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Atheism, Jesus Is the Hope of the World, The Early Church

Did Jesus Exist? A Response to www.jesusneverexisted.com

by Ken Humphreys

*Note: For more on the subject of Jesus’ existence see “The ‘Mystery Writer’ of the Jesus Myth.”

Ken Humphreys, the “historian” at http://www.jesusneverexisted.com tries to make the case that Jesus never existed and that the Christian message was nothing unique or new. He claims that:

…nothing in the “Christian message” was original. Brotherly love and compassion had been taught by the Stoics for centuries. The Christian faith was a vulgarized paganism, set to the theme of the Jewish prophets and debased by religious intolerance… a “life” conjured up from mystical fantasy, a mass of borrowed quotations, copied story elements and a corpus of self-serving speculation, does not constitute an historical reality.[i]

He makes this assertion, based on no evidence, mind you, only on a declaration of his own interpretation of history, which ignores the accounts found in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and even denies the testimony of those who weren’t Jesus’ followers, such as the first-century Jewish historian Josephus Flavius who wrote in his Antiquities:

Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works—a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe of Christians, so named from him are not extinct at this day.[ii]

And Pliny the Younger, governor of Bythinia, writing about 110 AD to Trajan, the Roman emperor, says that he didn’t know how others dealt with the Christians, but describes how he decided to handle them:

I have never been present at the examination of the Christians [by others], on which account I am unacquainted with what [used] to be inquired into, and what, and how far they used to be punished; nor are my doubts small, whether there be not a distinction to be made between the ages [of the accused]? and whether tender youth ought to have the same punishment with strong men? Whether there be not room for pardon upon repentance?” or whether it may not be an advantage to one that had been a Christian, that he has forsaken Christianity? Whether the bare name, without any crimes besides, or the crimes adhering to that name… be… punished? In the meantime, I have taken this course about those who have been brought before me as Christians. I asked them whether they were Christians or not? If they confessed that they were Christians, I asked them again, and a third time, intermixing threatenings with the questions. If they persevered in their confession, I ordered them to be executed; for I did not doubt but, let their confession be of any sort whatsoever, this positiveness and inflexible obstinacy deserved to be punished.[iii]

The Roman historian Tacitus writes in his Annals that the Christians were persecuted in 64 AD by Nero. After the fire that destroyed much of the city of Rome, he attempted to squelch rumors that he had started the fire by shifting the guilt away from himself and onto the Christians.

To get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind. Mockery of every sort was added to their deaths. Covered with the skins of beasts, they were torn by dogs and perished, or were nailed to crosses, or were doomed to the flames and burnt, to serve as a nightly illumination, when daylight had expired.[iv]

Seutonius, another Roman historian, writing in The Twelve Caesars, affirms the words of Pliny, saying about Nero that after the fire of Rome, “punishments were also inflicted on the Christians, a sect professing a new and mischievous religious belief.”[v] There are also references to Jesus by the second-century playwright, Lucian. In the play, The Passing of Peregrinus, he mocks the simplistic and gullible church, whose leader was crucified in Palestine, [vi] for embracing a scoundrel who takes advantage of their generosity.

To say that the Christians “created” a religion by pasting together myths, fictional narratives, and borrowed phrases is a ridiculous claim, because the sayings of Christ were so sublime and so revolutionary that the creator of this narrative would have had to be one of the most brilliant persons that ever existed. As Joseph Parker wrote in Ecce Deus, “only a Christ could have conceived of a Christ.”[vii]

Is it possible that the polytheistic ancient world, which heretofore had created no real morality, could have possibly given birth to the Christ myth and now produced the ideal man? One of the problems with Stoicism, for example, was its inability to produce their “wise man” in human shape. They looked in vain for this “man,” and in a parody to Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, who had said, “It is reasonable to honour the gods: it is not reasonable to honour the non-existent: therefore the gods exist,” they found it necessary to resort to the same circular reasoning when it came to finding the perfect role model, “It is reasonable to honour wise men: it is not reasonable to honour the non-existent: therefore wise men exist.”[viii] But they couldn’t find the wise man. They couldn’t even imagine him. Their gods fell far short of the ideal.

But now, are we to suppose that an obscure writer of unknown origins was somehow able to create the Stoics’ “wise man,” and yet no mention is ever made of this mastermind? If this person, who created the perfect God narrative, exists, why doesn’t some person somewhere mention this writer? Instead, posterity has been given four different accounts of the actual life of this man, Jesus Christ. Should we toss these testimonies aside so easily, especially when they agree so precisely with the secular historical record, and believe instead in the existence of a hidden author, when there’s no evidence whatsoever that this writer ever existed? In other words, in order to not believe in the historical Jesus, we’d rather believe in a brilliant unknown author when there’s no record this person ever existed. Which takes more faith?

It’s also worth asking how, since the gospels weren’t written down until thirty years or so after the death of Jesus, the concept of the mythical Christ got communicated to all the Christians who were already dying in the arena, stoned by the Sanhedrin, and burning on Nero’s stakes. Was it merely through the hearing of a mythical story, or was it because they saw and knew Jesus? If it was a myth, wouldn’t this be common knowledge? Who would die for that?

Regardless of whether or not there was a secret writer, or whether or not the testimonies of the secular historians were embellished, as some skeptics claim, those who deny the existence of Jesus can’t deny that a group of people known as “the Christians” exists.

A small group of “believers” would burst onto the world scene with a passion and moral fervor that would shake an empire and finally conquer it without lifting a weapon. These followers of “The Way” claimed that their zeal came as a result of a man named Jesus. Those who deny the historical existence of Christ would have us believe that the church’s fervor was the result of a type of fairytale or myth that was merely a mishmash of paganism and philosophy. But the content of the Christian message was contradictory to these “sources” that the gospels were supposedly formed from.

So the question is: Where did these Christians come from? Are we to believe that they were “spontaneously generated” like flies from rotten meat or that they sprung forth from the primordial soup?

The Greek myths had their source in Homer, and the Mormon scriptures had their source in Joseph Smith. Buddhism had a Buddha and communism had its Karl Marx. Again, I ask, was the source of Christianity found in Jesus, as so many testify, or in an unknown ghostwriter who made up the whole story? Who is “conjuring up a ‘life’?”

And is it not worth mentioning that nearly all of the disciples referred to in these fictional narratives were put to death for their beliefs? Would they all have died for a fairytale or a lie? John Foxe, in his Book of Martyrs, describes the works and deaths of Jesus’ disciples. In their allegiance to the “fairytale” character, Jesus:

Thomas preached to the Parthians, Medes and Persians, also to the Carmanians, Hyrcanians, Bactrians and Magians. He suffered in Calamina, a city of India, being slain with a dart. Simon, who was brother to Jude, and to James the younger, who all were the sons of Mary Cleophas and of Alpheus, was Bishop of Jerusalem after James, and was crucified in a city of Egypt in the time of Trajan the emperor. Simon the apostle, called Cananeus and Zelotes, preached in Mauritania, and in the country of Africa, and in Britain: he was likewise crucified.[ix]

According to Clement, James, the brother of John, was beheaded. And Foxe goes on to say that tradition has it that Mark was burnt alive in Egypt. Bartholomew was “beaten down with staves, then crucified; and after… he was beheaded.”[x] Andrew was crucified by Aegeas in the city of Patrae. Matthew preached Jesus “the fairytale” in Egypt and Ethiopia, after which King Hircanus “sent one to run him through with a spear.”[xi]

Philip was crucified and stoned in the city of Hieropolis. And James, the brother of Jesus, was thrown off the pinnacle of the Temple during Passover, but didn’t die and started to pray for his persecutors when he was struck on the head by somebody in the mob with a blunt instrument and killed.

These were real people in real places, not gods on Mt. Olympus! And unlike Muslim terrorists, who die to gain heaven, while not actually seeing Allah or knowing Muhammed, who lived centuries ago, the disciples lived contemporaneously with Christ. If he wasn’t real, if he was instead a character created by a ghostwriter, would they still have given of themselves so passionately? To them, Jesus was a man, their friend, their brother, and after the resurrection, their God. If he wasn’t real, wouldn’t someone have squealed? Yet there’s no record anywhere of anyone—Roman, Jew, Greek, or otherwise—declaring that he didn’t exist. Wouldn’t there be an outcry or a response from the Roman world somewhere that all these men were delusional? Wouldn’t somebody mock them? Wouldn’t somebody mention that their story was contrived? After all, the Christians were being killed and crucified by kings, priests, and mobs all over the ancient world—they didn’t remain obscure—and yet there’s no attempt anywhere to discredit them by saying that Jesus was just a myth!

The story of Jesus is an actual account in real time with real people who had names and lived in actual cities and towns. It wasn’t a fairytale with imaginary names and imaginary figures. There was no fantasy house in an unknown woods where Snow White would encounter seven dwarves and be protected from a witch. Instead, the gospel accounts mention Augustus, Herod, the Sea of Galilee, the Temple, real people who go on to be recorded in history, such as Pontius Pilate, and events such as the census taken during the time Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Anyone in the ancient world could have disputed these facts and declared them to be lies. They could have interviewed anyone mentioned in the gospels and asked them if what was recorded was true, but nobody did. Instead, there are references to Jesus in secular sources, which treat his existence as a matter of fact.

Those who claim that Jesus didn’t exist arrogantly suggest that those who “ignorantly” believe in Christ need to be enlightened. Listen to the attitude and tone of those who claim that Jesus never existed:

“Do you really think it all began with a sanctimonious Jewish wonder-worker, strolling about 1st century Palestine? Prepare to be enlightened.”[xii]

But it seems to me that those who need to be enlightened are those who proudly insist that Jesus is made up—with no evidence to stand on except their own “conjured up ‘life’”—the mystery writer. Who truly are the “self-serving” speculators who can’t face historical reality?


[i] Ken Humphreys, “Godman—Gestation of a Superhero,” www.jesusneverexisted.com  (accessed 2/14/2009).

[ii] Flavius Josephus, The Works of Flavius Josephus, Volume II, trans. William Whiston (New York: A.L. Burt, n.d.), 443.

[iii] Pliny the Younger, “Pliny’s Epistle to Trajan About 112 CE,” PBS Online, Frontline: From Jesus to Christ: The First Christians, http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/religion/ (accessed 2/14/2009).

[iv] P. Cornelius Tacitus, The Annals and Histories. trans. Alfred John Church, William Jackson Brodribb (Chicago: William Benton, 1952), 168.

[v] Seutonius, The Twelve Caesars, trans. Robert Graves (Baltimore, MD: Penguin Books, 1960), 217.

[vi] Lucian, “Lucian of Samasota: The Passing of Peregrinus,” The Tertullian Project, http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/lucian/peregrinus.htm (accessed  2/9/2008).

[vii] McDowell, Evidence, 127.

[viii] Edward Vernon Arnold, Roman Stoicism: Being Lectures on the History of the Stoic Philosophy with Special Reference to its Development Within the Roman Empire (Cambridge, MA: Cambridge University Press, 1911), 286.

[ix] John Foxe, Foxes’ Book of Martyrs (Pittsburgh, PA: Whitaker House, 1981), 7.

[x] Ibid.

[xi] Ibid., 9.

[xii] Kenneth Humphreys, “JesusThe Imaginary Friend,” www.jesusneverexisted.com (accessed 2/14/2009).

[xiii] Plato recognized the inadequacy of the Greek gods as a source of education for young people because they weren’t heroic, but selfish, and therefore couldn’t be used as role models for his “Republic.” He said that the myths, which were filled with stories of greed and lust, were “likely to have a bad effect on those who hear them; for everybody will begin to excuse his own vices when he is convinced that similar wickednesses are always being perpetrated by” the gods. Therefore he thought it necessary to “put an end to such tales, lest they engender laxity of morals among the young.” (The Works of Plato, Four Volumes in One. trans. B. Jowett [New York: J.J. Little and Ives Co., n.d.], 93.) Many in the early church, such as Justin Martyr, thought that Plato would have been a Christian if he had lived long enough to see Christ. It is particularly tempting to view The Allegory of the Cave as a search for Christ.

