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Atheism

A Challenge to the Claim that Jesus Never Existed

 

If you are a person who believes that Jesus never existed (as the creator of the above video believes), and that he was merely a mythological creation, will you answer this question for me?

If Jesus never existed, then who wrote the New Testament? If it wasn’t the actual followers of Jesus (the disciples, or the new converts, such as Paul, etc . . . ), then please tell me who these mystery writers of the Jesus myth were and give me evidence for THEIR existence.

 

 

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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

7 thoughts on “A Challenge to the Claim that Jesus Never Existed

  1. Not that I believe there was no Jesus, but do you ever find it odd that there were so many other Gospels written, but not deemed fit for inclusion in the Bible, or lost to the world?

    Posted by Ignostic Atheist | July 17, 2014, 7:52 am
  2. Paul wrote parts of the New Testament, but he says that his knowledge of Jesus came through revelations and the scriptures. He never says that anyone who knew Jesus ever told him anything about him. As for the rest of the New Testament, I don’t know how we could establish that the writers had either been followers of the earthly Jesus or converted by followers of the earthly Jesus. They might have been converts of someone like Paul who never knew Jesus.

    I’m not convinced that Jesus didn’t exist, but I think that establishing that he did is a much trickier proposition than is commonly believed.

    Posted by vinnyjh57 | July 19, 2014, 4:36 pm
  3. Diana, before I begin my comment relative to your post, I need to say something unrelated. Several months ago, I read one of your comments on Nate’s, or Matt’s, or Ark’s site (not sure which), and I mistook you for someone with whom I’m having a running feud – I won’t say who, that would only add to the insult – and I consequently said some pretty nasty things to you, believing you to be someone else. You had no way of knowing this, believed what I said to be directed at you (what else COULD you believe), got your feelings hurt, and never came back. I’ve hunted you down specifically to apologize to you. I’m sorry.

    As for your topic, theists tend to need to have everything in black and white – don’t know how the universe began? – obviously, god did it! Atheists, on the other hand, are far more comfortable with, “I don’t know, and I may never know, but that’s OK – I’ll keep looking for the answer anyway.”

    That said – and I say this as an atheist – I don’t know if Jesus existed or not. I DO know that the timing was ripe for his invention, if in fact he wasn’t real. Another man, a Greek named Appalonius was born in the same year that Jesus was alleged to have been born, and did many of the things attributed to Jesus, including raising a Roman General’s daughter from the dead. An interesting website, The Story of the Story Tellers (not an atheist site), describes “Mark” as an excellent writer, capable of carefully crafting a story – could he have crafted a story about a fictional character, Yeshua, and used events from the life of Appalonius (who lived a long life, dying at 100 – he would actually have been alive during the time of “Mark“)? Yes, he could have, and since “Matthew” and “Luke” copied from “Mark” (which is why they’re called, the “synoptic gospels“, because they “look alike”), it is entirely possible. But why? What would have been the motivation? To answer that, first a little history —

    Most Biblical scholars agree (I know you said, give you evidence, but I don’t want to clutter up the comment window with a bunch of links until I know, when you hopefully respond, to just what exactly you disagree and for what exactly you need evidence) that the authors of the Gospels were anonymous. Only in the 2nd century CE, were they arbitrarily assigned names, “Mark,” “Matthew,” “Luke,” and “John,” in the order that their gospels were written, which is why I italicized their names, rather than saying, “pseudo-Mark,’ etc. From now on, it would save me a lot of work if you would just accept (whether you agree or not) that when I use those names, I do not refer to the actual people, but to the anonymous authors.

    Most Biblical scholars also agree that Mark wrote his gospel after 72 CE – after the destruction of the Jewish Temple that year – 40+ years after the alleged death of his main character, Yeshua. Matthew wrote his, largely based on Mark’s (66% of Matthew’s Gospel was taken directly from Mark’s, word for word) about five years after Mark’s, or 77 CE, then Luke wrote his, again largely based on Mark’s, roughly five to ten years after that, or 82-87 CE, with “John” writing his independent story, which in places disagrees ENTIRELY with the synoptics (such as the “fishers of men” story), around the turn of the century, or 90-100 CE, after which, he wrote The Acts of the Apostles, based entirely on the letters of Paul and his own fertile imagination.

    Why had no one written anything about Yeshua (his real name, “Jesus” is only the Greek translation of it) for a full 40 years after what – if it were true – must have been a, for lack of a better term, miraculous life? A magic man comes into your life, turns water into wine, heals the sick, raises the dead, feeds 5000 people with the Iron Age equivalent of a McDonald’s fish sandwich, walks on water, and pops up himself from the dead before flying up to heaven, and everyone waits 40 years to write about it? How long does it take to find a pencil?

    In my opinion – and I want to stress that that’s all it is – is that the catalyst was the Roman destruction of the Temple. In my neighborhood, a few months ago, a church burned down – no foul play, just accidentally – no big deal, it was rebuilt. But the Jews didn’t take such a cavalier attitude toward their temple – it was the center of their entire way of life! The last time it had been destroyed had been nearly 600 years earlier, precipitating the Babylonian Captivity, the Exile, and with Persian help, it had been rebuilt upon their return from Babylon. It was the original destruction that had prompted all of the prophesies of Isaiah and Ezekiel of a coming Messiah, and here it had happened again. It could well be that “Mark” wrote his gospel to comfort and give hope the Jewish people – his people – by saying, yes, I know things are bad, but they can get better if you just have faith – here’s how that works —

    Did Yeshua actually exist? I don’t know, and I’m OK with that. Did he have supernatural powers and did all of the things attributed to him in the gospels really happen? 99.9999%, likely not.

