Was Jesus historical?

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Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 02:20 pm
@nameless,
I wish I had more then an 8.9" Eee PC to type on...


nameless wrote:
That is the strawman! He never declared the 'truth' of the offered site. He merely offered it with his opinion.


You said this earlier: "This is a straw-man fallacy. Easy to defend against a 'flat earther', but that means nothing regarding the potential accuracy of the offered link."

You originally state my link to the "flat earth" as a straw man. Now I post something different and you state that "That" is the straw man as if to point out that I missed it the first time even though you are referring to 2 completely different things...

As I said later on: "By him posting it down and saying that he "begs to differ" i'm assuming he is leaning towards the accuracy of the article" Why would he say he begs to differ if he didn't believe the article? Your right in that he never said "this website is completely true". He wouldn't say that he begs to differ if he didn't think the site had some true to it unless he just merely disagreed on his own accord as to the factual evidence of Christ and then figured he'd throw a random website in there that does a botch job of it and doesn't represent how he would prove Christs non-existance That just wouldn't make any sense. So I'm probably correctly assuming that the OP agrees if ever so slightly with the link he posted.


nameless wrote:
Incorrect! My means of determining any accuracy, of anything, starts with my critically thoughtful examination of the contents.


I probably could have worded that better. Nonetheless once you examine a website with your own standards then it's ok for you in your opinion. Which doesn't matter here since just because you approve of a site doesn't mean that everyone else will. I'm stating that there is no ruler that you can draw up next to every website and determine the essence of the accuracy of the text. So bad wording on my part.

nameless wrote:

You state the 'safe' obvious, yet avoid any response to the 'meat' offered.


I don't care to answer the meat buddy. Let me give you an example. Pretend I know nothing about computers, technology but I'm browsing on some tech forum and someone posts a news link saying how there is this inventor that invented a time machine. They end up posting a link to a news site detailing this. I think things sound fishy so I ask the guy to check his sources with other sources. He gets mad at me for questioning him and then proceeds to demand I give him mathematical evidence that a time machine is impossible. Yet we'll say I can't do it. Shall I then feel obligated to break under their demands and attempt to do so anyway? I think not.


nameless wrote:

The very structure of the post indicated this. He offered his opinion of the link, and asked for others. Simple, unless one feels the 'need' to defend 'Jesus', one can read the link and thoughtfuylly respond. What you offered is a classic Xtian ('believer's') diversion from an uncomfortable subject; not an uncommon 'symptom' of a 'believer'.


Oh really? I didn't know he was following a structure that can do nothing other then indicate he was looking for critical thought and examination. How do you know this?
The only thing stopping me from "reading the link and thoughtfully repsonding" is that I have no knowledge in this area as I depict in my above example.

nameless wrote:

I assume nothing; this is a philosophy forum.
Philosophy is the critically thoughtful examination of whatever is presented.
I am on very firm ground in my comment.
I challenge you, though, to read the link, understand it, and logically, critically, rationally, offer your supported criticisms for us all to see and 'thoughtfully, critically examine'.
Otherwise, you have provided nothing but a 'smoke screen' for an intellectual and emotional 'safety zone' for 'believers'.



You assume that his posting of the link was his way of saying "please critically and thoughtfully examine this"

You can do nothing other then assume this as he didn't state it. That is what you assume.

How firm would your ground be if he changed his OP to say: "Hey guys here is a link you can check out but do not critically and thoughtfully examine it" Then your assumption of him offering this up for thought as that is what you define philosophy as would be false as he doesn't and that would prove your assumption wrong. You would have assumed wrong in that situation.

So in summary: You still are assuming.

Also thank you for assesing my symptoms and giving me a diagnosis I just couldn't put a finger on it all these years.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 02:47 pm
@click here,
click here wrote:
I wish I had more then an 8.9" Eee PC to type on...




You said this earlier: "This is a straw-man fallacy. Easy to defend against a 'flat earther', but that means nothing regarding the potential accuracy of the offered link."

You originally state my link to the "flat earth" as a straw man. Now I post something different and you state that "That" is the straw man as if to point out that I missed it the first time even though you are referring to 2 completely different things...

