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Did Jesus Exist?

There's an interesting debate going on in the CafeMom atheist group, not over whether Jesus was supernatural, but whether he existed at all:

Did Jesus Exist? - a debate

What do you think of the arguments made on either side?   Do you have any good sources to add to it?  (Obviously, just posting "I believe!", "The Bible says so" or "Jesus talks to me" won't have much weight with them.)

Answer Question
 
Clairwil

Asked by Clairwil at 7:07 AM on Dec. 14, 2012 in Religious Debate

Level 12 (670 Credits)
Answers (26)
  • That's not a debate, that's you promoting your group
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:34 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • Yeah,there's no debate going on,just what you posted
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:34 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • It is my understanding that the most universally accepted position by historians and scholars is that he existed and that certain events, like his baptism and crucifixion are accepted historical facts. I've only heard of a handful of Atheists that state that he didn't exist without much evidence to support that position except lack of belief.
    But ultimately, if we have a question it's up to us to try to find those answer in an objective manner and with intellectual honesty.
    momto2boys973

    Answer by momto2boys973 at 7:40 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • > there's no debate going on, just what you posted


    The debate is going on inside the atheist community, with atheists on both sides of the question.


    What I posted is a report of the current state of the wider debate, as a starting point for those interested in debating it here on CafeMom.

    Clairwil

    Comment by Clairwil (original poster) at 8:29 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • > certain events, like his baptism and crucifixion are accepted historical facts


    Are there any sources, outside the Bible, that mention Jesus' baptism?

    Clairwil

    Comment by Clairwil (original poster) at 8:30 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • Sorry for the "non-answers".  I thought this section might have moved beyond that sort of "debate".


    I don't believe there is a historical consensus that Jesus lived.  There is no contemporary documentation, in a time that just about everything of import was documented.  One would think that the miracles that surrounded his life, and the sort of persecution he was supposed to have suffered, would have given him several entries in the records kept at that time.  There is nothing.


    It's possible that Jesus existed, as a preacher and a cult leader, but I don't think he had the sort of contemporary  importance that later biblical writers ascribed to him.  I suppose it's possible that he actually lived, and that legends grew from some of his stories. There's still no evidence outside the Bible to support it, though.

    jsbenkert

    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:05 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • atheist on both sides? If an atheist believes in a Jesus then they aren't atheist..... You do know the meaning of atheist don't you?

    No Jesus isn't real and nor is a god, IMHO
    LostSoul88

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 9:17 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • I think an atheist can believe that the man existed, but not that he was anything more than a man, born of a woman who was impregnated by a man.  I'd believe that the man existed, if I had evidence (outside the Bible) to support it.  It would take a lot more than evidence of his existence, though, to convince me that he was anything more than mortal, like the rest of humanity.


    I can believe that Joseph Smith existed, without believing in all of the tall tales about golden tablets and mandates from his Kolob-inhabiting god that he should have multiple wives.

    jsbenkert

    Answer by jsbenkert at 9:30 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • No.
    funlovinlady

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:43 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

  • Yes. He cuts my grass.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:43 AM on Dec. 14, 2012

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