Was Jesus a real person or a myth?

AgnosticBoy

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For debate...Was Jesus a real person or a myth?
 

AgnosticBoy

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My view, which I believe is the view of most New Testament scholars, is that Jesus was a real person and that his followers added some mythical elements to him after his death. One benefit of this view is that it factors in the evidence from history and some of the non-historical (much of the supernatural attributions) elements.

I can't buy into the view that Jesus was a complete myth because it ignores some of the strong evidence, like the evidence for the existence of James, Jesus's brother. If Jesus's brother existed, as mentioned in Josephus, then why wouldn't Jesus have existed? Both need to exist in order for there to be a relation involving brothers. Do the mythicist even deny that James (Jesus's brother) existed? If they do, then by that same standard why not also deny that any of the other apostles, including Paul, existed? That would leave no one to start and spread Christianity, no one serious at least.

Also, the logic and evidence behind some mythicist views involve building a case from some of the holes in the historical evidence for Jesus. Conspiracy theorists do the same thing. They find holes or areas of uncertainty, and then try to cast doubt, and where It gets crazy is when they try to build their own narrative based off of the holes. A view should have some of its own positive evidence (as opposed to piggybacking off of the holes in the evidence for the other side) otherwise it would be wiser to remain agnostic on the issue.
 
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thatquietchick

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For debate...Was Jesus a real person or a myth.
In my opinion, most religions have to be based on some piece of truth to cause further speculation. So, it's better to assume that the people within the bible were real--or at least large actors within the bible were real--because there are plenty of religions that came out of the existence of those same characters within the bible. Though it is harder to say who he indeed was without depending solely on the bible or religious texts. It's easy to say that he had to exist at one point to cause speculation about who he was in that time period.

--side note: I haven't read the bible or any religious text completely, so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt.
 
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AgnosticBoy

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Hello chick. Welcome to the forum!

I welcome opinion because they can be insightful. Opinion can give us more opportunity to explore different ideas!

I usually don't reject anyone's existence unless every piece of evidence about the person can be reasonably doubted. I accept that even myths and legends can be based on some truth! Your explanation provides a good reason of why we shouldn't think that we can easily dismiss them.
 
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Jul 1, 2021
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I thought Jesus was a real person . My doubt is whether he was God.
It's easier to believe that there is a God. One God. The next step, is the challenge for me.
That Jesus was God in disguise .
And yet it is shocking to think that the whole Christian story is bogus. Or a scam. Think how many people based their life on Christianity. We wasted our lives following a lie?
 

thatquietchick

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I thought Jesus was a real person . My doubt is whether he was God.
It's easier to believe that there is a God. One God. The next step, is the challenge for me.
That Jesus was God in disguise .
And yet it is shocking to think that the whole Christian story is bogus. Or a scam. Think how many people based their life on Christianity. We wasted our lives following a lie?
I agree, Jesus being a real person is much easier to believe than that he is God. It is possible that bits and pieces of Christianity is true while others are false or that all of it is true or none of it is. If believing that Jesus is God's son or even much apart of God, helps some people, then some part of me feels as though it's not a waste for them to believe what could possibly be a lie. Throughout life we'll all find out what is more right for us, and we won't find out was religion was true until we die so there's always the possibility of whatever we believe being a lie. To me, it's not a waste to spend your life following a lie if that lie made you a better person to yourself and others or at the very least you were able to grow from the experience.
 
Jul 1, 2021
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me, it's not a waste to spend your life following a lie if that lie made you a better person to yourself and others or at the very least you were able to grow from the experience.
There is much fuss made about the "truth". It's overrated imo. We are all self deceptive liars. Deceiving ourselves and others. Sometimes for good intention so that seems to excuse our untruth.
Following the wisdom of the gospels is not a waste of time. Except for those already prone to people pleasing. We will confuse "serving others" as a vindication for non assertive behaviour.
But humility is so important. And so many of us lack it. Buddhism teaches that too.
But is Jesus the truth? I'm not sure. But his way , his approach is sadly missing in the world. Especially from proud Christians.
 