As I said later on: "By him posting it down and saying that he "begs to differ" i'm assuming he is leaning towards the accuracy of the article" Why would he say he begs to differ if he didn't believe the article? Your right in that he never said "this website is completely true". He wouldn't say that he begs to differ if he didn't think the site had some true to it unless he just merely disagreed on his own accord as to the factual evidence of Christ and then figured he'd throw a random website in there that does a botch job of it and doesn't represent how he would prove Christs non-existance That just wouldn't make any sense. So I'm probably correctly assuming that the OP agrees if ever so slightly with the link he posted.




I probably could have worded that better. Nonetheless once you examine a website with your own standards then it's ok for you in your opinion. Which doesn't matter here since just because you approve of a site doesn't mean that everyone else will. I'm stating that there is no ruler that you can draw up next to every website and determine the essence of the accuracy of the text. So bad wording on my part.



I don't care to answer the meat buddy. Let me give you an example. Pretend I know nothing about computers, technology but I'm browsing on some tech forum and someone posts a news link saying how there is this inventor that invented a time machine. They end up posting a link to a news site detailing this. I think things sound fishy so I ask the guy to check his sources with other sources. He gets mad at me for questioning him and then proceeds to demand I give him mathematical evidence that a time machine is impossible. Yet we'll say I can't do it. Shall I then feel obligated to break under their demands and attempt to do so anyway? I think not.




Oh really? I didn't know he was following a structure that can do nothing other then indicate he was looking for critical thought and examination. How do you know this?
The only thing stopping me from "reading the link and thoughtfully repsonding" is that I have no knowledge in this area as I depict in my above example.




You assume that his posting of the link was his way of saying "please critically and thoughtfully examine this"

You can do nothing other then assume this as he didn't state it. That is what you assume.

How firm would your ground be if he changed his OP to say: "Hey guys here is a link you can check out but do not critically and thoughtfully examine it" Then your assumption of him offering this up for thought as that is what you define philosophy as would be false as he doesn't and that would prove your assumption wrong. You would have assumed wrong in that situation.

So in summary: You still are assuming.

Also thank you for assesing my symptoms and giving me a diagnosis I just couldn't put a finger on it all these years.


This is a philosophy forum, so it's pretty obvious that if someone posts a link about a topic it is meant for inquiry. Common sense is underestimated, my friend.

Unlike you, I actually read the article, and I agree with it. If you don't agree with the contents of the article then simply state why you don't.

He gave you a diagnosis for your symptoms, but I could define it with one word.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 05:52 pm
@hue-man,
I disagree with the article's conclusions for the same reason the vast majority of scholars, religious and otherwise, disagree with the article's conclusions. The most likely scenario is that a man named Jesus lived and taught and was then executed in a violent, tumultuous time. For history, that's about all we can say about Jesus.

That said, the article does bring up some great points: that Jesus existed historically can most certainly be questioned. The events conveyed in the Gospels are certainly not historical.

I'm not sure why this thread is in the "Philosophy of Religion" section. At best, this is a question of pure history. Jesus' historical existence has no spiritual significance that I can determine.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 07:33 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
I disagree with the article's conclusions for the same reason the vast majority of scholars, religious and otherwise, disagree with the article's conclusions. The most likely scenario is that a man named Jesus lived and taught and was then executed in a violent, tumultuous time. For history, that's about all we can say about Jesus.

That said, the article does bring up some great points: that Jesus existed historically can most certainly be questioned. The events conveyed in the Gospels are certainly not historical.

I'm not sure why this thread is in the "Philosophy of Religion" section. At best, this is a question of pure history. Jesus' historical existence has no spiritual significance that I can determine.


I see what you're saying, but I have yet to find a scholar that had any good evidence for believing that Jesus was historical. It seems that the evidence for Jesus' existence is strictly based on hearsay, just like those who once believed that Hercules and Horus were historical. I think that most scholars choose to accept the proposition that he was historical because of personal religious beliefs, or because it is hard for them to not accept the claim of historicity for a figure that is so highly exalted in their societies.
 
ACWaller
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:12 am
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:

I'm not sure why this thread is in the "Philosophy of Religion" section. At best, this is a question of pure history.