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About Diana Lesperance

I'm passionate about Jesus and I love to defend the gospel of grace and truth. I have a large and active family that keeps me busy and overwhelmed on a daily basis.

Discussion

110 thoughts on “Did Jesus Exist? A Response to www.jesusneverexisted.com

  1. Welcome back.

    Posted by Allallt | June 1, 2013, 9:39 am
    • Hey Allallt! Your welcoming me back made me happy. 🙂

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | June 4, 2013, 9:09 pm
      • I hope you’ve been okay.

        Posted by Allallt | June 8, 2013, 12:08 pm
      • I like your new blog design.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | June 14, 2013, 12:42 am
      • Dear Diana,

        Thank you for welcoming ME, & all of your readers, back into the wonderful world of IDOL WORSHIP of Jesus-man.

        I, and all of your followers, have been looking for just such a grand expose of the fact that He never existed. Thanks.

        Love ONLY, Always, Turn From the Beast-Man, Rev. Kevin von Zell, MDiv, B.Mus.

        Rev_13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

        Rev_13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

        Rev_14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

        Rev_14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

        Posted by Kevin von Zell | June 22, 2017, 3:05 pm
    • The Chrestianos Issue in Tacitus Reinvestigated
      by Erík Zara, Th.D. (rel. expt), © 2009
      There has recently been an online discussion concerning the Cornelius Tacitus manuscript
      M.II (the so called second Medicean), which is kept in the Laurentian library, Biblioteca
      Medicea Laurenziana, in Italy, where it has the library number 68.2. This is the earliest known
      extant manuscript of Tacitus, and is (probably) written in the 11th century, at the monastery of
      Monte Cassino, 80 miles southeast of Rome. The M.II is by many scholars regarded as the
      source from which all other extant MSS of Taticus’ Annales XI-XVI and Historiae I-V are
      derived,1 and “if it was not copied directly from what remained of an ancient codex in rustic
      capitals, there cannot have been many intermediaries between it and that unique archetype”
      according to Revilo P. Oliver.2

      In Annales 15:44 (in folio 38 r of the manuscript) the author
      (probably Tacitus) writes about the Christians being blamed and punished for the great fire in
      Rome in 64 CE. The text begins: «ergo abolendo rumori Nero subdidit reos et quaesitissimis
      poenis adfecit quos per flagitia invisos vulgus Christianos appellabat.3 Auctor nominis eius
      Christus4 …» (in translation: «Consequently, to get rid of the rumor [that Nero ordered the
      fire], Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their
      abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus [i.e. Christ], the author of the name
      …»). In the margin someone has written “Christiani”, in littera textualis, next to this passage.
      Earlier scholarship
      Christianos, from the Enrico Rostagno

      THIS DOCUMENT, BY TACITUS, ORIGINALLY READ “CHRESTIANI” WITH AN “E,” & NOT AN “I,” CHRISTARD.

      If you would like to help me found a new church that KNOWS this type of information: kevinvonzell@gmail.com
      We plan to set up our foundation in sunny San Diego County, CA. Why not consider moving out of the rain to here?

      Love ONLY, Always, Rev. Dr. Kevin von Zell, MDiv, B.Mus

      Posted by Kevin von Zell | June 25, 2017, 3:15 pm
  2. He makes this assertion, based on no evidence, mind you,

    Wrong…he provides a lot of evidence.

    All the christians have to offer are the gospels, – hearsay, Josephus, debunked even by Christian scholars as christian interpolation and the passage in Tacitus , which many scholars also believe to be a christian interpolation. And the passage makes no mention of Jesus , merely a Chrestus.

    Posted by Arkenaten | October 8, 2013, 10:20 am
    • If Jesus was a myth, wouldn’t somebody from the ancient world, especially the Jewish leaders, scream something about this somewhere? Jews were flocking to Jesus by the thousands!

      Isn’t it handy that Humphreys just DISMISSES all the evidence for Jesus’ existence?

      Do you have one testimony from the ancient world saying Jesus was a myth? Do you have any evidence for who the author of the gospels actually was?

      I guess that evidence wasn’t worth a piece of paper.

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 9, 2013, 9:08 am
      • If Jesus attracted thousands as the bible suggests then he would have attracted attention from contemporary witnesses.
        He did not.

        Therefore, either jesus was merely one more itinerant eschatological preacher among many (se Josephus) or he was a narrative construct.

        There is no evidence whatsoever for the miracle working man -god in contemporary history. None.
        The onus is on you, the Christian to provide any if you have.
        .
        Not a single non-Christian scholar accepts that the Yeshua, as described in the bible, existed. Not one.

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 9, 2013, 9:14 am
      • Ok, then. You have no evidence for your position.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 9, 2013, 11:47 am
      • Obviously, I have testimonies and historical references (that you just flippantly dismiss out of hand), and you have NO evidence for your position.

        Where is the testimony that Jesus was a myth? Where is the evidence that the gospels were “narrative constructs” written by a mystery writer(s)?

        YOU HAVE NO EVIDENCE FOR YOUR BELIEF.

        I can’t help it if you deny or reject the historical evidence , but you have no alternative explanation that is backed up by evidence. You just have assertions!

        That’s just like being a member of the flat earth society. The flat-earthers reject evidence and make assertions based on their belief alone. How are you different from them?

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 9, 2013, 11:54 am
      • Non-Christian Testimony?

        Not even born in 30 AD:

        Josephus – c 37 – c 100 AD
        Tacitus – c 55 – c 117 AD
        Suetonius – c 69 – 140 AD

        Posted by Gordon Kevin Zeller | September 10, 2014, 2:52 pm
      • WORTH A PIECE OF PAPYRUS… AN EARLY HISTORIAN REFUTES THE EVIDENCE FOR AN HISTORICAL JESUS!

        ”Clearly the Christians have used … myths … in fabricating the story of Jesus’ birth’…

        It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction.”

        – Celsus (“On The True Doctrine”, c 178 AD!!!)

        READ UP FOR YOURSELF, DIANA, UND SCHLIESSEN DEINE MUND, OKAY?!

        REV. DR. KEVIN VON ZELL, D.ED, MDIV

        PS YOU ASKED FOR IT:… “SEEK & YOU SHALL FIND; ASK & IT SHALL BE GIVEN UNTO THEE.”

        Posted by Gordon Kevin Zeller | September 10, 2014, 3:02 pm
    • Ark boy, are you actually a mythicist? Kenneth Humphreys is just a deluded atheist, and there’s no evidence to be found anywhere at jesusneverexisted.com.

      The Gospels certainly aren’t hearsay, all scholars think Josephus mentioned Jesus (because Antiquities of the Jews XVIII.3.3 is a partial interpolation, not a forgery, never mind Antiquities of the Jews XX.9.1), and no scholar on Earth thinks Tacitus’ passage was an interpolation. Tacitus does mention Jesus, because Christus (probably not Chresrus) *is* Jesus. Think about it for half a second and then join the world of reality — a man named Christus founded Christianity and was crucified by Pontius Pilate, according to Tacitus. This is *obviously* Jesus.

      Posted by Scientific Christian | June 21, 2017, 5:11 pm
      • Nope. Not a mythicist. I have leaned in this direction in the past but these days I am in fact ambivalent.

        So you know all about the writings of Tacitus do you?

        What does Gibbon say about the paragraph in Annals?

        The Gospels certainly aren’t hearsay,

        yep … ‘fraid they are.
        here’s the dictionary again …
        hearsay
        ˈhɪəseɪ/Submeter
        noun
        information received from other people which cannot be substantiated; rumour.

        Exactly what the gospels are.

        Posted by Arkenaten | June 22, 2017, 5:41 am
      • Interesting! So, if the Gospels are unreliable because they are not direct eyewitnesses (they had a source for their information), does that make all historians in the ancient world also hearsay and unreliable because they too used sources?

        Posted by Scientific Christian | June 22, 2017, 10:01 pm
      • So, what does Gibbon say about the passage in Tacitus?
        Struggling to find it?
        Yes, the gospels are unreliable.
        When you can show through evidence why I should consider they are reliable then let me know, okay?

        Posted by Arkenaten | June 23, 2017, 5:17 am
      • What, who is Gibbon?

        “Yes, the gospels are unreliable.
        When you can show through evidence why I should consider they are reliable then let me know, okay?”

        K, watch this.

        Posted by Scientific Christian | June 24, 2017, 6:28 pm
      • Who is Gibbon? Seriously?
        Lol… go educate yourself.
        You are an embarrassment to apologetics.

        Posted by Arkenaten | June 25, 2017, 8:06 am
      • “You are an embarrassment to apologetics”

        I don’t consider myself an “apologist”, so I could care less about that. Anyways, I searched up Gibbon and found this;

        1. The name of some ape
        2. The name of an 18th century Roman historian (Edward Gibbon)

        So, did I find Gibbon or is this person yet someone else?

        Posted by Scientific Christian | June 26, 2017, 10:50 am
      • This was a great video. I never knew about the 1971 Arabic “Book of the Title” concerning the interpolation of Josephus. I also thought the Babylonian Talmud was an interesting piece of evidence. Thank you for posting it Scientific Christian! There’s soooooo much evidence proving the truth of the existence of Jesus.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | June 24, 2017, 11:43 pm
      • I’m very happy you liked the video, I have many more like it if you’re interested. The video was created by InspiringPhilosophy (YouTube channel), I recommend you check his channel out for it has a lot more like this.

        Posted by Scientific Christian | June 26, 2017, 11:14 am
  3. Obviously, I have testimonies and historical references

    No you don’t. You have dubious hearsay. And Tacitus and Josephus..which are the only menitons you have are not contemporary.
    There are no verifiable testimonies. if you say you have them you are a liar.

    Yeshua as portrayed in the bible did not exist. he was a narrative construct, and there is not a scrap of evidence to suggest otherwise. If you say differently, prove it.

    Posted by Arkenaten | October 9, 2013, 12:55 pm
    • What are the testimonies you would like to see?

      Philo was a practicing Jew who lived in Egypt. He wasn’t an eyewitness to Jesus, and he didn’t have any reason to testify about Jesus, EXCEPT to say he was a myth, which he didn’t.

      Pliny the Elder lived in Rome and would have been a child when Jesus died. He wasn’t an eyewitness to Jesus’ life. He was interested in Roman military history. Why would he have written about Jesus?

      I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Barack Obama on my blog until now, does that mean he doesn’t exist? I also don’t think I’ve ever mentioned Margaret Thatcher, of 30 years ago, on my blog, until now. I read about her in a newsletter I received a few years ago, but I threw that away. Does that mean she didn’t exist? Why do distant historians, who lived in an age where there was no internet, TV, or radio, have to mention Jesus when they had no idea that he existed or what his historical significance was? And even if they mentioned him at some point, does that mean their writings survived over time?

      The historian who DID record the existence of Jesus was Josephus. He was the person who recorded JEWISH history…and he mentions Jesus. One mention was in a discussion on why Ananus lost his job as high priest because he ordered the stoning of Jesus’ brother, James.

      “But this younger Ananus, who, as we have told you already, took the high priesthood, was a bold man in his temper, and very insolent; he was also of the sect of the Sadducees, who are very rigid in judging offenders, above all the rest of the Jews, as we have already observed; when, therefore, Ananus was of this disposition, he thought he had now a proper opportunity [to exercise his authority]. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrim of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others, [or, some of his companions]; and when he had formed an accusation against them as breakers of the law, he delivered them to be stoned: but as for those who seemed the most equitable of the citizens, and such as were the most uneasy at the breach of the laws, they disliked what was done; they also sent to the king [Agrippa], desiring him to send to Ananus that he should act so no more, for that what he had already done was not to be justified; nay, some of them went also to meet Albinus, as he was upon his journey from Alexandria, and informed him that it was not lawful for Ananus to assemble a sanhedrim without his consent.

