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Was jesus entirely made up

This isn't a question of if you believe in the actual word of jesus or the bible because we know this to be ludacris, but do you believe there was actually a real man named Jesus that all these myths and legends were then created around?

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By Shanemonty43
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35 comments

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6

See "Life Of Brian" for the true story.

Blessed are the cheesemakers

Look on the bright side of life....words to live by.

4

I believe that Jesus was a historical person, because Josephus wrote about him. However, Jesus was one of many in a long line of men, who opposed Roman rule. Jesus, described as the son of God, was an invention of the 1st Council of Nicea in 325 AD, which invented the doctrine of the Trinity. Personally, I believe that the teachings of Jesus were influenced by Mahayana Buddhism, which was spreading via the silk road from Ghandara, which is present day Afghanistan. It really doesn't matter if Jesus was a historical person. What matters is each of us being a kind and decent person.

That passage in Josephus is no evidence for Jesus. That's widely accepted as a "pious fraud". It reads like a commercial, not part of the surrounding text. It's a scribal insertion. It wasn't mentioned or seized upon by early church fathers, so it didn't exist in the copies of Jewish Wars available to them; it was a later insertion.

Not that there's zero reason to argue for the historicity of Jesus; this just isn't one of them.

4

No make up, but he did get his hair done every couple of weeks.

Sticks48 Level 9 Mar 19, 2019

Along with his nails....

@MrSoulSound He just did that one time.

3

In a sense the existance of a historical jesus does not really matter. The question was he god. No.

Marktzu Level 6 Mar 18, 2019
2

There were at least several rabble rousers/messiahs named Iesu (Aramaic form of the Greek Jesus). Iesu bar Damien is mentioned in Josephus next to the forged testimoniam flavium. The miracle working religious figure definitely did not exist. If he had, SOMEONE would have noticed.

Detritus Level 7 Apr 5, 2019
2

Was Zeus a real person? Who cares? Were his teachings of any value? That’s what matters.

jerry99 Level 8 Mar 18, 2019

To an extent, yes, but claims are typically made for Jesus that ascribe value to his teachings, not based on their actual content, but on his status as a deity and the whole salvific narrative of his significance. So a lot of people care very much that he was real, really god, and really man and effectively argue that IF those things are true then whatever came out of his mouth MUST be believed and obeyed.

@mordant Sure, but I thought I was replying to intelligent people.

@jerry99 You are here, for the most part. I'm just speaking to why it's more of an object of importance out there generally.

To me it's just an interesting technical point.

As a Buddhist, I’m inclined to believe that Siddhārtha Gautama was a real historical figure. I also believe that his teachings were probably a good representation of what was passed down in the Buddhist oral tradition. I also believe that many of his early teaching were probably edited some to “correct” what may have been thought of as mistakes. Further, I’m pretty sure that many of the Buddha’s later teachings were invented from scratch. So, whether or not the Buddha was a real person, we have a set of teachings which a lot of people have found to be of value. To me, that’s what’s important.

2

This is the traditionalist vs mythicist debate. I'm a mythicist, which is the minority position in academia. Mythicists believe Jesus was not a discrete historical figure; he was either a composite character or a complete invention.

This is not a very consequential debate, it's more of an interesting technical question for those who are interested in the details. I fall into that category because of my theological training.

It's not consequential because it's zero problem for me if Jesus turned out to be a real person, because that would in no way prove that historical figure was a miracle-working god-man. It's a relatively low bar to demonstrate that Christianity was founded by an actual person named Jesus of Nazareth. It's an impossibly high bar to demonstrate that this person was raising the dead, healing the blind, and turning water into wine.

In my view, the traditionalist view is the majority position primarily because the people who care about this issue tend to have their salaries paid by theological seminaries or divinity schools with a vested interest in supporting the historicity of Jesus.

My argument for mythicism is somewhat different from the one usually advanced. I have stated it before, so I won't repeat it unless someone asks me to.

mordant Level 8 Mar 18, 2019

s
ure repeat it. I for one don't think I have seen it.

