of strength in weak arguments. Its important to correct misinformation re ethical issues. Why resort to personal attacks if you have a good argument? HP has rules and we agree to abide by them. How do you know I'm not just stimulating the weak consciences here? It appears that atheism weakens the conscience so why not stimulate those asphixiating consciences? Its a free service to all

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Oz

      Good job on the New Testament references and usage. Upon being sworn in a witness places their hand on the Bible. This country was founded as a Christian nation. Somewhere along the line we got away from that route.

      Both you and Pal possess an innate ability to communicate your opinion and substantiate it with credible resources. Well done to both of you. Catherine is an excellent writer and researcher as she presents such thought provoking Hubs. So to all keep up the good work.

      Blessings!

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      The name "Jesus Christ" literally means "Savior Messiah" Jesus is an English derivation from the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name Joshua (Yeshua). which means "Yahweh saves." Christ is the Greek "christos" meaning "anointed" which in Hebrew is "messiah." I'm quoting Richard Carrier from "On the Historicity of Jesus." So we have a savior god who is literally named "Savior God."

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      I'm going to apologize to everyone in advance for the extraordinary length of these comments. But Oz keeps making claims about the supposed "unparalleled accuracy" of the New Testament, about Jesus' supposed historical existence and the supposed "scientific evidence" he's supposedly offered thus far.

      So, for the benefit of retrospection, I'm going to summarize his extremely lackluster, UN-scientific and evasive case thus far:

      -------------------

      Oz, doubling down on your claims doesn't make them more true. I know it's often believed that, if you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth. But this isn't Fox "News" Channel!

      Let's recap what you've offered us thus far:

      You arrived here three weeks ago and began your argument by claiming that the existence of Paul and Peter are "well documented facts."

      -- But you never offered any proof! Instead, you began trying to compare them to the controversy over the historical existence of Shakespeare.

      Next, you made broad attacks on the integrity of atheists with the following accusations:

      "...it doesn't matter how much obvious proof is provided, an athesit (sic) will not behave scientifically when the subject is religion; often due to personal hurts or personal vendettas. The facade of objectivity easily dissolves under any serious scientific scutiny (sic) of the historical record..."

      -- To quote someone's most recent comments here, "Why resort to personal attacks if you have a good argument?"

      Next, you made the claim that "The hub topic is about if JC existed."

      -- No, it isn't. It's about the potential origins of the Jesus myth, using comparisons with other, earlier religious myths.

      Next, you made the assertion that, because the indigenous Australians supposedly handed down their oral traditions with "incredible accuracy," that means, "therefore," the New Testament accounts are also "highly accurate."

      -- Do I really even need to address this one?

      Next, you claim that Jesus' concept of 'love' was "revolutionary and hundreds of years ahead of its time," and that it "bears little resemblance to anything before in human history."

      -- Which is absolutely false on multiple levels. But even if we accept the premise, it says NOTHING about whether or not he actually existed.

      Next, you mentioned Carl Jung's "archetypes," never really explaining what they have to do with Jesus.

      -- Other than perhaps trying to impress people with an irrelevant and obscure academic reference.

      Next, you claimed that, up to that point in the discussion, you'd "made rational scientific comments offering another point of view, no more no less."

      -- But anyone can see, by the quotes above, you'd done MUCH MORE than that. Not only had you made NO 'scientific' comments, you'd questioned the objectivity of atheists in general.

      After a week of this, I arrived and insisted that you begin offering proof for your claims, instead a lot of irrelevant gibberish about Yung and "archetypes." This is when you began your evasions, pointing to someone else's comments that had been deleted, as an excuse to not provide any of your own.

      Next, you returned to your theme of Peter's existence (trying to shift the focus away from Jesus), and claiming that anyone who denied both their existences was a "conspiracy theorist." To muddy the waters further, you added Buddha and Muhammad.

      -- But you STILL offered no evidence for the existence of Jesus!

      Next you offered this gem: "I note there has been no response to the eyewitness evidence of the apostles or to the veracity of their existence."