      This was an entry explaining the reason for the dismissal of the high priest, and Jesus is mentioned by name because his BROTHER was being stoned in a way that was so unjust the people cried out to Herod!

      Was James a made-up character in the gospel narratives, or was he real?

      Josephus also mentions John the Baptist. Was this interpolated by Christians also? And was John the Baptist real, or just a made-up character like Jesus? Why would John be real and not James, the brother of Jesus? Or for that matter, even Jesus?

      By these standards and logic, what can we even know about anyone or anything in history?

      Beyond the testimonies of the historians, what would you consider to be “verifiable testimonies?” It seems to me if a rock existed with Jesus’ name on it, and a reference to him raising Lazarus from the dead, you would just call it a hoax.

      I also wonder if any documents exist at all from first century Palestine? There are documents from Egypt and Syria. (The Yale Papyrus Collection mentioned by John.) These were preserved in dry, desert climates. But where are the Palestinian papyri from the first century? The Dead Sea Scrolls (not made of papyrus) were found in a cave, but where are the extant documents of day to day life from first century Palestine? Do any exist at all? And how much of Jerusalem can be excavated? (Of course, Bethlehem and Nazareth are in Palestinian territory. Probably not much excavation going on there.)

      Again, you also have some explaining to do, because you reject what has been said in HISTORICAL documents about the existence of Jesus, and you claim Jesus was a myth, but you have no evidence for your claim. You have no author or evidence for a mystery writer, no mention of anyone in history saying Jesus was a myth–you only have your own assertions–with no proof in any historical documents found anywhere.

      Because of the extraordinary claims of Jesus–that he was the son of God sent to earth to pay for the sins of humanity–the evidence for or against his existence is extremely important. I would rather believe in what the evidence reveals than reject what the evidence reveals and make up my own story about what I believe. I believe the four testimonies and the historical record concerning Jesus’ existence. I don’t believe in a mystery writer or in a claim that he was a mythological figure because that isn’t where the evidence leads.

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 1:32 am
    • ”Clearly the Christians have used … myths … in fabricating the story of Jesus’ birth’…

      It is clear to me that the writings of the Christians are a lie and that your fables are not well-enough constructed to conceal this monstrous fiction.”

      – Celsus (On The True Doctrine, c 178 AD)

      Posted by Gordon Kevin Zeller | September 10, 2014, 3:03 pm
      • These fundies believe Celsus is a measurement that features on all non-American thermometers – thus it is foreign and can be dismissed.

        Posted by Arkenaten | September 30, 2014, 4:09 am
      • Thanks Arkenaten.

        No. Celsus believed the Roman caesars were gods. He thought Christians should worship them. It’s like a muslim dismissing the deity of Jesus. He had a different belief. That’s why we don’t believe him.

        Notice that Celsus didn’t tell us who created the myth.

        Again, the challenge exists. Who created the Jesus myth, and where is your evidence?

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | September 30, 2014, 8:27 am
      • I have repeatedly stated ( maybe not on this blog) that there may well have been a first century prophet running around Galilee. Who knows? There were quite a few apparently. See Josephus.
        The character Paul in the biblical writings accredited to ‘him’, never mentions a physical being. He never met the character Jesus nor makes any mention of his mother or anything about his life.

        To take such a character that Paul describes and ”flesh” him out is no big deal.
        Especially as the gospels were written after Paul.
        Odd they never mention him donlt you think?
        Anyhow …
        It was the ideal way to separate the Jewish god from the gentile one – Marcion was the first to recognise how monstrous Yahweh was.
        However, by adopting Marcion’;s view, would mean having to drip things lime Original Sin etc.
        So they kept Yahweh, and simply called him Yeshua’s dad.
        As for the godhood. That was bestowed upon him after the Nicene Creed was sorted out.

        Here’s an interesting site for you …

        http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/how_the_name.htm

        Posted by Arkenaten | September 30, 2014, 8:50 am
      • Paul was chosen, as a well-educated Jew, to help show how Jesus fulfilled the law and the prophets. He helped to show the connection between the Jewish faith and the Christian faith. Marcion tried to sever that connection and he was rejected by the church (and rightly so). If there were no connection between the Old and New Testaments then there would be no proof that the life of Jesus had supernatural inspiration. There would be no evidence for his claim to be the Messiah. (Just like Muhammed who has no proof that he was anointed by God, since he fulfilled no prophecies.) But Jesus fulfilled scriptures such as Isaiah 53.

        For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
        And as a root out of dry ground.
        He has no form or comeliness;
        And when we see Him,
        There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
        3 He is despised and rejected by men,
        A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
        And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
        He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
        4 Surely He has borne our griefs
        And carried our sorrows;
        Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
        Smitten by God, and afflicted.
        5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
        He was bruised for our iniquities;
        The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
        And by His stripes we are healed.
        6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
        We have turned, every one, to his own way;
        And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
        7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
        Yet He opened not His mouth;
        He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
        And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
        So He opened not His mouth.
        8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
        And who will declare His generation?
        For He was cut off from the land of the living;
        For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
        9 And they[a] made His grave with the wicked—
        But with the rich at His death,
        Because He had done no violence,
        Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
        10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
        He has put Him to grief.
        When You make His soul an offering for sin,
        He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
        And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
        11 He shall see the labor of His soul,[b] and be satisfied.
        By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
        For He shall bear their iniquities.
        12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
        And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
        Because He poured out His soul unto death,
        And He was numbered with the transgressors,
        And He bore the sin of many,
        And made intercession for the transgressors.

        This is just one example of how Jesus perfectly fulfilled the prophecies of the Messiah. He was a sacrifice for sins also, the Lamb of God who fulfilled the Law. So beautiful. The people in darkness have seen a great light. Thank you, Lord, for giving humanity hope.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | September 30, 2014, 4:47 pm
      • There is no proof. He was a narrative construct and his godhood was bestowed by the church.
        Learn your history.

        Why on earth do you insist on quoting reams and reams of ridiculous scripture to an atheist?
        So many people have deconverted simply by reading this tasteless collection of nonsense.
        If you are prepared to construct a sensible, intelligent reply then I will respond accordingly , otherwise, stop wasting both our times, Diane. It simply makes you look rather silly, my dear.

        Posted by Arkenaten | September 30, 2014, 5:03 pm
      • I only posted the scripture because sometimes just saying the book and verse is easy to overlook, so I put it up for onlookers to read.

        Isn’t it beautiful that the Jewish messiah was foretold to be so giving and sacrificial? He gave his all like a lamb going to the slaughter. He did “grow up before him like a tender shoot.” He came as a little baby. He was born in the barn where the little lambs were prepared for sacrifice at the Temple. He was wrapped in swaddling clothes just as the little lambs were so they wouldn’t injure themselves and could be offered as unblemished lambs. Jesus was unblemished with any sin.

        The story is so amazing and fits together like a perfect puzzle. Please don’t brush it off. The message has been shouted from the top of every steeple and sounded on every airwave year after year, century after century. He loves us and wants to redeem us from our sin and from judgment. Just receive what Jesus did for you and God’s grace will flow to you. That’s how precious the blood of Jesus is to God.

        He can’t bring you kicking and screaming into the kingdom, Arkenaten. But he can plead with you to come willingly.

        P.S. I don’t mind looking silly. 🙂

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | September 30, 2014, 7:13 pm
      • There is no prophet from the Old Testament – ask a Jew.
        The rubbish in Matthew is simply a plagiarized and distorted nonsense from the Isaiah passage and doesn’t even refer to the N T but rather King Ahez..
        Why is it idiot christians always think they are so damn special?

        You do not understand the bible well enough to lecture on it – even to fundamentals.
        And the type of indoctrination you wantonly display is the sign of someone in dire need of psychological counselling.
        Whatever trauma you experienced I sympathize, truly. But seriously, seek professional help.

        Why would I go kicking and screaming?
        Wouldn’t it be easier to simply walk quietly with a smile?

        You truly are a sorry individual Diana.
        I just hope that you have limited or no access to children

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 1, 2014, 4:17 am
      • The Jews rejection of their Messiah was even prophesied. Zechariah 12 says that they will receive Jesus when he returns. They will “look at him whom they pierced” and grieve for him.

        Did King Ahaz bear “the sins of many?”

        I have eight children and 5 grandchildren. I am very active in their lives. They’re so precious to me.

        Blessings,

        Diana

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 1, 2014, 9:19 am
      • What has the sins of many got to do with Ahez?
        The ”virgin birth prophecy” was a horrible hatchet job by whoever wrote the gospel of Matthew. It was never intended for anyone else but King Ahez.

        You once again demonstrate the utter ignorance, especially of your religious texts, that runs through the fundamentalist cults.

        I hope your kids and grand kids they are able to grow up and withstand the unfortunate and somewhat insidious indoctrination you suffered and manage to exercise critical thought.

        I just hope you have not been instrumental in poisoning their minds with the disgusting notion of sin and hell.
        The gods forbid!

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 1, 2014, 10:02 am
      • I’m sorry, Ark, but I don’t know anything about King Ahez. Perhaps you could teach me a little bit about him.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 1, 2014, 1:26 pm
      • Apologies – King Ahaz .
        I am sure you are aware of who this was yes?.

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 1, 2014, 2:03 pm
      • Oh, and as for your nonsensical fundamentalist cherry-picked Zechariah passage. Really …. shakes head and smiles.

        Read the correct Hebrew translation,Diana.
        Maybe you will truly learn something?

        http://thejewishhome.org/counter/Zech12_10.pdf
        I thought this passage particularly interesting.

        The noted Christian commentator S. R. Driver took exception to the common
        Christian interpretation of Zechariah 12:10, stating in his commentary:3

        “The context points plainly to some historical event in the prophet’s own time, for
        which the people would eventually feel that sorrow here described.”
        Driver apparently recognized that the passage describes an historical event
        from Zechariah’s era. He actually went further and suggested that some of
        the events described in this chapter suit the situation that existed during the time of the Maccabees.4

        If you are ever going to claim to understand what truth is, Diana, then it is time you learned to study correctly and not simply trot out your ”answers” according to what you have been indoctrinated with.

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 1, 2014, 10:17 am
  4. Philo was a practicing Jew who lived in Egypt. He wasn’t an eyewitness to Jesus, and he didn’t have any reason to testify about Jesus, EXCEPT to say he was a myth, which he didn’t.

    And he didn’t mention jesus, did he? Silly person you are…

    The reference by Josephus are not contemporary and many serious scholars – including christian scholars – have dismissed the passages as interpolations, which include the references to “James”, being the brother of the lord.(you really need to study the etymology)
    Just because Josephus mentioned the baptist what the hell as this got to do with Yeshua?

    Beyond the testimonies of the historians, what would you consider to be “verifiable testimonies?”

    Are you being obtuse on purpose? A contemporary witness would be a start. There are NO CONTEMPORARY witnesses.
    Are you understanding yet?

    I would rather believe in what the evidence reveals than reject what the evidence reveals and make up my own story about what I believe.

    There is no evidence.

    I believe the four testimonies and the historical record concerning Jesus’ existence

    The gospels are not testimonies, they are not eyewitnesses account. They are authored by unknowns. Luke and Matthew largely copied Mark, and Luke, the supposed author of Acts trawled Josephus for much of his material.

    There is no historical record of the biblical character Jesus. None. Are you struggling to understand English?

    I don’t believe in a mystery writer or in a claim that he was a mythological figure because that isn’t where the evidence leads.

    What evidence?

    Posted by Arkenaten | October 10, 2013, 3:13 am
    • There is the testimony of Thallus, a Roman historian who claimed that there was an earthquake and darkness on Passover, the day Jesus died. His “History” was written before the earliest gospel was recorded so he is writing about the darkness before he even heard the message in the four gospels.

