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comment by vacant_nostalgia
vacant_nostalgia  ·  1889 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ancient Confession Found: 'We Invented Jesus Christ'

Christian here with 4 year, fully accredited bachelor degree in Biblical Studies (meaning I've spent a little time thinking about this academically). I'd humbly like to add to to the conversation:

You'll find that it's a vocal minority that hold to "Young Earth Creationism" (earth is less that 6k years old). Think of it like the Tea Party minority that is bugging up the House of Representatives at the moment. Many well studied men and women of faith don't believe that the earth is that young; one professor of mine with a doctorate in theology was an unashamed Theistic Evolutionist (meaning he was of the mind that evolution as popular science posits is true and that it was set in motion by God. He did not see it in conflict with the Christian scriptures).

This goes along with Carbon Dating for some though a few that I have talked to don't like CD not because it doesn't match what they believe but because there have sometimes been irregularities (the claim is that some dating done after the eruption of Mt St Helens in 1980 gave false positives of deep time when it should not have - I'm not a scientist so I can't comment on that).

As to your last statement, it is true that a large part of Christianity is based on faith. However, "blind" faith is not common in academic circles and having at least some foundational ground to stand on is quite important. Sort of an evidence first but willingness to take the unknown on faith until further evidence can be found (a standpoint taken by many in non-Christian circles including science: "I have this theory, the limited evidence I have accumulated supports it but my hypothesis remains the same until I can get more evidence".




thenewgreen  ·  1889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

First of all welcome to the discussion, it will be nice having a biblical scholar in the house :)

    "I have this theory, the limited evidence I have accumulated supports it but my hypothesis remains the same until I can get more evidence".
-To that end, should evidence come to light regarding the Christ story showing that it was fabricated by the Romans, how would that effect your faith? It seems there are those that worship Christ and those that worship Christ's teachings. If Christ "the man" were found to be fiction, would it make the teachings any less valid?
vacant_nostalgia  ·  1889 days ago  ·  link  ·  

"Biblical Scholar" might be giving me a little too much credit but I thank you anyways. :)

I think something like that would make me dig a bit deeper to understand the implications but I have no fear that Jesus, the person, was real. Other sources from that era such as Josephus (Jewish historian who worked for Rome) or Tacitus (arguably the greatest historian of the 1st century who was also Roman) mention Jesus the man or at the least his early followers. Tacitus takes sort of an "they are an annoyance who get what they deserve" approach in book 15 of the Annals of Rome (part in brackets added by myself):

"Consequently, to get rid of the report [of him being the cause of 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, 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 Judaea, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the worldfind 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." - http://classics.mit.edu/Tacitus/annals.11.xv.html

All this to say that I'm confident that Jesus was a real person and that his followers have nearly always been on the short end of the stick.