@Fretherne1 Well ... if you simply put the NT in chronological order, rather than in canonical order, you would read Paul's epistles first, and the gospels last (except for Revelation). Paul wrote beginning only about 15 to 20 years after Jesus' alleged life and ministry.

Yet -- particularly if you parse the Greek and read it pretending like you were alive in AD 47 looking at the original manuscript and knew NOTHING of the gospel accounts (which you wouldn't, in AD 47) -- Paul speaks of Jesus as a celestial being, not a flesh and blood man. He is "seated in the heavenlies". He is more apparition than person. Indeed, the Greek word used to describe Jesus "appearing" is the one used colloquially to write about ghosts.

In fact it's reasonable to suspect that what came to be called the "gnostic heresy" originated at least in part, from Paul. Gnosticism was the main competing orthodoxy to what the Jerusalem Council was putting forth.

Paul was personally (if fractiously) acquainted with the apostle Peter and others on the Council. If Jesus was an actual person with an actual earthly ministry, why would Paul not cite the testimony of the apostles to substantiate his teachings about Christ -- if not, in fact, seek their endorsement?

Instead, what does he do? He makes the weakest possible appeal for the authenticity of his teaching: he says god told him personally. In a vision. Yeah, right.

I also find it telling that Paul doesn't at all do what someone with a literal person in mind would do: he doesn't reminisce, or tell anecdotes about Jesus' aphorisms or activities or teachings. He doesn't relate to Jesus as a mentor, or leader who walked the earth just a short time before. He doesn't provide snippets of a proto-gospel narrative. Zip. Zero. Nada.

What ended up happening, and I suspect it was deliberate, is hundreds of years later when the NT canon was defined, the books were collected together and the gospels and Acts, where Jesus is suddenly a flesh and blood, miracle-working god-man, are put FIRST. So Paul's writings, when you get to them, are completely reframed in the context of those gospel assumptions. Now instead of talking about a celestial Jesus, Paul can be understood, in light of the gospels, to be talking about a post-resurrection, post-ascension Jesus, ruling in heaven -- a sort of Christian hermeticism ("as above, so below" ). His disagreements with the Council can be seen as mostly about whether Gentiles should be included in the Church, and as a product of his irascibility and activism over against the Council's more methodical, traditionalist bent.

And sure enough, not that long after the Council of Nicea, the gnostics were finally purged as heretics and something akin to modern Christian orthodoxy concerning Jesus was firmly established.

This is another factor not often considered in the debate about the historicity of Jesus: in the early days, there was not one established orthodoxy, and one of the main competing orthodoxies was a mystical take on Jesus as an idealized, spiritual being dispensing enlightenment from on high.

I suggest that the gospels were authored to establish Jesus as human, to generate a mythos around him, just at a time (AD 70 to 90) that there were few still-living and lucid people who were more than little children back in around AD 30 -- it was now a time when the legend could better be forged out of whole cloth, or embellished from one or more real people who could serve as templates for the mythos.

When you add this to all the more commonly-heard arguments -- such as the total absence of corroboration from external sources, particularly secular, for the existence of Jesus, much less the fabulist narratives concerning him, it puts me nicely over the top in strongly suspecting Jesus wasn't real at all.

The only things we know for sure is that (1) Christianity sprang up around that time; (2) early on it did not possess the monolithic dogma that defines it today; (3) some early followers of Jesus themselves did not believe in a literal Jesus (the gnostics); (4) the testimony of the surviving and canonized NT scriptures is inconsistent and conflicting on this score when understood without the convoluted hermaneutics of modern Christian denominations that attempt to harmonize it; (5) most of the clarity we think we have on the topic is the product of centuries of hegemony by people who believe Jesus was real, and the knock-on assumptions that flow from that.