      Also, Luke, for example, admits he wasn’t an eyewitness, but he gathered together eyewitness testimonies which were being circulated from the early disciples. Perhaps many of the disciples wrote down their testimonies, but they have been lost due to time and corruption.

      “Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.” (Luke 1:1-4)

      What have people written about anywhere in history saying Jesus was a myth? DO YOU HAVE ANYONE WHO LIVED CONTEMPORANEOUSLY WITH CHRIST SAYING THAT? Where are the people mocking Christians for believing in a mythological god — who came to earth in their lifetime? If Jesus wasn’t real, why do the historians treat him as a matter of fact?

      Why is it so important to you that Jesus be a myth, so much so that you reject or deny every mention of him in history? What was so bad about Jesus that his mere existence is too much for you to bear?

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 8:50 am
      • You are really struggling to understand here, I feel.
        Whether the character Jesus was a myth or was not is not something that would have been written about during the time the character was supposed to have been walking around Palestine. How absurd would that be? he either was, or was not.
        There is no evidence to suggest the character described in the bible existed.

        There are no contemporary accounts of the character Jesus.

        This point you must fix in you mind first and foremost. I shall repeat it. There are NO CONTEMPORARY accounts.

        Okay, now we are perfectly clear on this. Let’s proceed.

        Thallus: You are obviously not aware of the background of this character so best you read this.
        Carrier is an excellent historian and although bit long-winded he is thorough to the point pf painful. But at least this should clear up any issues.
        http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/richard_carrier/thallus.html

        I could care less whether there was an itinerant eschatological preacher called Jesus. In fact, according to Josephus there were quite a few such prophets.But this is not the point.

        Now please read this carefully.
        There may have been someone called Jesus. but the character, ”Jesus”, as described in the bible, is a narrative construct. There never was a miracle working mangod that strode around Galilee at the turn of the first century. He is a work of pure fiction.

        Do you understand now?

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 10, 2013, 9:07 am
      • This is how your article on Thallus concludes:

        “This leaves us with four options: Africanus meant Phlegon, not Thallus; or Eusebius quoted Thallus verbatim, revealing that Thallus did not mention Jesus; or Thallus mentioned Jesus, but wrote in the 2nd century, when we know the gospels were already in circulation; or Thallus mentioned Jesus and wrote in the 1st century, and is the earliest witness to the gospel tradition. Although all of these are possible, it is clear that any of the first three are more likely than the last one, since there are several facts which support each of them, but none which support the last one–in other words, it is a “mere” possibility, whereas the others actually have some arguments in their favor.”

        Talk about mental gymnastics!

        If Jesus wasn’t a man-god, then why did so many testify to the fact that the world became dark on the day he died–without a natural explanation to account for it, since it was Passover and there was a full moon, making an eclipse impossible. (Which is the point Julius Africanus was making.)

        Just curious–HOW do you think the gospels were formed? By one writer? By several writers sitting in a circle? By one writer copying another and adding their own details? I’m just wondering how you see them being developed and written.

        I’m also wondering WHEN you say they were written. Was it after 32 AD? Was it before 32 AD?

        Can you tell me WHO wrote these stories of the miraculous Jesus if they weren’t the followers of Jesus? (Maybe they were the followers of a Jesus, and they embellished the story–is that your view?)

        Also, I was just wondering WHY somebody would have written these fictional narratives concerning the miraculous Jesus.

        I’m just trying to understand your position since you keep asking me if I understand. I guess I just have to admit I don’t understand your position.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 9:58 am
    • Lord you are literally the biggest asshole on the internet did you know that? You keep demanding evidence without offering a scrap of your own. Why does it bother you that people believe in Jesus/God? No one is stopping you from believing this hell of a planet is the only plain of existence. Wtf is your problem?

      Posted by Rmb | December 13, 2016, 6:15 pm
      • Dear Sister Diana,

        Your otherwise sterling apology for “There is a REAL Jesus” has just been marred by thy ***hole comment, did you know? Ken Humphreys NEVER ONCE stooped to such a despicable low; so I vote for him @ jesusneverexisted.com

        Love ONLY, Always, Rev. Kevin von Zell, MDiv, BMus

        Posted by Kevin Zeller | December 13, 2016, 7:15 pm
      • I’m not sure who “rmb” is . . . but he/she isn’t me.

        Posted by Diana Lesperance | December 13, 2016, 9:16 pm
      • On the entire internet?
        Wow, what an accolade.
        And if this is the best you have then I doubt you have any serious interest in this topic.

        Exactly what evidence would you like to read?
        And what topic specifically

        Posted by Arkenaten | December 14, 2016, 4:25 am
  5. so many testify

    Sorry, so many? Who are these so many? And even if there was an eclipse what the hell has this to do with Yeshua being a god?

    And the rest of your comment goes off on a tangent in an attempt to sidetrack the main issue which you still refuse to address., s |i will not even bother with an answer.

    There are no contemporary witnesses to the character Jesus.
    The biblical character is pure narrative fiction.

    This is the only issue currently on the table.

    Posted by Arkenaten | October 10, 2013, 10:30 am
    • You miss the point, Arkenaten. The point is that several have testified that it became dark in the middle of the day on Passover, 32 AD. (or as Phlegon dates it: “the 4th day of the 202nd Olympiad. . . ” This was during a full moon, making it impossible to be an eclipse.

      The several who have testified to this, as contemporaneous witnesses to the darkness, were Matthew (Matthew 27:45), Phlegon, and Thallus (who tried to explain it away as an eclipse).

      This means there WAS a supernatural/miraculous element to the life and death of Jesus.

      Just because you deny the reports doesn’t mean they aren’t true.

      You ask me if I understand what you try to assert, and when I admit that I don’t understand what your position is concerning the creation of the gospels, you say that issue is off the table. It seems to me you put it on the table when you asked me if I understood.

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 11:32 am
      • Dear Diana,

        Thank you for welcoming ME, & all of your readers, back into the wonderful world of IDOL WORSHIP of Jesus-man.

        I, and all of your followers, have been looking for just such a grand expose of the fact that He never existed. Thanks.

        Love ONLY, Always, Turn From the Beast-Man, Rev. Kevin von Zell, MDiv, B.Mus.

        Rev_13:12  And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

        Rev_13:15  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

        Rev_14:9  And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand,

        Rev_14:11  And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

        Posted by Kevin von Zell | June 23, 2017, 9:04 pm
      • Dear Diana,

        Why are we “forced” to ASSUME that any REAL Jesus-god was even dying on that day in real history (“the 4th day of the 202nd Olympiad. . . ”) when Jesus was/is not a real historical person, or even character in the biblical novel…?!

        Remember, what Arkenaton is trying to teach you, that Jesus is/was NEVER mentioned by ANY of his contemporaries, such as historians — just by the myth-makers who created the scriptures that we all love?

        Love ONLY, Always, Rev. Kevin von Zell, MDiv, B.Mus.

        PS Even I, a former evangelical pastor, clearly understand his fine point, that Jesus was just a made-up fairy tale.

        PPS And, wouldn’t a return to kneeling before a man-god constitute the most flagrant act of idol-worship possible?

        Posted by Kevin von Zell | June 23, 2017, 9:12 pm
  6. The several who have testified to this, as contemporaneous witnesses to the darkness, were Matthew (Matthew 27:45), Phlegon, and Thallus (who tried to explain it away as an eclipse).

    ”Matthew” is not a real person. Neither is the author of Matthew a contemporary witness.

    Will you please stop asserting that the gospel writers were contemporary.

    Do you actually understand the meaning of the word contemporary? Must I offer you a link to a dictionary? Are you going to continue to be obtuse on purpose?

    If you read Profesor Carrier’s explanation you will understand why your POV is apologetic and does not hold water.

    You still have not addressed the fact that there are no contemporary witnesses for your miracle working man god. None.Nor have you addressed to any degree of honesty the reason why.

    Once you can offer a reasonable explanation of this then I am more than happy to move the discussion along.
    So, it’s up to you, Diana.

    Posted by Arkenaten | October 10, 2013, 11:56 am
    • Where do you get the authority to declare Matthew wasn’t a real person? Where is your proof that Matthew isn’t real?

      The early church ascribed this gospel to his authorship, but you somehow know better. How do you know better?

      “Contemporary: happening, existing, living, or coming into being during the same period of time.”

      Since Matthew was a disciple of Jesus and he shared what he learned and experienced as he interacted with Jesus, I would say he was a contemporary witness.

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 5:17 pm
      • Only fundamentalist idiots consider Matthew the author of this piece of work.
        No recognised scholar, Christian or otherwise considers this so.
        The gospel authors are unknown. Period.

        Since Matthew was a disciple of Jesus and he shared what he learned and experienced as he interacted with Jesus, I would say he was a contemporary witness.

        See above. Stop being a fool.

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 10, 2013, 5:22 pm
      • Dear Diana,

        My most recent studies, in New Testament history, taken at Liberty University, America’s largest Christian school…

        CONVINCED me that Matthew was not a real person, a direct-follower of Jesus, but a copier of Mark’s material.

        You really would do well to achieve an accredited education, in this field that you SO seem to love, apologetics.

        I taught a course in that subject @ 1st Evangelical Church in the 80’s & haven’t fought for Jesus, being Christ, since.

        Try reading Mark Twain’s LETTERS FROM EARTH for a start to your education. Have a chuckle @ our stupidity…!

        Love ONLY, Always, Rev. Kevin von Zell, MDiv (from George Fox Evangelical Seminary, Portland, Oregon, 1990)

        Posted by Kevin von Zell | June 23, 2017, 9:20 pm
    • As far as Thallus, Phlegon, and Matthew testifying to the darkness experienced on the day of the crucifixion, you can find any scholar to say anything you want. There are many other scholars who would dispute Carrier’s position. I choose to trust the eyewitness accounts.

      What I don’t understand is why you keep asking me if I “understand” and when I say no, you refuse to explain. I TRULY don’t understand your position on the origin of the gospels!

      I admit I’m ignorant. Isn’t that what you’re trying to prove about me? You can stop trying so hard now. 🙂

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 5:17 pm
      • Matthew also testified that dead people arose from the ground and wandered about.
        Lol…you really are a disturbed individual.

        Offer evidence of a contemporary witness. Just one.

        Posted by Arkenaten | October 10, 2013, 5:24 pm
      • You really would do well to achieve an accredited education, in this field that you SO seem to love, apologetics.

        I taught a course in that subject @ 1st Evangelical Church in the 80’s & haven’t fought for Jesus, being Christ, since.

        Posted by Kevin von Zell | June 23, 2017, 9:22 pm
  7. I am a fundamentalist. I admit it. I believe the scriptures are true. And I believe the gospels were written as testimonies to what people witnessed concerning the life and death of Jesus.

    Posted by Diana Lesperance | October 10, 2013, 11:40 pm
    • What you believe in your business. However, every scrap of evidence refutes your claim, so unless you can offer evidence to prove your case you have no moral or ethical right to state it is truth, or preach it as such, especially to children who have no defense against inculcation.

      Such action is tantamount to child abuse.

      Posted by Arkenaten | October 11, 2013, 12:46 pm
      • Child abuse would be to let some militant “new atheist” inculcate children with their fallacious talking points.

        Posted by Marc | January 21, 2014, 10:43 am
      • No, atheism encourages rational thought as opposed to blind acceptance( faith), the hallmark of religion and especially the Abrahamic religions.
        The history of your faith and the religious texts are testament to this.
        Would you like a few examples or are you au fait with the history of your religion, Marc?

        Your use of the term militant new atheist really indicates how low your argument for your cause has sunk that you are forced to try and wrap up the term as a pejorative.
        Or are you merely whining that the likes of Billy Graham and Jerry Falwell and their ilk don’t have the stage all to themselves anymore?

        I am not too sure if the god you worship would approve of the way you try to defend ‘him’ – even if it were real.

