Jesus Probably Didn’t Exist (Video)

Not sure if I’m really motivated enough to regularly post on another medium outside of this blog, but I wanted to at least have my videos make the broader point I’m trying to make.

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Author: Tim...Stepping Out

Tim Stepping Out

2 thoughts on “Jesus Probably Didn’t Exist (Video)”

  1. Interesting, I started my doubts for the historical Jesus when I was in college in a Catholic University (not CUA in DC) and we we’re taught about the proofs of god’s existence (ontological, Thomas Aquinas, intelligent design, etc), which are all fallacious which I realized after taking philosophy class. Then I came to the conclusion later on that Theodicy is also fallacious. This realization lead to plenty of great books until I had the same realization that might have been no historical Jesus in the genesis of Christianity and that all about his life are pure contrivances that resonates on ideas, not on a single person named Jesus of the NT.

    I think you’re right that Mark (or Ur-Markus by some scholars) is not written by a Jew living in Judea. Matthew was an addendum to correct the geographical errors of Mark. Here’s an article from Harvard University Center for Hellenic Studies which states:

    “I do not expect to be able to overturn the majority opinion of modern scholarship in the course of a short chapter. There are several other pieces of evidence that different scholars have cited as reasons for accepting at least the partial authenticity of the text, such as the passage mentioning James the brother of Jesus in Antiquities 20.200, Origen’s claims in Against Celsus 1.47 and Commentary on Matthew 10.17 that Josephus did not believe Jesus to be the Christ, Agapius’ tenth century Arabic version of the text, and the very presence of the text in the manuscript tradition of Josephus.

    What I have tried to show here is that many of the usual reasons given to support the authenticity of the text are weak or reversible, and this is particularly true of arguments about Josephan language and non-Christian content. Further, arguments about negative tone and ironic or ambiguous readings are almost entirely subjective. Our ability to perceive them depends on who we think wrote the text in the first place. The frequently employed argument that the language is “Josephan,” and therefore must either come from Josephus himself or be a masterful forgery, runs into difficulties especially in places where we find parallels in Eusebius but not in Josephus. Such language, of course, could still conceivably have been used by Josephus. It is impossible to prove absolutely that it was not. But it is difficult to see how it can be used as a positive argument for authenticity. (Emphasis added)

    Here’s another peer-reviewed article published in the Journal for the Study of Psedepigrapha in 1995 entitled “The Coincidences of the Emmaus Narrative of Luke and the Testimonium of Josephus”. I do agree with him that the entire theme of TF comes from Luke 24:13-35 although I am not in full agreement with everything he said since it gives off an impression that he’s trying to salvage what is genuine in the TF even though in reality, there’s nothing worth saving in the TF. He said in the article that the authenticity hasn’t been seriously doubted which I disagree but some of his thoughts on the James passage that made me think:

    The other speculation I wish to make concerns the origin of the source. Luke attributes his tradition to Cleopas and his companion. As mentioned above, Cleopas might well have been the father of Simon, the leader of the Jerusalem Church after James died circa 62 C.E. Now, the only other passage in Josephus that mentions Jesus is the description of the death of James (Ant. 20.9.1 §200- 203). I speculate that both this description of James’ death and the description of Jesus that served as the basis for the Testimonium were obtained by Josephus from the Jerusalem Church during Simon’s tenure. This church had an interest in both (a) the facts behind James’ fate, which led to Simon’s succession, and (b) the testimony of Cleopas, which asserted that the first disciple to whom Jesus appeared was the father of Simon (if we have identified Cleopas correctly), and so would establish his authority. Moreover, Josephus seems to treat James and the Jewish Christians with sympathy. This theory is purely a guess, as Josephus could have had other sources for the death of James, as it was the central act of Ananus during his high priesthood; but the idea of a common origin for the two Jesus references in the Antiquities has an attractive symmetry. Perhaps researchers more expert than I in the transmission of ancient gospels can shed further light on these questions.

    While I don’t agree with CE about the presence of a Christian Jerusalem Church that early considering it’s source is Eusebius, a notorious forger of Christian history, it is possible that Josephus did picked up something from Jews in Jerusalem which he used in Antiquities 20 minus the “who was called the Christ”.

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