There's an interesting debate going on in the CafeMom atheist group, not over whether Jesus was supernatural, but whether he existed at all:
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
Answer by Anonymous at 7:34 AM on Dec. 14, 2012
Answer by butterflyblue19 at 7:34 AM on Dec. 14, 2012
Answer by momto2boys973 at 7:40 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.
Answer by jsbenkert at 9:05 AM on Dec. 14, 2012
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.
Answer by jsbenkert at 9:30 AM on Dec. 14, 2012
Answer by funlovinlady at 9:43 AM on Dec. 14, 2012
Answer by Anonymous at 9:43 AM on Dec. 14, 2012