Private First Class
Drives: 2007 335i, 2011 550i
Join Date: Mar 2007
I would be very careful about using internet resources as a basis for religious information, for most, as the one you used, fail to use citations. I read through the link you gave, and found numerous errors concerning its section on Josephus.
For example, it states that Origin said that Josephus did not believe Jesus as the Christ, which he did not as a pharasitic Jew. The question in hand, however, was not whether Jesus was the Christ, but whether Jesus EXISTED, which Josephus' works, even OUTSIDE of the Golden Paragraph, attest to.
Josephus' works are not in favor of Christianity, nor do they support it. In fact, his writings are sarcastic, mocking Christian's belief in Christ as the Son of God. It's like you today, writing a tongue-in-cheek editorial in George Bush. That doesn't mean you like George Bush or believe in his politics, but will a historian 2000 years later will read your editorial and not believe George Bush existed?
There is good textual evidence supporting Josephus' work to be authentic, while the only evidence against it is circumstantial which the website relies on heavily. The text is written in the style of Josephus, writes things a Christian most likely would not have written, fits into the context both grammatically and historically, and is references in Antiquities 20. There is also an Arabic version of the text, which removes the parts questioned by your website, but STILL attests to the existence of Jesus.
The Talmudic writings also write concerning Jesus such as Sanhedrin 43a
There are also Roman sources that cite Jesus' EXISTENCE, not Divinity. Although your website attempts to discredit these sources, they do not cite sources nor have much basis for their claim.
For example, the websites arguments against Suetonius' writing of Christ states that because the account was written after Jesus' supposed death, that it could not be speaking of him. Suetonius writes, "Because the Jews at Rome caused continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus..." The website states that it could not have possibly been referring to Christ since it was written after his death.... yet how many people move at the "instigation of Christ" today, 2000 years after his death? Furthermore, the website states that "Chrestus" is the Greek word for "The Good," which is incorrect. The Greek work for "Good" is "krehstotes," as an adjective. Making that a noun would not result in Chrestus, but rather Krehstotas. The website makes this claim without having any references to Greek text, nor validating their claims. It just makes them. The second portion of Suetonius' writings that the website tries to invalidate concern whether or not "Christians" were called such and segregated from the mainstream Jewish community prior to and during Nero's reign. Even during Jesus' time, this was already the case, for that was the very reason Pilate was pressured to crucify Jesus, to quell a rebellion from a Jewish sect. Christians were not persecuted because Romans were bloodthirsty initially, but rather due to them disrupting the peace amongst Jews, which Rome did not want. The website quite liberally states that many Roman historians and historical references are forgeries without giving much archaeological evidence nor does it cite anything.
I can go on and on, but to deny the mere existence of Jesus, considering the archaeological evidence, third-party manuscripts, etc. astounds me. For there to be continuous mention of Jesus in numerous historical writings as well as correspondences for thousands of years, some of the earliest tracing to mere years after his death, is evidence enough of his existence. It is unfathomable to believe that Jesus did NOT exist given this evidence. Surely if he did not exist, this would have been brought to all these peoples' attention? Surely, if we started writing about the true life existence of Peter Parker and his amazing theatrics as Spider-Man, there would be much criticism and writings against such? I do not see any historical evidence nor writings during the periods that I referenced to calling these historians and officials loonies for citing a person that never existed. There is too much evidence going a certain way to be ignored. You can ignore it, find circumstantial evidence to convince you otherwise, or whatever you wish, but it is still there.