      -- But you never offered any evidence for the supposed "veracity of their existence!" Are we supposed to just take your word for it?

      Next, you began claiming that you didn't have time to provide the evidence, as you had "back to back gigs."

      -- Yet, somehow, you still found time to provide a link regarding the existence of Shakespeare -- a totally unrelated topic!

      Next, you began making noises about Peter's tomb in the Vatican.

      -- But you never demonstrated how you know the tomb is actually Peter's, or how that proves the historical existence of Jesus.

      But you carried on for the next few days about Peter's tomb and "conspiracy theories."

      -- As if questioning the authenticity and relevance of Peter's tomb to Jesus is a conspiracy. And still, of course, you offered no evidence for either Jesus' existence or Peters!

      Next, after going off onto another distracting tangent (this time, Imhotep, the Egyptian), you returned to your assertions regarding the supposed "eyewitness" accounts of Paul and the apostles.

      -- Apparently, hoping that no one had noticed you NEVER offered any evidence of their existence (or the accuracy of their supposed accounts).

      Next, you offered another gem: "Of course his [Shakespeare's] writings are proof just as the unique philosophy of JC is proof and the letters in the Bible are proof.. People proven to know JC are also proven to have existed. It is sheer common sense."

      -- Again, you never acknowledge that the ONLY "proof" of this philosophy, the letters and the people is ALL in the New Testament, which isn't "proof" at all!

      Next, you FINALLY offered some link regarding the supposed historical authenticity of the New Testament (and, presumably, Jesus).

      -- But the link offers nothing more than a comparison of numbers of existing copies of 'ancient' manuscripts (as if that somehow demonstrates or disproves authenticity), accompanied by more assertions about the existence of the apostles. (the link is available in two locations above, for those who are interested).

      Next, you went on more about "conspiracy theories," commenting on "the wealth of evidence regarding JC and the apostle witnesses."

      -- The "wealth of evidence" that you have yet to provide!

      Next, you claimed that "There is far far less evidence for many ancient personages often only a single mention in a copy of a copy but such non religious persons/events are held to be historical fact."

      -- Aside from offering no specific examples, you failed to mention how this is relevant to the historical existence of Jesus, who supposedly lived in a time when there were PLENTY of historians around -- ALL who somehow missed it!

      Next, you went back to trying to use Paul as a source, then suggested that the Talmud refers to Jesus as a "minor historical actual person."

      -- Which, despite my request, you still have yet to substantiate with a link or specific quote.

      Next, you tried a comparison to yet ANOTHER historical figure (the old bait and switch) -- Alexander.

      -- This, despite the enormous physical evidence of Alexander's historical existence from his military campaigns, founding of cities, existing coinage and a multitude of corroborating documentation from among his vast empire. And, AGAIN, this has nothing to do with Jesus' own historicity!

      Next, you make your first attempt at ACTUAL historical evidence for Jesus' existence -- the suggestion that there are contemporary paintings of Jesus in the Roman catacombs.

      -- Of course, no evidence of their authenticity or dating has yet been offered.

      Damian, in his good-natured attempt at diplomacy, gives you FAR too much credit with regard to your "credible sources." Thus far -- despite your earlier contentions about "thousands" of pieces of "obvious" evidence, you've provided nothing of any substance. And when there's a possibility of REAL evidence (like the paintings in the catacombs), you quickly change topics.

      This could doubtless go on forever. But I'm now convinced that -- not only will you NEVER offer any real evidence, you have none to begin with!

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Great reading here. Very articulate Paladin.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Just the sort of response I expected from you, Oz. You can talk for days and never say anything of importance. I'd like some proof of our--atheist's- lack of conscience. But then, you never offer anything of substance when asked so I'll not expect any this time either. Were you ever a hall monitor? :P

    • JMcFarland profile image

      Julie McFarland 22 months ago from The US of A, but I'm Open to Suggestions

      I think what Paladin has successfully shown is that while hp proper has no requirement for integrity in the comment section, it doesn't mean that we as hubbers shouldn't strive for a higher standard. Oz's modus operandi is to make a lot of claims, make excuses for not baking them up, waste time in anti-atheistic polemic and fail to back up and of the claims he makes with actual facts, preferring to move the goalposts, change the subject and switch tactics whenever he encounters opposition. Since we all know the topics he frequents, i think we should ask take a page from paladins book and hold him to the standard that he expects from the rest of us.

