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Was Jesus a real, historical person?

If you don't have a 'religious' view about Jesus, do you think he existed as an actual historical person and if so, please state the evidence supporting this and provide links to that evidence. Thank you.


Asked by IhartU at 11:41 AM on Feb. 16, 2011 in Religious Debate

Level 27 (31,412 Credits)
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Answers (33)
  • Here are some of the primary persons who lived during the supposed lifetime of Jesus, whose works we have, and who we could reasonably expect would have mentioned Jesus had he existed, yet they do not:

    Probably because they didn't have Facebook.

    Answer by -Eilish- at 10:51 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • IhartU,
    You say you want evidance.. but then you say there is none.. From the sounds of it.. You have already made up your mind..

    So what is the point of giving you information? I mean if your actually seeking to find info.. that is great. But if you have already closed your mind and determined that there isn't any evidance.. Why ask for it?

    Answer by 2boys4momma at 11:55 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • There are many books on Jesus's life from a historical perspective. There is evidence that he lived and was executed.

    Answer by riotgrrl at 11:45 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • From what I understand, there is evidence that Jesus, in fact, did exist and was a real person. The debate is really whether or not he is the "son of god" or a religious teacher.

    We do know that his family was very poor and did work of Masons . . . Jesus probably survived on that profession for much of his life.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 11:44 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Yes. Texts from other countries/religions have him as a religious icon.
    I believe he was just a mortal man. A teacher,prophet

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 11:45 AM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • You can read the writings of Josephus for one who was a Jewish historian that lived in the 1st century. There is some argument over the accuracy of some of his writings, but it is not disputed that his mention of "Jesus, brother of James" is accurate. There are other historical texts that mention Jesus, some of them are Greek and refer to him as "Chrestus" or something similar, but it would be up to you to study through them and make your own decision about them. Many scholars believe he was a real man, even those that don't believe he was the Son of God - and they've had a lot more time to study the subject than I have! I believe the Bible and that's enough for me, but it is not the only source.

    Answer by missanc at 1:41 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I also checked out the website. Here is the thing: The assumptions the website is making is hypothetical. Here is why-first the website uses the bible to point out discrepancies. First the website acknowledges the bible! Now the bible is used to point out the existance but yet the website wants to use the same criteria to make Jesus a myth. It just does not make sense to me. Just seems like the website wants it both ways.

    Answer by 2tinyhineys at 4:24 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I believe that Jesus may have lived, but I hold no firm belief because there is a lack of proof. Now, I have read information regarding some non-Christian ancient scripts and writings that mention Jesus in some form, but again, they aren't proof. Tibetan scripts discovered in a Buddhist convent detail the life of St. Issa. Tacitus was a 2nd century historian who wrote a passage about "Christus". But they are so old and there isn't anything to definitively prove their authenticity. So if you look at them through a skeptical eye, you won't consider it to be evidence.


    Answer by KelleyP77 at 1:48 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • Historical evidence of Jesus can be found in the writings of ancient historians:
    Tacitus (Annals)
    Flavius Josephus (Antiquities)
    Julius Africanus (Extant Writings)
    Lucian of Samosata
    Pliny the Younger (Letters)

    Then of course there are the numerous Gnostic writings mentioning Jesus. Although the Gnostic ideas are rejected by most Christians (not all), the writings are still of historical significance.

    Answer by asmcbride at 2:01 PM on Feb. 16, 2011

  • I think I've come across that website before. I'm going to save it so I can read it more thoroughly later. At a glance, I think Earl Doherty would agree that Jesus is only a myth and not an historical man. I haven't read The Jesus Puzzle yet, but I just read Challenging the Verdict: The Case Against The Case For Christ which shows everything that Lee Strobel conveniently leaves out of his book while pretending to play the skeptic (He didn't ask any tough questions and only talks to the most conservative NT scholars).
    Here's a link to his page: The Age of Reason--Earl Doherty
    My personal take is that I'm not sure if he really lived but it's not a big deal to me either way, and some of the teachings attributed to him are worth considering (compassion, etc). I do not believe he was a Son of God or anymore 'divine' than any other human if he did indeed live.

    Answer by pam19 at 4:09 PM on Feb. 16, 2011