Yes, but it is a specific issue that raises the more broader question of what evidence counts as historical evidence, and what historical facts are. Allthough I suppose that might go in the Philosophy of history or Epistemology section.
Didymos Thomas wrote:
Jesus' historical existence has no spiritual significance that I can determine.
Well it does have some significance to Christians!Laughing just kidding, I know what you meant really!
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:58 am
@ACWaller,
I have always found the evidence that jesus was an invention rather than a physical being so overwhelmingly obvious. I can understand the dilemma Christians are in when it is presented to them in such a convincing way but did they not realise it was the message that they admired..was it not the song not the singer..Its the church that has got the real problem it has intelligence that it cant admit exists ..Rome without Jesus what a thought..
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 03:43 pm
@hue-man,
An interesting discussion, but despite the calls for evidence, I haven't seen much of the discussion go beyond supposition (and I still think Click made a great point - try using one source from the web to support a point to any credible historian).

hue-man wrote:
I see what you're saying, but I have yet to find a scholar that had any good evidence for believing that Jesus was historical. It seems that the evidence for Jesus' existence is strictly based on hearsay, just like those who once believed that Hercules and Horus were historical.


The evidence is there. It is mentioned in the article: Josephus, Pliny, Tacitus, and Suetonius. The dismissals of this evidence are weak. For example, the quote from Seutonius is, "As the Jews were making constant disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus [Christ], he [Claudius] expelled them from Rome." The idea that there were multiple people living at the same time with the same name who both began a religious movement among the Jews which gained enough recognition among the Romans to warrant such action is a bit ridiculous. I could use a similar argument to claim that it wasn't the Emperor Claudius who did the expelling because that name was common among the Romans. But what evidence supports that claim? Nothing. It is mere speculation.

Further, "Christ" is not a name, it's a title. And for a Jew to assume that title was blasphemous, so it was not a common name (at least among the Jews).

hue-man wrote:
I think that most scholars choose to accept the proposition that he was historical because of personal religious beliefs, or because it is hard for them to not accept the claim of historicity for a figure that is so highly exalted in their societies.


You can make that supposition, but that is all it is ... an unfounded supposition. I think some historians would be insulted by such an accusation. Take for example, the words of F.F. Bruce, "Some writers may toy with the fancy of a 'Christ-myth', but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence." Or Otto Betz, "No serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus."

Even the most recent historical inquiry into Jesus (The Jesus Semiar, which I despise), does not question his historicity. All they question are some of the words and actions attributed to him by the Bible.

I don't intend to go through the article you referenced line by line. Why? Because my first glance showed the author's willingness to distort the record. Take Thomas Paine as a first example. The man was an outspoken atheist who, like the Jesus Seminar, didn't believe the words and actions attributed to Jesus by the Bible. The article you referenced uses a quote from Paine, implying that Paine supported the non-historicity of Jesus (at least that would be my assumption). Paine did no such thing. In fact, what he said was, "He was a virtuous and an amiable man. The morality that he preached and practiced was of the most benevolent kind ..." That doesn't sound like someone who questioned Jesus' historicity.

Second, the article states that "a valid historian's own writing gets cited with sources that trace to the subject themselves, or to eyewitnesses and artifacts." Then later, it calls the evidence for Jesus "hearsay". Yet, no definition is given to distinguish an eyewitness account from hearsay. The article makes a very subjective conclusion that all accounts of Jesus are hearsay without justifying why.

So, let me ask this. Do you accept Paul as historical? The article seems to.
 
xris
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 04:08 pm
@Resha Caner,
You ignore the real nitty gritty , the attribution of jesus and his similarities with other myths of the time.Give me a historical reference to christ that can be confirmed chronologically with the period or any eye witness that was written at the time of Christ..Deny mythras was not a faith practiced at the same time as the rise of the jesus story ?? The mythras pagan god of the roman foot soldier has so many similarities to the jesus story it jumps up and smacks you in the face and asks "hello are you listening"
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 05:02 pm
@xris,
hue-man wrote:
I see what you're saying, but I have yet to find a scholar that had any good evidence for believing that Jesus was historical. It seems that the evidence for Jesus' existence is strictly based on hearsay, just like those who once believed that Hercules and Horus were historical. I think that most scholars choose to accept the proposition that he was historical because of personal religious beliefs, or because it is hard for them to not accept the claim of historicity for a figure that is so highly exalted in their societies.