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      a long rambling personal attack with a whole lot of tweaked misquotes does not constitue a rebuttal. Historical established research can't be wiped away on a small hub by wishing. You can't change history with conspiracy theories. The symbols in the catacombs ar real established fact (as are tombs and letters as stated). You would be a world famous historian if you could change established history but you're only a hubber with a lot of spare time on his hands. E for effort.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Oz isn't fooling anyone with his unbacked claims, Julie. When someone challenges him on his false claims he simply spouts a few more. He's dug his hole so deep he'll never climb out of it. I feel real pity for him because the only one's who support him are just like him. :(

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Like I stated: "NUTS!!!" As is applies to Oz's nonsense.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I suggest everyone simply ignore him unless he provides some sort of factual evidence for his laughable claims. Otherwise, he will continue posting bull$hit with nothing to support his claims. This too is representative of troll like behavior on his part. I wonder if he is actually an adult?

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Seconded.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Perhaps you're right, Randy. I'll do my best.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      I did not seem to understand the conscience thing. Whether you believe or do not believe the one thing we have in common is all of us are sinners. The only difference is I believe that I need and have a savior in Jesus and you do not. We are more similar than you think. Every person is entitled to believe as he or she sees fit. What works for one might not work for another. You may not believe in or adhere to the Bible but I do think one would agree that the teachings of love, patience, kindness, understanding and forgiveness are attributes all would strive to attain. We can agree to disagree as to its origination but the premise is most certainly a very positive one. Faith is amazing but religion itself becomes dangerous when you think that someone who does not share your same belief is somehow a lesser human being in some regard. Real faith involves ultimate humility. Real atheism or agnosticism still involves a type of conviction even if it is in your non-belief. You still must be committed to it. Maybe there are not as many differences than you think.

      Either way the human condition is still a condition. The only question that remains is; is there a cure?

      Blessings!

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I had to do just that with Brenda Durham, Pal. She was another religious nut who ignored facts similar to what has occurred on this hub. Trolls despise being ignored worse than anything. :o

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Yes, everyone please take a break. This discussion is going nowhere.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      Hi Catherine,

      You wrote:

      "The name "Jesus Christ" literally means "Savior Messiah" Jesus is an English derivation from the Greek spelling of the Hebrew name Joshua (Yeshua). which means "Yahweh saves." Christ is the Greek "christos" meaning "anointed" which in Hebrew is "messiah." I'm quoting Richard Carrier from "On the Historicity of Jesus." So we have a savior god who is literally named "Savior God.""

      I'm a bit lost - are you claiming that "Jesus" means, "Savior God" or that "Jesus Christ" means "Savior God"? Sorry if this is obvious to others...

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Jesus means "Yahweh saves", Christ means "messiah" which literally means "the anointed one" who which means a savior or liberator of a group of people. Both the first and last names mean savior god taken separately and together. About one in 26 Jewish men at the time had the name "Jesus" so there is only a 4% chance that the name Jesus was a co-incidence.

    • jgshorebird profile image

      jgshorebird 22 months ago from Southeastern U.S.

      Oz:

      Your continued badgering of respected members of this fine establishment leaves one to wonder at your ability to provide any semblance of a logical, well thought out, contribution to this comment section.

      Why do you continue to offer zero evidence, but think, beyond all reasoning, that it is evidence? That somehow, some way, the catacombs with their many drawings, carvings - all unconfirmed by date, offer actual and real validation that your God Son walked this earth? That the Talmud's vague references, offer any proof at all? What tortured logical argument can you offer? Where is the grain of truth? The mustard seed of your faith? Let me answer that for you: None.