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 21, 2014, 10:52 am
      • Ark,

        I have heard all of you half-truths and fallacious talking points adnauseam . You have exposed your incapacity to discern truth in this thread and on other blogs. I shutter to think what would happen in this world if the majority of people ever adopted your warped sense of reality. I fear the conflagrations of the last Century would pale by comparison.to what a generation indoctrinated by godless atheists would be capable of.

        Posted by Marc | January 21, 2014, 11:32 am
      • And this nonsense is what? More diatribe?
        I bet you don’t refer to your computer as an atheist computer but you are quite happy to cheerfully bash out your apologetic nonsense without ever addressing the central issues surrounding the core tenets of your belief, do you , Marc?

        Atheism is a choice, Marc.
        Religion is general indoctrinated into children without consent and is tied into most cultures.
        If the religion and the god you genuflect to were right then why are there so many denominations?
        If Christianity is the be all and end all why are there millions of Muslims?

        If you are going to offer worthwhile criticism then at least try to show a modicum of intelligence.

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 21, 2014, 11:40 am
      • Ark,

        Are you yourself a father or a grandfather? I ask you this because you seem to be removed from what real children in the real world are concerned about. These wonderful children have the intuition to ask why they exist and what is the purpose of their lives. Diana is a mother and grandmother and she knows the truth about children in the same way that I do. Unlike so many adults, children know by intuition that there is a Creator, and that their lives have meaning beyond being at the top of the food chain as the most intelligent apes on the planet.

        Posted by Marc | January 21, 2014, 4:54 pm
      • Wrong. Your estimate of children is so far off the mark(sic) it is laughable. And yes , I have children

        Besides the ”Creator” you refer to is not the same as a that believed by a Muslim child or a Hindu child, is it, so stop being a damn hypocrite.

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 21, 2014, 5:03 pm
      • Mark 10:13-16.

        Posted by Marc | January 21, 2014, 10:23 pm
      • And your point is…..what?

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 22, 2014, 3:00 am
      • Children have enhanced spiritual faculties. Your spiritual faculties are as dead as the mummy that represents you.

        Posted by Marc | January 22, 2014, 8:37 am
      • Do they indeed? And just how do they discern which is the ‘right’ god to worship if not through the indoctrination from mentally debilitated individuals such as you?

        And why are so many children physiologically damaged ) or worse..dead) after years of exposure to religions such as Jehovah’s Witness, Fundamental evangelical Christianity, ) even good ol’ Catholicism) and various branches of Islam?

        You should have the integrity to at least go and read some of the stories told by deconvertees before you spew out your vitriolic nonsense.

        Good grief, you are becoming more inane with every comment.

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 22, 2014, 8:54 am
      • It is inane to believe that all human vice is connected to religion, while all human virtue is connected to atheism.

        Posted by Marc | January 22, 2014, 9:22 am
      • And just how did you arrive at this preposterous assumption?

        It is inane to believe that all human vice is connected to religion, while all human virtue is connected to atheism.

        Really, and just where is this claimed? Certainly not by me. You appear t be struggling with reality, and have a decided penchant for deftly sidestepping the issue at hand. A practice that s all too prevalent among apologists who are unable to face the untenable position they are in.

        Let me nudge you back on track.
        Perhaps you would be able to enlighten me how, if children are spiritually aware, they need to be indoctrinated with religion in the first place?

        Let us always remember that from a Christian point of view, and most certainly a fundamentalist, those who do not genuflect to your god, Yeshua, are doomed and will spend eternity in Hell, kids included.
        Rather unfortunate for Muslim and Hindu kids, right?

        So, I reiterate, if you have the guts to answer, how does the child discern which is the correct god?

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 22, 2014, 9:35 am
      • If you would read your own silly talking points you would see that you equate all evil and vice with religion, and all virtue with atheism.

        As to your ignorant misrepresentation of the Gospel based on sectarian corruptions, God’s actions provide salvation and eternal life to all who will accept them. Read what the early Church fathers write about the Harrowing of Hades. It is clear that all human beings will hear the true Gospel, if not in this life, then when they enter the spiritual realm. That transition into the spiritual realm will be a joy to those who retain their spiritual faculties, and quite unsettling for those who don’t. I suspect that most Muslims and Hindus will make this transition far easier than an atheist.

        The Lake of Fire is prepared for Satan and the demons, not human beings. The only human beings who end up there are the ones who hate God. Those cast into the Lake of Fire are annihilated, not tortured for eternity.

        Posted by Marc | January 22, 2014, 10:30 am
      • And this comment perfectly illustrates my point. The instant your argument runs put of steam and you feel the need to spew religious polemic you have rejected all rationale debate and unavoidably accepted the truth of my objections to inculcating children.
        Truly, I could not care a monkey’s uncle what you, as an adult, choose to believe , but apologetic vitriol such as what you waffle on about merely demonstrates how much of a willfully ignorant fool you are.

        But you do make make me laugh….

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 22, 2014, 11:51 am
      • Ark,

        If I did not think you are a sincere and kindly misdirected soul, I would not waste my time engaging you.

        You make pronouncements about issues as though you have the ultimate criteria of truth, yet you are still searching for truth.

        I am glad that I can humor you, because you humor me as well.

        I don’t know whether Diana is humored by either one of us, so I will defer to her take on all of this because it is her blog.

        Posted by Marc | January 22, 2014, 4:31 pm
      • I will offer the same reply I offered a Young Earth Creationist on another post, who, like you believes his version is the one and only.

        Your beliefs are based on erroneous education that has as its foundation a religious text.
        It has no empirical evidence to back any of its claims, and because of its biblical bent, never needs to.
        Thus every conclusion drawn will inevitably be skewed.
        Intelligence is the ability to weigh up the probabilities of the claims within such religious volumes and form a rational worldview based on the answer you come up with.
        The mental damage is evident in that you will reject Islamic claims, for instance, yet are unable to regard similar nonsensical biblical claims objectively.

        Inculcation prevents this from happening.

        It produces people who suffer from cognitive dissonance.
        Yet, such individuals are taught to compartmentalize their religious beliefs in order to function in a modern society.
        This is a hallmark of fundamentalist apologetics.

        If you consider your beliefs are correct then what you are saying, in fact, is that every other religious belief, most of which have, more or less, a similar foundation, is wrong. And, this includes every other Christian belief.
        And how was this conclusion arrived at? Via your god? Via a prophet or whisper in the dark?
        No. Of course not! It came via human interpretation of religious text. And more than likely you received whichever version you grew up with.

        Can you not see how damaging this is?

        Are you unable to recognise similar patterns present in the Jehovah Witness worldview, for example?
        Each and every one shuns secular challenges to what is considered the ”divine word”, yet not offering a single piece of verifiable evidence to back its claims.
        You are indoctrinated to accept first
        .False evidence which can vary wildly in its content is then provided to shore up (untenable) weaknesses.
        Ultimately, it all relies on Faith.Not evidence.
        Not a single argument can withstand genuine scrutiny, and the purveyors of such nonsense are fully aware of this.

        If you would like to read blogs of one or two deconvertees who have been in a similar (same)condition as you are currently, please let me know.
        These people are genuine – blokes like, Nate Owens – and they know exactly the type of mind games fundamentalist religions play .
        Just say the word…..

        As for you email invite. Thanks but no thanks.

        Posted by Arkenaten | January 23, 2014, 5:05 am
  8. Ark,
    I have posted on your blog so you have my email address. Please contact me so that we can sort out what we can.

    Posted by Marc | January 22, 2014, 5:34 pm
  9. For Diana.

    This chap explains the idea of contemporary witness, and the historical veracity of the gospels in a simple and straightforward fashion.

    http://www.skeptical-science.com/religion/how-accurate-are-the-gospels/

    Posted by Arkenaten | January 23, 2014, 5:47 am
  10. I just stumbled upon this blog and I’m actually amazed at how rude people can be to each other when they can hide behind the internet.

    As an objective outsider the two main posters are asking each other to clarify and support their points. Neither has done so in a simple and easy to follow manner. So, let’s try again.

    Ark – Diana would like to know why the early persecutors of Christians didn’t cite “Jesus is a fake/Jesus is fiction” as part of their reasoning for eliminating this group. Seemingly Diana believes that early Christians’ ruthlessly defense of their faith, in the face of certain death, is convincing evidence that early Christians trusted not only Jesus’ existence but also of his Divinity. Obviously, they were not 2000 years removed from the subject at hand, like we are. They were closer, perhaps more like our more current relation to the wars of the 19th or 20th century – which we can easily prove and disprove. So, it seems Diana is asking you to concisely explain why you think adversaries of early Christians didn’t cite a ludicrous belief in fiction as reasoning for eliminating the dissemination of this start-up religion.

    Diana – Ark is asking for you to pull from contemporary (as in, lived at the same time, not hear-say) accounts of Jesus as a living, breathing man. Ark does not seem accepting of the Gospels being used as reliable proof. Additional, outside reports would be helpful.

    Ok, now my request, answer each other respectfully and with clear explanation. Religious tolerance is hard-won right we all have. Aren’t we blessed to be comfortable enough to profess our beliefs without threat of violence? There are so many in the world who still face real threats for their lifestyle and religious choices (not just cyber-bullying). Let’s engage in respectful debate.

    With heart and peace.

    Posted by JoyfulNoise | February 24, 2014, 9:20 am
  11. Joyfulnoise,

    Ark follows a blog called “Superstitious Naked Ape” whose author writes specifically about the lack of contemporaneous evidence for the gospel. Ark has heard it all. For example, if I shared that the existence of Jesus was also confirmed independently of the Bible by outside sources such as the Jewish historian Josephus Flavius, Pliny the Younger, and Lucian, he would dismiss them out of hand, because they weren’t eyewitnesses, yet he rejects the accounts that claim to be made by eyewitnesses. (The New Testament) Because I’ve been at the Naked Ape blog, I know that Ark has heard those arguments and how to counter them.

    Since he rejects these sources, I’ve been trying to take a different approach. This can be seen in my other article, “The Mystery Writer of the Jesus Myth.” In this approach I try to get atheists to reveal who the writer of the gospels was if it wasn’t who Christians say they were. Ark didn’t join in that conversation, but John Zande, the blogger at Superstitious Naked Ape did.

    I think Ark would say that we had a rousing, yet not disrespectful, debate. I think its important to have an answer for every question that a person may have about Jesus and his Word, because I was once an unbeliever and “my heart could not embrace that which my mind rejected.”

    I don’t think I ever threatened violence or acted disrespectfully. I will ask Arkenaten what he thinks. Perhaps I need to apologize.

    Posted by Diana Lesperance | February 24, 2014, 5:23 pm
  12. “Now without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him.
    For a selfish man does not receive spiritual things, for they are madness to him, and he is not able to know, for they are known by The Spirit.
    Godless fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt. They do disgusting things. There is not one who does good things.
    All unbelief is the belief of a lie. What is indisputable is the fact that unbelief is the force that gives birth to all of our bad behavior and every moral failure. It is the root.” (these quotes are either scripture or by those much smarter than I)

    Posted by cmaglaughlin | March 6, 2014, 7:43 am
  13. What’s up, just wanted to say, I liked this blog post. It was practical.

    Keep on posting!

    Posted by movers baltimore | March 25, 2014, 9:04 am
  14. Ark, there are many givens in history that are taken as fact without the need for contemporary witnesses. Insist on everything being witnessed by contemporaries and much of history as we know it would crumble. For example, we would have to discount Plato and Aristotle as narrative constructs because they too have no contemporary witnesses. Would you be willing deny Plato and Aristotle existed, ark? You would have too because they fail to meet the same criteria you insist on applying to Jesus.