    Posted by archaeopteryx1 | August 7, 2014, 8:55 am
    • Archeopteryx1,

      So glad to hear from you! Open arms my friend!

      I’m sorry it has taken me so long to respond to you. I’ve had such a full summer that I haven’t gotten to my website in over a month. I’ve been hoping to have another book published, so I’ve been working on the proposal and finishing the writing, remodeling our church building, and dealing with kids, kids, and more kids!

      The point of my post was to say that in order to reject the writers who claim to have written the New Testament (John, Paul, James, etc . . .), atheists have to invent an invisible unnamed writer(s) (with no evidence) to defend their point of view.

      I thought Christians were mocked by atheists because they supposedly relied on faith, rather than evidence. Yet you admit that atheists’ views lack evidence and that’s OK with you. You deny the evidence that’s there (the gospels and testimonies) and rely on made up evidence (the mystery myth creator) to defend your position–and that’s fine with you?

      You could say Mark fashioned his gospel after the story of the Greek philosopher, Apollonius, but then that doesn’t explain how Jewish the gospels are. It doesn’t explain how Jesus was able to intricately fulfill the Jewish festivals.

      –By being the Passover Lamb, whose applied blood would cause the angel of death to pass over a residence,and now by applying the blood of Jesus to our heart, we will not suffer death. Jesus even died on the cross at the same time the Passover lambs were being sacrificed. And he was born in a barn that was used to prepare the lambs for sacrifice–and wrapped in swaddling clothes, to keep them from hurting themselves, just like the little lambs that were to be offered without blemish. He fulfilled the feast on the day of the feast.

      –By being the sinless bread of life and fulfilling the festival of unleavened bread. (Yeast representing sin.)

      –By fulfilling the tithe and being the sheave of “firstfruits” from the dead.

      –By being the fulfillment of the first Pentecost (when the law was given) and bringing grace to replace the law at the second Pentecost. On the first Pentecost at Mt. Sinai, the law came down on tablets of stone and 3000 people died because they worshiped the golden calf; at the second Pentecost the Holy Spirit came down through the grace of God and 3000 people were saved. The second Pentecost was fulfilled on the precise day of the feast of Pentecost.

      These feasts were called the “early rains” based on the Israeli growing season, and the final three feasts to be fulfilled will be part of the “latter rains.” They are:

      –The Feast of Trumpets which will be fulfilled at the return of Jesus on Roshashannah–the Jewish new year.
      –The Feast Day of Atonement which will happen when the Jews “look upon Him whom they pierced” and grieve. This will happen after the return of Christ when they see Jesus and weep.
      –The Feast of Tabernacles which will be the time when the completed church (Jews and Gentiles) enter into the tent (marriage) and consummate the relationship with God.

      As I’ve written in a previous post, the creator of the Jesus myth (Mark?) would have had to have been brilliant to have crafted the story of Jesus–how he fulfilled the Jewish laws and prophets, how he fulfilled the prophecy of Daniel down to the day, how his words and actions were perfect, and how he was able to craft 4 different, but similar stories, and get a former pharisee (Paul) to believe those stories, and have a vision of this Jesus that Mark created out of the example of a Greek philosopher, and then be willing to be beheaded for believing in the story.

      The problem is, Paul and the other believers don’t sound crazy. In fact, their writings have laid the foundational principles for western civilization. Without the New Testament and the missionary endeavors of the church, the world was harsh and uncivilized.

      Mark must have been some kind of mastermind to be able to pull all of that off!

      Posted by Diana Lesperance | August 21, 2014, 4:47 pm
      • Diana – the entire reason I tracked you down, via your avatar on Ark’s site, was to apologize to you for mistaking you for someone else, and the consequent unkind remarks I made as a consequence. Actually, I assumed your lack of response was due to you being peeved at me, so I’m relieved to learn that that wasn’t the case.

        You’ve also written a lot more in your response to me, much of which I don’t agree with, but it seems in poor taste to include an apology and an argument in the same comment.

        Also, I’m in the middle of mowing the lawn, and noticed this when I took a break, so I’ll respond to the rest later.

        Except that I must say one thing – I haven’t taken the time to re-read what I wrote (above), and so I’m not sure whether you misunderstood or I misspoke, but I did not say that whomever the anonymous author of the Gospel of Mark was, wrote all four Gospels – there were four different anonymous authors, one for each of the four gospels.

        I’ll beg off on tackling anything else until later this evening or first thing in the morning – I don’t like to write anything important unless my mind is clear, and since it’s nearly 100 degrees here, I have no idea how I’m going to feel after I finish that lawn – I live on an acre.

        Posted by archaeopteryx1 | August 21, 2014, 5:39 pm
  4. I find it interesting that theists tend to moderate, while atheists in general, tend to allow free expression of ideas without censorship. I’m sensing trust issues —

    Oh, well – I wronged you, I deserve a little time in the corner.

    Posted by archaeopteryx1 | August 7, 2014, 9:05 am

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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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