You think that most scholars accept that Jesus lived due to religious belief: but you have no evidence of such a claim. Even the famous atheist scholars, Dennett and so forth, agree that Jesus lived.

The Hercules and Horus analogy is a false one: as Reshna Caner points out, many historians contemporary to Jesus mention the man.

As for the similarities between the mythology of Jesus and the mythology of other figures: what's the point? The question here, as I understand it, is not "Did Jesus really live and do all that mythology claims he did?" but instead "Did Jesus live?" Those two questions are very different.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:17 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
As for the similarities between the mythology of Jesus and the mythology of other figures: what's the point? The question here, as I understand it, is not "Did Jesus really live and do all that mythology claims he did?" but instead "Did Jesus live?" Those two questions are very different.


I wouldn't have phrased it this way, since I don't see the Biblical accounts as myth, but I ask the same question.

Again, for World History my class had a discussion about the Flood story. I've seen similar proclamations that the Jews borrowed this story from the Babylonians. "What proof do you have of that?" I asked.

The reply. Babylon predates Israel, and therefore one must assume the story occurred in Babylon first.

But I then pointed out that the Semite tribe from which Abraham descended predates Babylon, and those Semites lived in and around Babylon. So by the same logic, since the Semites predated Babylon, the Babylonians must have borrowed the flood story from the Semites. Maybe. Maybe not. I honestly don't care. If it happened, obviously many different cultures would have witnessed it. There is no need to assume one borrowed it from another unless you also assume the story is fiction. These are very weak assumptions.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:30 pm
@Resha Caner,
That the Jews borrowed elements of the Babylonian flood story is supported by the fact that Gilgamesh pre-dates any known Jewish account of such a flood story. It's not that Babylon pre-dates Israel, it's that the Babylonian accounts pre-date the Israelite accounts. At least as far as I know.

How are Biblical accounts somehow not mythology? We call Gilgamesh mythology; wouldn't the Noah story also, then, be mythology. Certainly has the elements of mythology. Are you familiar with Joseph Campbell's monomyth? The Noah story, the Jesus story: nearly every story in the Bible follows the pattern.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:52 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
That the Jews borrowed elements of the Babylonian flood story is supported by the fact that Gilgamesh pre-dates any known Jewish account of such a flood story. It's not that Babylon pre-dates Israel, it's that the Babylonian accounts pre-date the Israelite accounts. At least as far as I know.

How are Biblical accounts somehow not mythology? We call Gilgamesh mythology; wouldn't the Noah story also, then, be mythology. Certainly has the elements of mythology. Are you familiar with Joseph Campbell's monomyth? The Noah story, the Jesus story: nearly every story in the Bible follows the pattern.


You're absolutely right on that. Many of the bible myths are taken from earlier myths from the Middle East and Ancient Egypt.
 
hue-man
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 06:58 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
You think that most scholars accept that Jesus lived due to religious belief: but you have no evidence of such a claim. Even the famous atheist scholars, Dennett and so forth, agree that Jesus lived.

The Hercules and Horus analogy is a false one: as Reshna Caner points out, many historians contemporary to Jesus mention the man.

As for the similarities between the mythology of Jesus and the mythology of other figures: what's the point? The question here, as I understand it, is not "Did Jesus really live and do all that mythology claims he did?" but instead "Did Jesus live?" Those two questions are very different.


No offense, but I find it humorous that you have the audacity to lecture me about evidence. As for Dennett accepting the claim of Jesus' historicity, I guess you didn't read the second reason for why I said some people just accept the claim that Jesus was historical.

The only historians that reference Jesus are those who lived after his supposed time on Earth. There are no documents that are contemporary with Jesus' supposed time on Earth that mention a man by that name. Also, at the time Jesus supposedly had lived there were a number of men (including Greeks) who claimed that they were messiahs.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 08:48 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
No offense, but I find it humorous that you have the audacity to lecture me about evidence.


None taken. I typically do not get offended in discussion and debate.

hue-man wrote:
As for Dennett accepting the claim of Jesus' historicity, I guess you didn't read the second reason for why I said some people just accept the claim that Jesus was historical.