@mordant well I guess Nehushtan is in there for if they ever choose to get that far, and Two Greeks came to worship Him and He "hid from them" right, much more obvious, even if not taught in seminary. Even "why have You forsaken Me?" comes to = "I desire mercy, not sacrifice"

2

Look up Jesus vs Horus online. Makes for an interesting read.

xyz123 Level 7 Mar 18, 2019

Ha, nice, ya. If you want life more abundantly you will read one way, and if you want death More Abundantly you will read another way. Most Xtians are really Mithraists seeking the Elysian Fields I guess

2

The evidence is not historic at all, nor convincing as the most quoted source comes a hundred years after the supposed death. Also, the story of Jesus follows a common story line if many others and through a number of cultures.

1

You are aware that Nazareth didn't exist until the late 3rd century, right?

ldheinz Level 7 July 16, 2019

The fact that it did in the bible was another attempt at working in prophesy to herald a coming Messiah.

The fact that it did in the bible is proof that the name "Jesus of Nazareth" was invented at the Council of Nicea in the 4th century.

1

Waitaminute... Ludacris?? The rapper??? was Jesus?????

It makes so much sense now!

Paul4747 Level 8 May 4, 2019
1

I believe Jesus existed.
I have a guess.
Back then, when a woman was raped, she was blamed. Maybe Mary was raped and became pregnant. Maybe the immaculate conception was a way to cover up the rape. That means Jesus was not the son of God. He was the son of a rapist.

Josey63 Level 5 Apr 8, 2019
1

There are a lot of Jesuses in Miami! Lol

zesty Level 7 Apr 8, 2019
1

I think you will find man created god. Which must answer your question for us.

BeKind19 Level 4 Apr 3, 2019
1

The Bible was written so as to "hide wisdom from the wise" it is said, so you might reflect on that for a bit. "Jesus of Nazareth" (actually Joshua, the most common name then) equates to "John Doe from Nowhere" when you learn to read dialectically, fwiw

bbyrd009 Level 6 Mar 24, 2019
1

Only reference for Jesus is in the Bible...no other historical reference outside it.

"Why Invent the Jesus?" from Richard Carrier Ph.D.

zedmtl Level 4 Mar 18, 2019

I love richard carrier and his arguments. I actually watched this whole thing about a week ago

1

Yeah i don't believe in a historical jesus either, was just wondering how my view of the literature differed from others, im baffled that this is the minority view among academia though

1

I could see it being either way. No, completely made up or yes, the myths are very loosely based on some person who existed.

tzimzai Level 4 Mar 18, 2019
1

He was just a Jewish guy with a common name who did some Jewish preaching. Years later for some reason he was turned into a god. This has happened many times, but without somebody like Paul to push it into what became a massive new Jewish sect that we know and love, or hate, as christianity..

jacl Level 2 Mar 18, 2019
1

A prophet...like so many others. I just think he happened to get a cult following of people based on the story of his life and death. They were fashioned into a legend. In a time when almost everyone was illiterate, apparitions and shrines were built up to attract people. The legend of Jesus just caught on more than most. The Old Testament already had set up the idea and possibility of such a "savior'" hero. And the thought that a person could come back from the dead was always attractive to folks. Dying on a cross wasn't enough...it was the resurrection idea that really made the story appealing. A sacrifice...a human sacrifice that brought a reward to those who considered him the son of God.

mojo5501 Level 7 Mar 18, 2019
1

The evidence, or lack of, until a generation after his supposed death, would suggest no person existed.

powder Level 8 Mar 18, 2019
0

The myths and legends may have involved more than one Jesus. His sayings are contradictory and he could have been a composite personality. The gospels have him doing everything possible to fulfill some prophesy because they wanted a Messiah. The strangest thing is people who still believe the gospels are written by eye witness and you can get a bible with the words of Jesus in red.

DenoPenno Level 8 Sep 22, 2019
0

Christ was a mythical figure used to market the new corporate church. Miracles attributed to him were described in ancient Egypt and folded into the narrative to get people to buy in.

ToolGuy Level 8 July 18, 2019
0

Yes--myth is often built around a real person, or several real people. Robert Graves says the myth/legend of Hercules was based on a series of strong men of the name.

0

ah, who is "we?"

bbyrd009 Level 6 July 13, 2019
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