    Keep going Diana. I read the comments on this blog and you weren’t disrespectful. Ark was consistently rude, attacking the intelligence of his respondents. And it was also clear that ark shifted the goalposts several times., especially when you asked him to simply clarify his point of view. Ark is more concerned with appearing the intellectual giant through his condescending choice of words, than debating the issue at hand. There is this overwhelming intellectual conceit that all atheists are atheists because they are more intelligent than the masses. The existence of Christians who are professors, doctors, Nobel winners etc show that it is not intellect that decides on matters of faith.

    It’s strange I came to faith not through a denial of my reasoning but facing up to reasoning. I had an open mind and looked at both sides. I chose one and the reality of that experience changed me. I’m still a flawed person with issues but now I find I can love and act for the welfare of others in situations I would rather run from. In many ways, I would prefer an atheistic nothingness at the end of my life because it’s so much easier a path to take but my heart and experiences tell me that what I want is not what will happen. I thank God that He has taken up home within me.

    Posted by AntGingell | April 2, 2014, 9:40 am
    • Antgingell,

      Thank you for your encouragement, and your humble heart that is willing to face the true condition of your soul. God isn’t unreasonable, is He? He said, “Come, let us reason together.” He’s so kind and patient. He wants our hearts to trust and love him.

      I also thank you for seeing the same issues as I did in my debate with Ark. It’s very difficult to debate with somebody who isn’t willing to reason, and then have that person act as though he is the one that is intellectually superior. 🙂

      I used to be intimidated by the intellectual displays of atheists. I had a philosophy professor my freshman year of college (1987) who would belittle Christians. He claimed he was once studying to become a pastor, so therefore knew Christian theology so well that Christians couldn’t oppose him. After all, he knew all of their arguments already.

      A few years ago (2009), I publicly challenged this professor to a debate on campus and he refused. One of his students told me he told his class it would be a useless debate, since choosing to believe is like choosing whether one likes Coke or Pepsi. I thought he was taking an intellectual position all those years, but now it turns out that his argument about who chooses to believe in God is akin to whether a man prefers men or women as sexual partners!

      Isn’t that handy? I mean, how can a just God hold him accountable for a genetic predisposition to not have the ability to believe?

      I wonder, then, why he used his classroom as a bully pulpit all those years to convince students to reject their belief in God.

      It’s very difficult to convey a tone in writing. Question marks sound more inquisitorial than I mean for them to sound.

      I “thank God that He has taken up home within me” also.

      Warm regards in Him,

      Diana

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | April 2, 2014, 11:37 am
  15. Hey Diana, I’ve been dealing with these historical issues and their details for a while now, but have recently stumbled across a rebuttal from the site you’re refuting which tries to make a case against quotes from Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, as well as the claims of darkness on the day of Jesus’ death. If you have time, I’d like to know what you think of such an article.
    http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/josephus-etal.html

    Posted by Chris | April 15, 2014, 10:46 am
  16. Hey again Diana, looking for some historical encouragement? You can find a comprehensive response to most of these issues on this site http://www.kingdavid8.com/_full_article.php?id=5abdb2a5-6ca7-11e1-b1f8-842b2b162e97 I highly recommend reading this if you’re feeling weighed down, you needn’t worry about my previous request. God bless

    Posted by Chris | April 15, 2014, 6:32 pm
  17. I applaud you Diana because his site compares Jesus to mythical figures.
    I bought the Complete Works of Josephus and he does mention Jesus in it
    and at times it seems that parts of the New Testament may be in it too.
    He even has parts of the Old Testament in it.
    The Book seems like a copy of the Old Testament from himself.

    Posted by thetruthseeker4real | April 27, 2014, 9:06 am
  18. I applaud you Diana because you show how false he is when he is trying to compare Jesus to mythical characters.

    Posted by thetruthseeker4real | April 27, 2014, 9:07 am
  19. Ken Humphreys has the strongest argument, no question.

    Posted by Ray Ernest | September 12, 2014, 8:26 pm
    • Exactly. Even Bart Ehrman (non-myther) states what they learn in accredited seminaries about the lack of a strong historical support for the NT amd Torah is not honestly told to layman and he is not sure why they don’t share this information. I’ll bet the business end of Christianity.

      Posted by BoogerTsnottington | November 5, 2016, 11:17 pm
  20. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Mt. 5)

    Posted by C | April 5, 2015, 4:57 pm
  21. Diana you did a fantastic job, thank you! I am a Christian and I am a student of history. To these foolishly deceived people who think Jesus was a myth and the Bible is wrong, I can provide you with thousands and even millions plus pieces of evidences to support the word of God and Jesus of the Bible but I will mention just this one fact that is beyond dispute:

    There is no way that mankind would write the Bible, from himself. Absolutely, totally, and completely IMPOSSIBLE. The Bible INDICTS the entire human race as a mass of wicked, evil, no-good monsters, in and of our own selves. ALL false religions, from Islam and Buddhism, from Hinduism and Zoroastrianism, Rabbinical Judaism, Atheistic Humanism, paganism, and everything else in between and all around, portrary man as a basically good being who simply needs help or aid in some form, whether it be from a “higher power” or gods goddesses or God, or, in and of himself. The Bible stands alone, all sixty six books, from Genesis to Revelation, as exposing human beings, both male and female, as lost hopeless people with only one eternal Hope: THE LORD JESUS CHRIST.

    The Bible reveals man to be a sinner from birth, a sinner from nature. The Bible exposes the sins and errors of its greatest heroes, the adultery and murder done by David, the murder done by Moses, all their foibles and problems and sinfulness, the betrayal of Jesus by the apostle Peter and the errors of Paul, when Paul disobeyed God and went to preach to the Jews at Jerusalem after God repeatedly told him not to do so, and the rebuking of Peter by Paul, and so much more. The Bible has the WOMEN seeing Jesus Christ for the first time after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ the Lord, in a world where women, even among the Jews, had a status inferior to men. There is no way at all that you can remotely explain these things except in one way and one way alone: The Author of the Bible is God. He inspired men to write it, chosen men of His, and He gave them every word. He preserved it from then until now.

    Muslims in the quran do not believe man needs forgiveness, ultimately, through any form of grace alone, and all religions are based on man somehow working himself to heaven, paradise, nirvana, or a better world. The Bible teaches eternal life eternal salvation by grace alone and not by works, unlike all the false religions.

    This one solid fact that I have presented proves to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is real and the Bible is real and everything the Bible says is true, even if I did not have any of the other numerous facts and evidences.

    To those atheists and other attackers, debunkers, and naysayers: I challenge you to refute my above claims. Come on. Throw whatever and all and everything you have at it. Also, I have PERSONALLY WITNESSED this CONFIRMED by the constant hate and attack against the true preaching of the Gospel of the grace of God by people such as yourselves (atheists and lost religionists etc). The fact that you are creating books and websites and papers to undermine and attack Scripture is proof Scripture is right and true. The reverse is not true. We Christians are authorized by God to witness and speak up for the word of God being true. You are not. The fact that you are focusing so much of your resources and efforts, energy, time, and all else on this is proof we Christians and our Bible is right and you are wrong.

    Posted by Mushet | June 5, 2016, 5:31 pm
    • All I can add to your diatribe is the comment that it takes very little to impress some folks — in your case, nothing.

      I am a pastor, albeit a Gnostic-Christian pastor, who remains unconvinced by your “argument” really not @ all…!

      Our Old Testament is rife with commentary upon the evil God it exposes. He does not live up to His advertisements.

      And, even the Jesus Character called him the Devil when he accused the Jews by saying they were of Their Father.

      Plus, it was the very character of Jesus which introduces the subject of Hell to us. A classic “protection racket…”

      Where our Church proposes to provide protection against the very threat that they propose; See the Inquisition…

      That was the Hell described by the Bible, and its part of our Church’s history. A very sad portrait of sin, indeed…!

      Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 3:14 am
    • All I can add to your diatribe is the comment that it takes very little to impress some folks — in your case, nothing.

      I am a pastor, albeit a Gnostic-Christian pastor, who remains unconvinced by your “argument” really not @ all…!

      Our Old Testament is rife with commentary upon the evil God it exposes. He does not live up to His advertisements.

      And, even the Jesus Character called him the Devil when he accused the Jews by saying they were of Their Father.

      Plus, it was the very character of Jesus which introduces the subject of Hell to us. A classic “protection racket…”

      Where our Church proposes to provide protection against the very threat that they propose; See the Inquisition…

      That was the Hell described by the Bible, and its part of our Church’s history. A very sad portrait of sin, indeed…!

      http://jesusneverexisted.com

      Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 3:24 am
  22. Thank you Mushet…the Bible is a glorious book. The more I study it the more amazed I become. And the Bible is different from all other religious writings and revelations. They all say that people need to do some sort of religious activity to please God, but the Bible teaches that a savior will come and be our sacrificial lamb, taking our sins upon himself. (Jesus is revealed in every book of the Bible even though there were so many authors writing over so many centuries.)

    When we trust in the work of Jesus on the Cross we have it all. We don’t need to light candles, burn incense, wash in the River Ganges, make spiritual pilgrimages to Mecca, commit jihad…nothing. Just trust in Jesus and Jesus alone. This is what is revealed in the scriptures . . . and if we change this truth we are changing the wonderful Good News for humanity.

    I’m so glad that you have found faith in Christ. And thank you for your encouraging words!

    Posted by Diana Lesperance | June 5, 2016, 11:20 pm
  23. All I can add to your diatribe is the comment that it takes very little to impress some folks — in your case, nothing.

    I am a pastor, albeit a Gnostic-Christian pastor, who remains unconvinced by your “argument” really not @ all…!

    Our Old Testament is rife with commentary upon the evil God it exposes. He does not live up to His advertisements.

    And, even the Jesus Character called him the Devil when he accused the Jews by saying they were of Their Father.

    Plus, it was the very character of Jesus which introduces the subject of Hell to us. A classic “protection racket…”

    Where our Church proposes to provide protection against the very threat that they propose; See the Inquisition…

    That was the Hell described by the Bible, and its part of our Church’s history. A very sad portrait of sin, indeed…!

    Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 3:25 am
  24. Dear Diana,

    Thank you for your kind inquiry…

    I am planting a new church called 1 Church of Christ Spirit because we believe that Christ was a Spirit that could be assumed by us in our United state, being His arms, legs, hands & feet in this poor, sorry world created by His Father the Devil…

    “You are of your Father, the Devil!” He shouted @ the Jews who are the spiritual forebears of all Christians.

    Seeing God in ourselves as well as in one another, we proclaim the fulfilling of the Law to “Love One Another As I Have Loved Thee.”

    And, since Jesus was transported, physically to the heavens, as you believe, he died from a severe lack of oxygen, being fully man as well as fully God, so He no longer exists as a PHYSICAL SPECIMEN. So, why worship the Body?

    http://jesusneverexisted.com

    Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 4:21 pm
  25. The Gospel of John states that Jesus did so many things that it would fill many books.
    John 21:25
    And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.

    Yet, all of these things that Jesus was supposed to have done didn’t “fill” the books of anyone outside of the Christian cult writers. In fact, no mention @ all by serious historians who lived in his time & precinct…! Think, folks.

    Yours in Christ, Rev. Kevin Zeller, MDiv, BMus, M.A. in Church Planting & Worship

    Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 6:04 pm
    • You seem to quote the Bible, so it must have some authority to you…but it seems like you pick and choose the scriptures you want to use. How do you determine which scriptures are of God and which are not?

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | June 6, 2016, 7:29 pm
      • I seem to quote the Bible, because it must have some authority for/to you… I seem to pick and choose the scriptures I want to use. I do not determine which scriptures are of God and which are not.

        Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 7:42 pm
  26. According to Old Testament stipulations, Jesus doesn’t qualify to sit on the throne of David, regardless of how many times he comes back.
    Jesus never sat on the throne of David or ruled Israel as a valid messiah is supposed to do (Jeremiah 23:5-6).
    Jesus can’t be called a king messiah of the Jews when he did not perform the function.
    Jesus wasn’t given the throne because He doesn’t have the proper pedigree, which requires a direct paternal blood link to King David, which both YOU & I do!