Which was that Jesus is so highly exalted by society that his historical non-existence is difficult to bear. I find it hard to believe that a man such a Daniel Dennett, a world famous atheist philosopher, would accept Jesus' historical existence because of the weight of societal pressure, especially given the fact that many Christians have denied the historical existence of Jesus, a theory popular prior to the turn of the century when societal pressure to assent to the historical existence of Jesus was much more significant than in today's society, the society that plays on the esteemed atheist Mr. Dennett.

hue-man wrote:
The only historians that reference Jesus are those who lived after his supposed time on Earth. There are no documents that are contemporary with Jesus' supposed time on Earth that mention a man by that name. Also, at the time Jesus supposedly had lived there were a number of men (including Greeks) who claimed that they were messiahs.


And one of this ammounts to a convincing argument:
With respect to historians: Jesus is not worth mentioning until his cult gains status. You mention the many other supposed Messiahs of the period; why would historians mention Jesus when there are so many others apparently just like him? No reason to. Instead, historians pick up on the figure Jesus once his Apostles have turned the cult into a serious religious movement. The Apostles did know the man. For example, we know St. Peter lived and was crucified. And there are other Apostles as well who are historically sound who testified to the existence of the man.

Is it possible that Jesus never historically existed? You bet! I'd never argue otherwise. The point, however, is that the most reasonable conclusion, given the evidence, is that a man named Jesus did live and taught. What he taught, the details of his life: these are all, historically, unknown.

hue-man wrote:
You're absolutely right on that. Many of the bible myths are taken from earlier myths from the Middle East and Ancient Egypt.


It's not so much that they are "taken" but that these earlier myths evolve and are adapted to different people's with different cultural circumstances.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:06 pm
@hue-man,
Didymos Thomas wrote:
That the Jews borrowed elements of the Babylonian flood story is supported by the fact that Gilgamesh pre-dates any known Jewish account of such a flood story. It's not that Babylon pre-dates Israel, it's that the Babylonian accounts pre-date the Israelite accounts.


hue-man wrote:
You're absolutely right on that. Many of the bible myths are taken from earlier myths from the Middle East and Ancient Egypt.


I think you both missed my point. Yes, documentation for Gilgamesh pre-dates documentation for the Biblical account. And that means ... ? It doesn't mean one borrowed from the other.

Sometimes people draw conclusions based on assumptions. Because a fact is involved, they think the conclusion is a fact, but it's not. There is no evidence to say the Bible account borrows from the Babylonian account. They are similar, but because the Semites predate Babylon, it is possible the Babylonians borrowed from a Semite oral tradition. Or, maybe both stories are drawn from a common event and neither borrowed from the other. I can't prove those possibilities (maybe the Biblical version did borrow something from Babylon), but neither can other positions be proven. I simply try to show that other possibilities exist that fit the facts. When such is the case, no solid conclusion can be drawn.

That in these cases some consistently decide against the Biblical tradition - that they only mention one of the many possibilities - seems to me a prejudice.

But maybe this point is a distraction to the discussion. I'll let it go, and someone else can have the last word if they so desire.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:16 pm
@hue-man,
hue-man wrote:
The only historians that reference Jesus are those who lived after his supposed time on Earth. There are no documents that are contemporary with Jesus' supposed time on Earth that mention a man by that name. Also, at the time Jesus supposedly had lived there were a number of men (including Greeks) who claimed that they were messiahs.


Your use of the term "historian" is a bit misleading. The scholastic and collegiate traditions we associate with the word "historian" come much later. Given the expense of scribes, most "historians" were employed by someone rich enough to pay. Those who were smart knew where their money came from, and wrote accordingly.

All I'm saying is that if you're trying to draw some line of credibility between "historians" of Jesus day and those who wrote the Gospels, you have a tough row to hoe. The fact is, there are documents contemporary to Jesus' life - the Gospels. Your dismissal of them as "myth" is an opinion and nothing more.

But let me take away your requirement and do some research. If there are no contemporary artifacts or documents by "historians", the person didn't exist - that's your criteria, right? I'll get back to you on that.

For the time being, I'll repeat my other question: do you consider Paul historical?
 