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brightbreezymorning

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I think when considering Jesus, in recent years we have been given a great starter-movie called "The Case for Christ." While this movie may start out a a bit hokey in the beginning for some (even me who believe in Jesus), it gets into some serious topics that are critical for those with a purely science basis of belief. However, the movie is not nearly enough. For me, it was reading the words of Jesus in scripture, and asking myself this one question, "Does anything that Jesus said, appear to be a lie?" As a matter of fact, the older I got, the more and more true each and every word of Jesus seemed hauntingly true. Not haunting in that his words were grievous, but that I had seen so much of the truth in his words even in my most critically tumultuous times in life, that I could be both haunted by my turmoils, and relieved that he explained them so well. And that he explained them in how God was with us, understanding us, and helping us (even though we may have felt alone but weren't). Perhaps we need those times, to help us understand the full spectrum of humanity, both good and evil. Perhaps to help us want to be good instead of evil. Perhaps to help us overcome the evil with the good He can give to us to fight it. There are so many many things that can go into each and every teaching. I once told my children that when parents teach them things it rarely has only one purpose, from the minimal reasons to the maximum reasons. For instance, we teach our children not to put the keys in the outlets... why? Is it one reason? No, it's many, from the minimal to the maximum such as: 1. we don't want to have to take you to the hospital, 2. we don't want to see you suffer, 3. we can't afford a hospital bill (yes money sucks to mention but its real), 4. it grieves us to see you cry and grief is real and painful, and last but far from least, 5. it could kill you, and then begins a whole other level of grief that we don't even want to imagine having to go through. I will take a moment to say each of God's rules has been for many purposes. Let's take adultery. 1. You can get diseases, 2. it hurts your partner, 3. you can't know intimacy with one person when all you do is philander, 4. it takes from the essense of family, whereas, to love one person and to build a family and to learn to nurture and take care of that family, helps to build a love that philandering will never know. And those are just the things I can think of in a flash, but sure, God knows more. But to get back to Jesus. I'd say, to determine if Jesus is real and worth listening to, it's best to read the new testament, with love and understanding, that God sent Jesus in His stead to teach us humanity and love and forgiveness, and no one has ever done it better. No one has ever explained more, and no one has ever been anointed and ordained in Holiness as the Son of God. Those words! They ring so true. The stick in the heart in such a good way. And as Jesus said, "Peace be with you." It is peace that the words of Jesus will bring... if you understand... and believe. And if you still don't believe... I challenge you to find me one lie. Find one thing that Jesus said.... that doesn't hold truth. There is your proof. Read. Learn. Love. God bless.
 
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AgnosticBoy

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Hello bright! ????

Your post was full of good insight and examples. The only issue I have is that it was hard reading since it is one large block of text. That can be very difficult to read line by line. I recommend breaking it up into paragraphs or doing more separation between groups of information. I'm sure many more will read your posts when you do that.

Welcome to the forum!
 

AgnosticBoy

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I think when considering Jesus, in recent years we have been given a great starter-movie called "The Case for Christ." While this movie may start out a a bit hokey in the beginning for some (even me who believe in Jesus), it gets into some serious topics that are critical for those with a purely science basis of belief. However, the movie is not nearly enough.
I must have been living under a rock or forgot that there was ever a movie called The Case for Christ. I've watched the documentary version by Lee Strobel and I thought it was very good.
However, the movie is not nearly enough. For me, it was reading the words of Jesus in scripture, and asking myself this one question, "Does anything that Jesus said, appear to be a lie?"
I thought the documentary was compelling, especially when it involves an atheist converting to Christianity based off of research. At best, the documentary reinforced my view that Jesus was a historical figure. I can also accept that much of Jesus's teachings can be true in a practical sense, while also not accepting that he is a god.. I've applied the Christian teachings on forgiveness and I can definitely see the positives. But there are also some negatives about the Bible, as well. Either way, I'd want more evidence than just experience before I accept that Jesus was anything more than a historical figure.
 

Swami V. Ānanda

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I must have been living under a rock or forgot that there was ever a movie called The Case for Christ. I've watched the documentary version by Lee Strobel and I thought it was very good.

I thought the documentary was compelling, especially when it involves an atheist converting to Christianity based off of research. At best, the documentary reinforced my view that Jesus was a historical figure. I can also accept that much of Jesus's teachings can be true in a practical sense, while also not accepting that he is a god.. I've applied the Christian teachings on forgiveness and I can definitely see the positives. But there are also some negatives about the Bible, as well. Either way, I'd want more evidence than just experience before I accept that Jesus was anything more than a historical figure.
I ask myself what works by seeing the results.

How many atheists have changed their view because of a debate?
None.

How many have changed because of experience?
Many. One big name is Dr. Even Alexander.