      Consistently, you have offered no evidence to validate (a) that JC ever existed and (b) that the myths of Horus and Mithra were not simply plagiarized by the Christians.

      It is, on the other hand, reasonable for a person to conclude, based upon the references about myths with in CatherineG's Hub, that the Jesus Christ story, is a mere repeated myth from before the ancient Egyptians. Again, we are talking about how "reasonable" people think. Not atheists. Not necessarily agnostics, but people willing to engage their thinking processes in a rational manner.

      Your responses are purely emotional, with no support. Irrational.

      I was having fun with you using U.S. Army Brigider General Anthony Clement "Nuts" McAuliffe's terminology. He didn't like to use profane language. But you can call it "Hate Speech".

      When you call us "Atheist Peeps" which means, I take it "Atheist Friends" one hears the dripping sarcasm. But it's fine. We here in the U.S. are a Free Speech Country. By the way, I personally am not an atheist.

    • Jamie Banks 99 profile image

      Jamie Banks 22 months ago from Japan

      In that case I think you have misread the situation. It's a common mistake to call "Christ" a name but it is not - it is a title. It would be like calling "Queen" Elizabeth's first name.

      I don't see how "anointed one" means "savior God". It implies an anointing by someone else - ultimately God. So the term "anointed one" separates the person from God.

      The most accurate way to explain the meaning of Jesus is to leave it at the translation you give: "Yahweh saves". To change that to "savior god" strongly implies Jesus himself was God. That's a whole different nuance to "Yahweh saves".

      Incidentally, as I understand it, to be accepted as King by the Jews, Jesus would have to be anointed by the high priest. However, he was scathing of the priesthood and in fact the only anointing that takes place is by Mary. The fact that she is a woman, with a reputation as a sinner, makes this a highly offensive piece of social and spiritual commentary. It is a rather controversial fulfilment of Biblical prophecy to say the least... I think it's fascinating myself.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Incidentally, this is why I didn't vote in the hub's poll -- because all the options listed him as "Jesus Christ." I see no compelling reason to accept that Jesus -- assuming he did exist -- was the Jewish messiah 'prophesied' in the Old Testament. So I can't refer to him by that name and title.

      If the poll had included options such as merely "Jesus" or "Jesus of Nazareth," I would have been more inclined to vote.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      When I say "Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" I mean the person who is commonly referred to by that name. The name does not matter. I am not talking about an actual Jesus Christ because I don't think that this person ever existed.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Gosh Pal you cannot even answer a survey. Your non- belief is quite strong. Catherine does not believe either but she includes the name itself as it is included in history. Answering that question does not imply that you are a believer just that it is a historical reference.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      Hehe. Actually, when you use the title, it implies that you AGREE with the title. You've probably discerned by now that I'm a stickler for proper semantics.

      And actually, it DOES make a difference with regard to the poll question. For example, I DON'T believe that "Jesus Christ" existed (the Jewish messiah). But I DO suspect that Jesus of Nazareth existed. Clearly, the distinction is quite significant -- a matter of belief or non-belief!

      In any case, if you really think about it, common vernacular has a significant affect on the way society sees things -- specifically, in the things we take for granted.

      One of the reasons religion has such a strong, pervasive influence on society is because it's so deeply embedded in our common language. And every little careless or casual falsehood -- like calling Jesus "Christ" -- is another concession to a an erroneous and malignant paradigm that's already overwhelming.

      As an anti-theist, my ultimate goal is to shift the public paradigm away from superstition and religion toward a more rational and thoughtful society. And I recognize that, in the long term, small details -- such as the way people speak about ideas -- can be just as important as the ideas themselves.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      I respect your obvious conviction even though I am completely at the opposite end of the spectrum from where you are. Everyone I think has reasons for their foundation of what their ultimate belief encompasses. Believe it or not evidently more people seem to be going in your direction. I am sure you would care in the least. However, I believe just five short years ago 82 percent of America believed in some version of God. The latest poll shows that number has dipped 8 percent to the current number of 74 percent. That may not seem like a great deal but it is substantial. Once again as fortified as you are in your unbelief I am just as committed in my belief.