Solace
 
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 10:49 pm
@Resha Caner,
When it comes to the flood guys, we need to remember that a flood is a natural disaster that is common to many geographical areas and it often causes a great deal of damage and loss of life. It's natural then that multiple cultures would develop stories about floods. To suggest that there is any connection between any of the ancient flood stories requires evidence to verify. If anyone has such evidence it would be great to hear it. Otherwise we should just consider the various stories as coincidental.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 04:42 am
@Solace,
There may have been A Jesus but we have no historical evidence for him..This could mean that a teacher called jesus who had no real historic recognition grew with his message and the myths grew with him .It happens even now, how celebrities can grow larger than life. I think its a problem for those who take the bible literally but not for those who see his message..and if your are believer you could say its how god works..
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 07:55 am
@xris,
xris wrote:
There may have been A Jesus but we have no historical evidence for him


None at all? Hmm. That means you deny that the Gospels and Epistles contain any accurate historical statements about Jesus. If you intend to make such a claim, you need to support it.

So, I ask my question yet a third time: Was Paul historical?

======================================================

Footnote: I've been wondering where it would be appropriate to stick in a little info on historical method. Maybe I'll just put it here. You are correct, xris, that myth does accumulate around historical persons, and Jesus is no exception. There are many myths about him that Christians reject. But the process is not willy-nilly. It's not a reading of tea leaves or bones or such.

Within historical method there are three general categories used for people, places, and events: mythological, legendary, and historical. Mythological means there is no evidence to support a claim. Legendary means there is evidence to support that the person, place or event exists, but additional non-factual stories were added later. Historical means a rich, largely complete picture is supported by evidence. These are fuzzy definitions, but useful nonetheless.

I'll keep this brief, and save my examples for later, but history, like many other disciplines such as science, has a curious history of its own that is stocked with humorous arrogance. I could show you a debate among the famous German historians/philosophers of the nineteenth century over the historicity of Moses. Many pushed to categorize him as "mythological" with a very few stubbornly holding out that he was "legendary". After contemporary archaeologists embarassed these guys with find and find that refuted other unrelated claims, current historians largely try to avoid the subject. They don't want to make a claim that archaeology will later overturn (proof for the existence of Caiphas has only come in the last 20 years I believe). So, they couch their statements in clever passive phrases that don't really say anything.
 
xris
 
Reply Mon 26 Jan, 2009 10:46 am
@Resha Caner,
Resha Caner wrote:
None at all? Hmm. That means you deny that the Gospels and Epistles contain any accurate historical statements about Jesus. If you intend to make such a claim, you need to support it.

So, I ask my question yet a third time: Was Paul historical?

======================================================

Footnote: I've been wondering where it would be appropriate to stick in a little info on historical method. Maybe I'll just put it here. You are correct, xris, that myth does accumulate around historical persons, and Jesus is no exception. There are many myths about him that Christians reject. But the process is not willy-nilly. It's not a reading of tea leaves or bones or such.

Within historical method there are three general categories used for people, places, and events: mythological, legendary, and historical. Mythological means there is no evidence to support a claim. Legendary means there is evidence to support that the person, place or event exists, but additional non-factual stories were added later. Historical means a rich, largely complete picture is supported by evidence. These are fuzzy definitions, but useful nonetheless.

I'll keep this brief, and save my examples for later, but history, like many other disciplines such as science, has a curious history of its own that is stocked with humorous arrogance. I could show you a debate among the famous German historians/philosophers of the nineteenth century over the historicity of Moses. Many pushed to categorize him as "mythological" with a very few stubbornly holding out that he was "legendary". After contemporary archaeologists embarassed these guys with find and find that refuted other unrelated claims, current historians largely try to avoid the subject. They don't want to make a claim that archaeology will later overturn (proof for the existence of Caiphas has only come in the last 20 years I believe). So, they couch their statements in clever passive phrases that don't really say anything.
Im not doubting Paul as a historical figure in fact its not my concern.I dont think i have to prove a negative in the case of Jesus , i just await the evidence that can prove his existance in credible historic terms. Im not asking for proof of his divinity or the mythical stories that surround him only his appearance on the stage god proposed for him..
 
 

 
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