Can Science Prove Christ Really Existed?

Discussion in 'Education' started by Madeline, May 24, 2010.

  1. Madeline
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    We know there was a King Tut because we have his remains, along with tons (literally) of written descriptions of his life, made during his life. But do we have that sort of archeological evidence that a person named Jesus Christ ever existed?

    If I am recollecting this right, Jesus was born in Nazareth because Joseph and Mary had had to travel there to be counted for some sort of Roman census. Did any document of that census survive the mists of time? I know about the Shroud of Turin -- anyone here convinced that it serves as scientific/historical evidence that Jesus really existed?

    If there is no physical proof that he existed, is it possible to say that the books of the Bible, written so long after his death is said to have happened and with so little agreement amongst them, establishes the fact of his existence as a matter of science?

    From what I can gather, there is not much doubt that Buddha existed, or that Joseph Smith did. I just wondered, do we have that level of certainty that a historical figure named Jesus Christ ever existed?

    And before you ask, this is not in the Religion Forum because I am not looking to debate the matter with folks who "accept Jesus". Any religious person should be able to tell you that faith and scientific proof are not the same thing.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
  2. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    It's not likely that science will ever prove Jesus really existed since no physical evidence remains or has been discovered. Even if it were proven that a guy named Jesus existed at the time the bible claims her did, there is still no proof he was one or more of the several personalities attributed to him in the Bible. The Roman census story is bogus.
     
  3. del
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    there is as much proof that jesus existed as there is of the existence of buddha or confucius. josephus, pliny, tacitus and suetonius, among others, all mention him in their histories.
     
  4. Old Rocks
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    Well, no, all of these people do not mention Jesus in there histories. Not only that, the mention in Josephus's writings has been deemed a forgery by many scholars.

    Much of the life of Jesus in the New Testement is taken from prior stories about other God-Humans in the cultures of the Middle East. Just as the story of Noah was predated by Babylonian myths.


    Did Jesus Christ exist? All sides to the question

    He asserts that there are a number of historical and mythical figures whose life stories contain these elements, including Jesus. But just as we do not regard Hercules as a historical figure, a case can be made that Jesus was also a mythical character.

    Some theologians and historians believe that many of the details of Jesus' life were "borrowed" from a competing, contemporary religion, Mithraism. The religion was founded in Persia before the birth of Christianity.

    Mithra was a fictional character who was worshipped as a Good Shepherd, the Way, the Truth and the Light, the Redeemer, the Savior, and the Messiah. A religion in his name was founded in the 6th century BCE. 5 Mithraism one of the most popular of religions in the Roman Empire, particularly among its soldiers and civil servants. It was Christianity's leading rival. 19 Mithra was also believed to have been born of a virgin. Like Jesus, their births were celebrated yearly on DEC-25. Mithra was also visited by shepherds and by Magi. He traveled through the countryside, taught, and performed miracles with his 12 disciples. He cast out devils, returned sight to the blind, healed the lame, etc. Symbols associated with Mithra were a Lion and a Lamb. He held a last supper, was killed, buried in a rock tomb. He rose again after three days, at the time of the spring equinox, circa MAR-21. He later ascended into heaven. Mithraism celebrated the anniversary of his resurrection, similar to the Christian Easter. They held services on Sunday. Rituals included a Eucharist and six other sacraments that corresponded to the rituals of the Catholic church. Some individuals who are skeptical about stories of Jesus' life suspect that Christianity may have appropriated many details of Mithraism in order to make their religion more acceptable to Pagans. St. Augustine even stated that the priests of Mithra worshipped the same God as he did. 19 Other early Christians believed that Satan invented Mithraism and that he made Mithra's life and the practices of the religion identical to what Christianity would become centuries later. They felt that Satan's purpose was to confuse believers.

    Many religious historians have noted the many parallels between events in the life of Yeshua of Nazareth (Jesus Christ) and God-men from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, etc
     
  5. FLGoldilocks
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    I don't think it's so much a matter of whether he existed, but whether he existed in the way that the Bible and religious folk claim. I think it's entirely possible, in fact even quite probable that there was someone named Jesus, born to a couple named Mary and Joseph. Whether or not he was the son of God, was crucified, raised from the dead, healer of lepers, etc., are the things in question for me. Personally, as an atheist, I don't think so. And I don't know that science could prove those things. I think science could prove, if his remains were found, that he existed, as a person, but as to the rest, I don't think that could ever be proven or disproven. Hence the reason that all religion is based on faith.
     
  6. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    Does it really matter if Jesus actually existed? Would his non existance invalidate his message?
     
  7. del
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    well, no, they all do mention jesus in their histories. the debate over the authenticity of one passage in josephus' histories is well known, but other mention of him is accepted as authentic.

    if it bothers you to believe the man existed, then don't.
     
  8. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    Weren't they all going an hearsay anyway? Back then many people believed sea monsters and all sorts of fantastical creatures existed.
     
  9. del
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    believing a man existed and writing about him more or less contemporaneously is not quite the same as believing in sea monsters, imo.
     
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  10. Anguille
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    Anguille Bane of the Urbane

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    I suppose. If they believed everything they read on the internet. :lol:
     
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