      There are people in my church that probably would not understand me even having a curiosity to any atheistic approach. My only answer would be to suggest that without knowing how the other side views what it is they believe or do not believe how can you even appreciate your own faith. That may sound funny to some but that is truly how I feel. I am confident enough in my own belief that it will never be compromised just by examining the other side of the issue. I may be wrong but you seem to possess at least somewhat the very same curiosity. Each weekend I spend at nursing homes with a few others from my church offering a worship service. Perhaps some of these never received Christ so I am trying to help get them saved before they check out. I guess each of us has their own motivations on the importance of eternity if that indeed exists as I am sure you have your doubts. I do not want to get overly personal but I would be lying if I did not admit to being curious on how exactly does one arrive at an atheistic approach? While I was raised with faith I was one of the first bible nuts in the family. My siblings all remained catholic for several years. I guess it just comes down to different strokes for different folks. Somewhat off topic but do you ever just ask how is it that if this person did exist that He could last so very long and cause so much ruckus and commotion. One thing I think you and I may agree on is while I believe faith is beautiful, I believe religion to be downright dangerous. It, in theory is supposed to result in humility and often results in judgment, stereotype and prejudice.

      Stay well.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      I'm curious, Damian. Do you really believe you would eventually end up as a Christian if you had been born in the Middle East into a Muslim family? And how do you get past the fact of most people simply inheriting their beliefs? Are many Christians merely fortunate to be born into the "correct" belief and others not? I'd be interested in your thoughts on this matter.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Randy,

      You are exactly correct and I guess that is where my curiosity comes in. I would most likely not have the belief that I have if I were raised in a different culture and religion. I do not put any person down for their beliefs or for any other reason. I am human and in a human condition. Unlike some I really believe in : let those among you without sin cast the first stone. I do not mean to be disrespectful in any manner but I am being honest about my curiosity. It is not meant to be a judgment. I hope I did not come across that way. What kind of person would I be if I only agreed or was open to those who believe as I do. I would miss the point completely. I did state that while we were raised Catholic I was the first to get away from that and become born again. Most of my family remained Catholic.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      You've been very respectful and I appreciate it, Damian. I'm merely interested how you rationalize your beliefs when most people simply inherit their beliefs from their parents or other members of their family. It seems to me that one's beliefs are simply the luck of the draw of where one is born and what they are indoctrinated into as a child.

      Even though you switched from Catholicism you still follow the same God so it's really not a far stretch to make. If you'd turned to the Muslim or some other belief, you would have a point there.

      But being the majority of people simply follow their parents faith, it tends to make the whole "free will" thing a joke. Your thoughts?

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Please take off-topic comments to a forum. This hub is about the similarities between myth and the story of Jesus Christ.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 22 months ago from Southern Georgia

      Sorry for the off-topic comments Catherine, I'm banned from the forums. :(

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Randy you are welcome on my site any time you like.

    • CatherineGiordano profile image
      Author

      Catherine Giordano 22 months ago from Orlando Florida

      Damian10: I like your idea of moving this discussion to one of your hubs. Feel free to post the link here because I prefer that the comments here remain on topic. Anyone who wants to comment on the ideas put forward in this hub is of course always welcome to do so here.

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Catherine ... you are gracious as always. Thank you.

    • Paladin_ profile image

      Paladin_ 22 months ago from Michigan, USA

      At the risk of going off-topic, I just want to add my appreciation for believers like Damian, who actually have something of VALUE to offer the discussion -- regardless of what they believe.

      Perhaps if I ever get off my butt and actually finish another hub, I'll see you there! ;-)

    • Damian10 profile image

      Damian 22 months ago from Naples

      Sounds good Pal. Stay positive!

    • Oztinato profile image

      Oztinato 22 months ago from Australia

      Paldn

      at the risk of going off topic I just want to say I'm glad you found a believer you like. Perhaps you could write a hub about the catacombs?

    Click to Rate This Article