    If you are a Zeller, or of one of our allied families, thou art enabled to be MESSIAH — All you have to do is RULE ISRAEL first, unlike Lord Jesus! Just Remember, Love ONLY, Always; No Threats or Railing re myth of hell… OK?

    Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 7:38 pm
    • 1 John 4:3..3 “And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world.” Jesus didn’t die on his way to heaven. He had a resurrected body. He came in the flesh…the apostles opposed the Gnostics…who said Jesus was a spirit. Are you a Gnostic?

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | June 6, 2016, 7:57 pm
      • Shame on thee for using such a feeble weapon against me, Diana! I am proud to be a Gnostic, a “knower” rather than a “faither” such as thou art. That he had a “resurrected” body, a magical body, is only a theological construct…

        One put to shame, the same shame shared by those “Christians” who worship it — as one would any other idol-god…!

        1st John 4:3..3 is one of the fake epistles, or letters, attributed to Apostle Paul, whom we KNOW to to be Apollonius of Tyana… You don’t get out much, dost thou, Diana… Outside of the Bible, that is? Or, you would KNOW this! Amen?

        1st John 4:3..3 was a cleverly crafted, yet entirely bogus, interpolation, or gloss, created to “put down” the Gnostics…

        Which only exposes the fact that we were here FIRST. In fact, In fact, we’re the OLDEST Christians on planet Earth…

        And, I only wish to KNOW the Truth & to live it out as did these finest examples of mankind to grace civilization.

        In order to do that I would have to accept the Gospel of Thomas as being the true words of Jesus Christ; I do NOT.

        Even though G of T preceded the four canonical gospels by decades, I can only accept it as valid record of NO ONE.

        http://jesusneverexisted.com

        Posted by Kevin Zeller | June 6, 2016, 8:34 pm
  27. I did read a lot of Jesus praising paragraphs and no rebuttal to Ken Humphreys statements of a plagiarized Jesus. so I’m going to provide you with the evidence the apologetic writer refused to even look for.

    Stoic thinking, 500 years before Christianity:

    * One of the ways in which Stoicism anticipated Christianity, is the idea of serving the will of God

    * Christians drew on the Stoic concept of the Logos, particularly in the marvelous opening to the Gospel of St John

    * The idea of giving up your will and serving the Logos (God/Jesus). Cleanthes said: ‘Conduct me, Jove, and you, 0 Destiny, Wherever your decrees have fixed my station.’ Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus anticipates, some of the noble sentiments of the Lord’s Prayer

    * Another important idea in Stoicism is the question of what is the most important thing in your life. What do you serve? What is your god or master? Because everything will follow from that

    * The Stoics’ idea of the cosmopolis – the City of God – and the idea that the good person should try and serve the cosmopolis first

    “sources: http://www.iep.utm.edu/stoicism/
    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/stoicism/

    All of these STOLEN by Christianity, and the following attributes of the non existent Jesus were stolen from the following pagan Gods, also rituals were stolen:

    * Many early Christians celebrated Jesus’ birthday on JAN-6. Egypt, the birthday of their god-man, Aion, was also celebrated on JAN-6.
    ** Christians and most Pagans eventually celebrated the birthday of their god-man on DEC-25.

    * According to an ancient Christian tradition, Christ died on MAR-23 and resurrected on MAR-25. These dates agree precisely with the death and resurrection of Attis.

    * Early Christians initiated converts in March and April by baptism. Mithraism initiated their new members at this time as well.

    * Early Christians were naked when they were baptized. After immersion, they then put on white clothing and a crown. They carried a candle and walked in a procession to a basilica. Followers of Mithra were also baptized naked, put on white clothing and a crown, and walked in a procession to the temple. However, they carried torches.

    * At Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were recorded as speaking in tongues. At Trophonius and Delos, the Pagan priestesses also spoke in tongues: They appeared to speak in such a way that each person present heard her words in the observer’s own language.

    ***
    An inscription to Mithras reads:

    “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.” 1 In John 6:53-54, Jesus is said to have repeated this theme: “…Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (KJV)

    * The Bible records that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. One went to heaven and the other to hell. In the Mithras mysteries, a common image showed Mithras flanked by two torchbearers, one on either side. One held a torch pointed upwards, the other downwards. This symbolized ascent to heaven or descent to hell.

    * In Attis, a bull was slaughtered while on a perforated platform. The animal’s blood flowed down over an initiate who stood in a pit under the platform. The believer was then considered to have been “born again.” Poor people could only afford a sheep, and so were literally washed in the blood of the lamb. This practice was interpreted symbolically by Christians.

    * There were many additional points of similarity between Mithraism and Christianity. 2 St. Augustine even declared that the priests of Mithraism worshiped the same God as he did:
    **Followers of both religions celebrated a ritual meal involving bread. It was called a missa in Latin or mass in English.

    Pagan saviors of humanity:
    Alexandria: Aion
    Asia Minor: Attis
    Babylonia: Antiochus
    Egypt: Osiris and Horus
    Greece: Dionysus and Asclepius
    Syria: Adonis
    Italy: Bacchus
    Persia: Mithras

    self-proclaimed god-men:
    Samos, Italy: Pythagoras (569 to circa 475 BCE)
    Sicily: Empedocles (circa 450 to 390 BCE)

    Posted by SARXES | August 6, 2016, 2:42 pm
  28. Hi Sarxes!

    Thank you for your comment. I will attempt to address your points.

    1. * “One of the ways in which Stoicism anticipated Christianity, is the idea of serving the will of God.”

    Stoicism came before Christ, but so did Judaism. Christianity is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law and Prophets. One of those prophets was Moses, who came several hundred years before the Stoics, and he repeatedly called for people to serve the will of God. This was the commandment of God: “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the LORD thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to SERVE THE LORD thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul.” (Deuteronomy 10:12) The idea of serving the Lord runs throughout the Old Testament. Was it Stoicism that influenced Christianity, or was Christianity’s emphasis on serving God part of its Jewish heritage?

    2. * “Christians drew on the Stoic concept of the Logos, particularly in the marvelous opening to the Gospel of St John.”

    The Apostle John lived in a Greco-Roman society. Even though he was Jewish, he lived under Roman rule. The Romans were greatly influenced by the Greeks. They had the same Gods (by different names). Greek philosophy was considered to be the highest form of human thought at the time. Is it far-fetched to believe that John’s gospel was written as a RESPONSE to Greek thought, rather than drawing from it. The Stoics believed in Logos, a force that unified and held the universe together through reason and order. This Logos was their God. John appealed to the Greeks and tried to make the case that Jesus was their Logos. He was the creator of the orderly universe. In Colossians 1:17 the Apostle Paul appealed to this same idea. He said, “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Both Paul and John were using apologetics, arguments to persuade philosophers that Jesus was their Logos, who, in a moment of time, became flesh and dwelt among men. John’s introduction didn’t have its roots in Stoicism; it was a RESPONSE to Stoicism.

    3. * “The idea of giving up your will and serving the Logos (God/Jesus). Cleanthes said: ‘Conduct me, Jove, and you, 0 Destiny, Wherever your decrees have fixed my station.’ Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus anticipates, some of the noble sentiments of the Lord’s Prayer.”

    The Hymn of Praise to Zeus by Cleanthes speaks to a god who brings order out of chaos, yet calls those who disrupt the order “evil mortals” and “poor wretches” who do foolish things in ignorance. The prayer of Cleanthes is that Zeus would “scatter their ignorance” and that they would give honor to the the universal “Word of Reason.” Their plea to their god as creator may have been the same, but the Lord’s Prayer is an intimate prayer asking a father to care for personal needs, to help to overcome the temptation to do evil, and to forgive us for our wrongs in the same way we forgive others who have wronged us. It’s an appeal to a person who cares for them, provides for them, and forgives them. To say the Lord’s Prayer found its roots in Cleanthes’ Hymn to Zeus is a preposterous allegation.

    4. * “Another important idea in Stoicism is the question of what is the most important thing in your life. What do you serve? What is your god or master? Because everything will follow from that.”

    The ancient Jews also believed in this concept. Most of the Old Testament prophets pointed out this reality. For example, Amos said that because the people of Israel had begun to be unfaithful to Yahweh and worship other gods, they had become sinful. “For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.” (Amos 5:12) What they loved, what they worshiped, had an impact on how they behaved. God’s prophets were always calling the people back to Yahweh because total devotion to Him alone was the only way to a just, kind, righteous society. Stoicism may have been impacted by Judaism in this sense!

    5. * “The Stoics’ idea of the cosmopolis – the City of God – and the idea that the good person should try and serve the cosmopolis first.”

    The Stoic idea of the just, ecumenical cosmopolis — the City of God — was also an Old Testament concept. The Old Testament prophets claimed that one day ALL nations, tribes, and tongues would come to Yahweh as part of the messianic promise. The cosmopolitanism of the Stoics was PRECEDED by the cosmopolitanism of the ancient Jewish prophets. For example, the book of Isaiah is replete with phrases such as “for a light of the Gentiles,” “sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth,” “let the wilderness and the cities thereof lift up their voice,” “declare his praise in the islands” [See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGjIMNv7wAg and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5wfimT2WPM as examples of this fulfillment!] Indeed, even as early as Abraham, Yahweh promised “In your seed all nations shall be blessed.” This global kingdom of God was foretold in the scriptures, the apostles didn’t need to steal it from the Stoics.

    (Augustine wrote his “City of God” after Jesus died in RESPONSE to pagan critics. He didn’t steal the ideas of the Stoics, who never believed in an epic battle between good and evil, but from the Bible, as a counter to the claim by the Romans that Christians caused the destruction of Rome because they refused to worship the Roman gods.)

    6. “All of these STOLEN by Christianity, and the following attributes of the non existent Jesus were stolen from the following pagan Gods, also rituals were stolen:

    * Many early Christians celebrated Jesus’ birthday on JAN-6. Egypt, the birthday of their god-man, Aion, was also celebrated on JAN-6.
    ** Christians and most Pagans eventually celebrated the birthday of their god-man on DEC-25.”

    That Christianity became blended (syncretized) with other religions is a sad fact. (The Gnostics were also adept at confiscating Jesus for their own advantage). This doesn’t mean that Jesus was never born or never existed. The blending of Christian and pagan holidays occurred AFTER Jesus came. For example, the emperor Constantine once worshiped Mithras, but when he came to Christ he devoted the holiday once devoted to Mithraism to Christianity instead. (December 25). This was an act of worship. In actuality, this gives more evidence that Jesus was a real person in history. The pagans didn’t deny the existence of Jesus. They couldn’t. So they incorporated the good news of Jesus into their own system of belief.

    7. * “According to an ancient Christian tradition, Christ died on MAR-23 and resurrected on MAR-25. These dates agree precisely with the death and resurrection of Attis.”

    Actually Christ died at the same time as the Passover lambs were being slaughtered in the Temple, which is April 3, 33 AD. I’m not sure where you get the March date. The dates vary from year to year according to the lunar cycle. Would you like to give me evidence from a reputable source that Attis actually was raised from the dead in mythology? There are several stories that involve a bride, castration, and a pine tree, but not an actual death and resurrection in the elegant and historical sense that Jesus was resurrected.

    8. * “Early Christians initiated converts in March and April by baptism. Mithraism initiated their new members at this time as well.”

    This is a case of “which came first–the chicken or the egg?” Christianity and Mithraism were blended together. This doesn’t mean Christianity stole from Mithraism. I don’t know if Christians were only baptized in spring. Perhaps they did for practical purposed (such as the weather) or for spiritual purposes such as Passover symbolism, but this time frame is never specified in the scriptures.

    9. * “Early Christians were naked when they were baptized. After immersion, they then put on white clothing and a crown. They carried a candle and walked in a procession to a basilica. Followers of Mithra were also baptized naked, put on white clothing and a crown, and walked in a procession to the temple. However, they carried torches.”

    This is another case of blending beliefs AFTER the fact. There is no evidence that Mithraism practiced any kind of baptism before Christ. There IS evidence that the Essenes, the Jewish sect who hid the Dead Sea Scrolls, practiced baptism. I also don’t know if the early Christians were naked when they were baptized. Some later Christian writers describe naked baptism, but the scriptures never described baptism as being done in the nude.

    10. * “At Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were recorded as speaking in tongues. At Trophonius and Delos, the Pagan priestesses also spoke in tongues: They appeared to speak in such a way that each person present heard her words in the observer’s own language.”

    Missionaries often claimed that witch doctors in jungles would speak in tongues. These witch doctors never heard the gospel, yet they practiced glossolalia. Just because pagans spoke in tongues doesn’t mean Christians copied them. The explanation I’m about to give will lead into the next question also.

    According to the Bible, after the Fall, blood sacrifice was a requirement for forgiveness of sins. God shed the first blood when he gave furs for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness. This requirement was passed down to their children also. Abel obeyed the requirement, but Cain didn’t. As time went on, the world fell further and further away from God, and God commanded Noah to build an ark. When he finished and survived the flood he offered a blood sacrifice. The requirement of blood continued, but at the Tower of Babel, God was angry, so he confused their languages and scattered the people across the earth. This explains how the concept of blood sacrifice is found in so many different religions. Even though God demanded an animal sacrifice, many religions changed the command and offered up virgins or infants as sacrifices. Like a game of telephone, the message became corrupted over time, yet the message of the blood was explained to all at one time.

    At Pentecost, the Tower of Babel was reversed. At Babel, language divided the people, but at Pentecost language unified all under the Gospel. The message of the Gospel is that no more blood sacrifice is necessary. Jesus was our sacrifice, and language which all could understand was used to preach this message.

    [As a side note: The reason a blood sacrifice was necessary was because it was the only way a God of extravagant love could pay for sin himself. This was done as a display to the universe. But how could mankind know that the sacrifice of Jesus was part of God’s great plan? Any Tom, Dick, or Harry could claim to be the sacrifice for sins, But the Lord gave us evidence to turn to (it was foretold centuries beforehand in so many ways through the law and the prophets) so humanity could know that Jesus was the true Savior.]

    11.
    ***
    “An inscription to Mithras reads:

    “He who will not eat of my body and drink of my blood, so that he will be made on with me and I with him, the same shall not know salvation.” 1 In John 6:53-54, Jesus is said to have repeated this theme: “…Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (KJV)”

    Concerning Mithras and the body and the blood . . . again . . . it was the followers of Mithras who copied Christianity, not the other way around! Justin Martyr, an early Christian, noted this plagiarism in his “First Apology.” (ch. 66) He said, “the wicked devils have imitated in the mysteries of Mithras, commanding the same thing to be done.”

    12. * “The Bible records that Jesus was crucified between two thieves. One went to heaven and the other to hell. In the Mithras mysteries, a common image showed Mithras flanked by two torchbearers, one on either side. One held a torch pointed upwards, the other downwards. This symbolized ascent to heaven or descent to hell.”

    The image of Mithras doesn’t show him being crucified, and there is much more evidence to suggest the torchbearers you refer to (Cautes and Cautopates) represent the spring and autumn equinox (not heaven and hell). Also, these Mithraic representations (statues) date to the 3rd century after Christ, not before Christ. Therefore, Christianity didn’t steal the idea of Jesus being crucified between two thieves from Mithraic mythology.

    13. * “In Attis, a bull was slaughtered while on a perforated platform. The animal’s blood flowed down over an initiate who stood in a pit under the platform. The believer was then considered to have been “born again.” Poor people could only afford a sheep, and so were literally washed in the blood of the lamb. This practice was interpreted symbolically by Christians.”

    The earliest reference of this ritual occurs in 245 AD. And any idea of salvation occurs even later—AFTER Christ! The cult of Mithras stole from the Christians, NOT the other way around.

    As I stated above, the blood sacrifice goes back to Adam and Eve…and at the Exodus the blood of a lamb was required to be placed on the doorposts in order for the angel of death to “pass over” that home. The law of Moses required that Passover be celebrated in memory of this event. The blood of the lamb then became a symbol of salvation. Christianity didn’t need to steal this idea from Mithras.

    14. * “There were many additional points of similarity between Mithraism and Christianity. 2 St. Augustine even declared that the priests of Mithraism worshiped the same God as he did:”

    I don’t know if Augustine ever said that the priests of Mithraism worshiped the same God as he did. (Source ?) But Augustine was a member of the Manichean sect at one time. This was a mixture of Gnosticism, Mithraism, and Christianity. Perhaps in his earlier years he thought that they were the same, but after he found the Christ of the Bible, he renounced Manicheanism.

    15. **”Followers of both religions celebrated a ritual meal involving bread. It was called a missa in Latin or mass in English.”

    Again, which came first? Even so, the concept of the bread and wine was seen as early as Genesis in the Jewish faith. The high priest Melchizedek offered bread and wine to Abraham. “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.” (Gen. 14:18) This high priest was one of the many “types and shadows” of Jesus that are found in the Old Testament. We know this to be, because the writer of Hebrews tells us that Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchizedek. (Hebrews 5-7) It’s more likely that the idea of bread and wine came from the Old Testament, as a fulfillment, than that it came from the myth of Mithras.

    I could go through each of the gods you list, but I think I gave you enough to chew on for now. If you like, I will take the time to respond concerning each mythological god you list. Just let me know. Even if they refer to blood sacrifices as forgiveness of sins…this was taught to all after Noah and was spread to all the world at the dispersion at Babel.

    In conclusion…

    In many instances, the claim that Christianity stole from pagan myths is an absolute lie. In fact, in many cases, the exact opposite is true. Many pagan religions, seeing the impact that the good news of Christianity had on their religious establishment, decided to blend the Christian faith in with their myths. They stole from Christianity! This happened after Christ (AD), not before Christ (BC).

    Do you have a concern that if you are being lied to concerning the mythological sources of Christianity that you may be being lied to in other ways? Perhaps Jesus is the truth!

    Another concern that I have is that the argument concerning the existence of Jesus, and his source being that of the myths is an old argument. It was put forth in the nineteenth century by David F. Strauss in his book, “The Life of Jesus Critically Examined.” In this book Strauss claimed that the supernatural elements of Christianity were merely myths and that Jesus was just a good teacher. Bruno Bauer carried these thoughts further and actually denied the existence of Jesus. These teachers influenced Karl Marx and he lost his faith.

    Future Marxists would use these beliefs to discredit, mock, and persecute believers in the communist world. Reverend Richard Wurmbrand, a Lutheran minister and founder of Voice of the Martyrs, describes these precise arguments being used against him while he was in a communist, atheist prison. While trying to brainwash him, he says that a prison official “began to attack religion. Christ, he said, was a fantasy invented by the apostles to delude slaves into hope of freedom in paradise.” Marx believed that religion dulled worldly pain and caused people to give up and wait for the “by and by,” rather than rising up to rebel and create paradise now. The ideas you are dabbling in have consequences.

    Finally, I would ask you to consider who the mystery writer of the mythical Jesus was. If Jesus never existed, then he was created by an unknown author. This author must have been brilliant, because according to atheists he knew much of the mythology of the time. He also had to know the Old Testament very well, because the life of Jesus, as told in the Gospels, fulfilled all of the Law and the Prophets in every way. To this day believers are discovering more and more ways that Jesus fulfilled not only the prophecies of the Old Testament (Isaiah 53, for example), but also the types and shadows of the Old Testament. Jesus is seen in the life of Joseph. (He was the brother who was cast out, but would ultimately forgive them and save them in the end.) He’s seen in the Exodus. He’s found in the law. He’s seen in the life of Jeremiah. And on and on…..

    How could this mystery writer have created such a sinless and perfect person? One of the problems with the Stoicism that you mention was their inability to produce their “wise man” in human form. They looked in vain for this man. Zeno, the founder of Stoicism, had said, “It is reasonable to honor the gods: it is not reasonable to honor the non-existent: therefore the gods exist.” Stoics realized they had to resort to the same circular reasoning when it came to finding the perfect role model. “It is reasonable to honor wise men; it is not reasonable to honor the non-existent; therefore wise men exist.” But they couldn’t find the wise man. They couldn’t even imagine him. Their gods fell far short of the ideal. (Perhaps this is why John referred to Jesus as the Logos!)

    Can you tell me the name of this mystery writer? If not, then you would rather believe in someone, even though there is no evidence for their existence, than to believe in the existence of Jesus, as testified to in the four gospels.

    Blessings in Christ,

    Diana

    Posted by Diana Lesperance | August 9, 2016, 9:26 pm
    • Dear Sr. Diana,

      You maintain that Jesus is the FULFILLMENT of prophecy. I would rather maintain that prophecy CREATED Jesus.

      In the same manner, the religions of all of mankind; each contributes their piece to the puzzle & enigma, i.e. Jesus.

      This is what explains His popularity among the people of all the nations, and wouldst rob Him of His ONLY Import?!

      Hast thou not READ the full website? Website: http://jesusneverexisted.com You really have a lot to learn, Diana…!

      Sincerely Gnostic, Rev. Kevin von Zell, MDiv, BMus

      PS I’m currently in the process of planting a church in San Diego County. If you’d like to help, call 442-224-7220…!

      Posted by Kevin Zeller | November 6, 2016, 3:34 pm
  29. You sez: This is a case of “which came first–the chicken or the egg?” Christianity and Mithraism were blended together. This doesn’t mean Christianity stole from Mithraism.
    BUT, I sez: Justin Martyr was complaining of how the Debil had PRESCIENT knowledge of Christianity and managed to somehow FORESHADOW it in the pagan revelries. Also, refer to Church History books that show Mithra as FIRST.
    Diana, as you cannot have it BOTH WAYS, I would defer to my Church History education @ seminary and to that little book that I purchased off a table, located in front of our Seminary’s library that quoted the CHURCH FATHERS.
    Was their book sale an attempt to do away with the primary texts from which I draw my datum; I would think so…!
    This would be in keeping with the Christians attempts to UTTERLY DESTROY all pagan wisdom & knowledge from centers of learning, Amen? (You see, that little book held many quotes from ORIGIN, who also taught Universalism.)

    Posted by Kevin Zeller | December 13, 2016, 9:28 pm

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Books

Why am I WAITING for “Shalom?”

"They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven . . ."
(1 Thessalonians 1:9b-10a)

The word "shalom" in the Hebrew has many meanings which indicate restoration, renewal, friendship, peace, safety and so on. At one time, God placed his creation in a perfect garden--a place of safety, security, provision and peace--and we disobeyed God, losing 1) our relationship with God and 2) paradise.

Since that time, we've attempted to bring back both of these losses in our own way. Religion is our attempt to gain back our relationship with God, and politics is our attempt to gain back paradise.

The solution to both of these losses is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet the world refuses to believe the good news! Instead they try to attain the restoration--the shalom--in their own way through their own effort.

I believe that the kingdom of God is restored in the hearts of men as they receive Christ's finished work, but the kingdom of God doesn't come physically to earth until Christ comes.

Any effort to bring about the promise ahead of time in our own strength is akin to Abraham going to Hagar for fulfillment of the promise instead of waiting with Sarah for the birth of the promised child through whom the nations of the earth would be blessed.

The evangelical church is rushing en masse to bring about shalom through their own effort, power, and influence. Men like Bill Hybels, Rick Warren, Jim Wallis, and Donald Miller are losing their faith in the promise of Christ that he would prepare a place for them and they're attempting to restore paradise now.

I want to let it be known that I'm WAITING for shalom. I won't be a part of their dream. They are moving ahead of God rather than waiting on God and they will create another Ishmael as a result.

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