January 1, 2008

Even The Media Is Starting To Get That A Historical Jesus Is No Fact

I'm sure I could find more examples, but I did see this one that is found at CBS News, courtesy of AP:

Priests Brawl At Holy Church In Bethlehem
Rival Greek Orthodox, Armenian Prelates Fight Inside Church Of The Nativity, Christ's Birthplace

BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Dec. 28, 2007

(AP) Robed Greek Orthodox and Armenian priests went at each other with brooms and stones inside the Church of the Nativity on Thursday as long-standing rivalries erupted in violence during holiday cleaning.

The basilica, built over the grotto in Bethlehem where Christians believe Jesus was born, is administered jointly by Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Apostolic authorities. Any perceived encroachment on one group's turf can set off vicious feuds.

OK, outside of the humour of picturing to robed priests whacking each other with brooms, there is something that probably wouldn't have seen print in a newspaper even 5 years ago: The implication that Jesus may not have been born in Bethlehem at all, and stretched even further, that Jesus may not have existed at all.

The headline of the article doesn't make the distinction, but the second paragraph definitely does put a question mark on Jesus.

I blame Mel Gibson. He was the one who got me questioning the historical Jesus, when I started looking for pictures of him a few years ago when his Passions movie was being filmed. The reality is, that if you search for a historical Jesus, and you don't need Jesus to exist, chances are, you are going to wind up thinking like me; Jesus was invented sometimes between 50-90 AD.

Atheist Media Blog (Check it out) just found this video comparing the Jesus Myth with the Krishna myth:

For more on theories that help me be convinced that Jesus never existed, check my sidebar for links under the heading "Jesus Never Existed."

For starters check out The Bible and Christianity-The Historical Origins. It is a very quick read, just a page, but very enlightening. And of course, if your curiosity has started up, you could be ready for the Jesus Never Existed website.

Happy New Year:)


  1. Actually, the subject of the sentence you've highlighted is grotto, not Bethlehem. The author is referring to the grotto where Jesus is believed to have been born, not the town of Bethlehem. Therefore, the statement is not as radical as you've presented it to be.

  2. Thanks Chaplain for the clarification. I guess I'll have to look for more examples in the media as they come up.

  3. Maybe if the myth of Jesus can be destroyed, then Christianity will collapse like a house of cards.

  4. I'm disappointed you failed to point out the Palestinian police turned out to be very effective in this case (wink!)

    As regards the existence/non-existence of a man named Jesus, I think the only logical position is to be agnostic about it. Like other "historical figures", Mohammed and Democritos both being cases in point, real, tangible and verifiable evidence with regards to their existence simply isn't available but a negative isn't really proof of non-existence either. Possibly Jesus, Mohammed and Democritos (to name but three) are based on real people but like the story of the angler and his big catch, the story has grown with each telling up to a point were discerning truth from mythology becomes extremely difficult. In the case of Jesus and Mohammed the forces that be have too much riding on these things not to vociferously fight every claim that everything might not be as a they are described in the gospels.

    Happy New year 2u2!

  5. Lex, I think more and more people are questioning whether Jesus existed or not. But the myth of Jesus is just as hard to destroy as the myth of God. The myth of the Exodus will eventually will be destroyed because of archeology and historical findings. It makes the event an impossibility.

    Gert, I guess you can be agnostic about my theory that Paul invented Jesus in a dream and that he was given a background and made into a real person over time, until finally the NT was written.

  6. I don't know. Many contradictory and ridiculous legends arose around the figure of the Baal Shem Tov but he was a real person. It's possible there was a person named Jesus who started the religion of Christianity in some form. There are references to him in the Talmud. If anybody would be willing to deny his existence it would have been the ancient Rabbis.

  7. Jesus does exist. He exists as a wonderful character in a story (many stories). His physical historical existence is irrelevant. The fact that other religions have the same type of character proves the validity of this character who shows up as the hero with 1000 faces.

    Jesus' vision and mission is valid regardless of his historical accuracy. Peace through justice and non-violent protest against Empire is his message.

    Christianity wouldn't fall without a historical Jesus. It would come alive as a truely believable way to live. It is unfortunate that Christianity has become all about belief in an unbelievable story. Hopefully, one day it will will transcend the historical factualness of the stories.

  8. If you believe the God Part theory; if historical Jesus was debunked, the Christians would find something else as Mary Magdalene to worship.

  9. Dove, the supposed references to Jesus could not have been the same Jesus because of the timing of when Jesus was said to live in the Talmud.
    Secondly, why would rabbis 50-200 years "after the fact" even debate whether a Jesus person existed? The new Christians were sure he had, and that is all those who were alive had to go on as far as a historical figure goes. The fact is that nothing was mentioned about Jesus until 20-50 years after he supposedly did his magical act. Rabbis simply observed Christians who believed Jesus existed. It is like up until recently Rabbis and Jews alike bought into the story of Moses, though now the evidence is so lacking while we know that there were other things happening to make the Exodus impossible. So much for Rabbinical knowledge.

    Mike, nothing wrong with the social contract spelled out in black and white. And that is what much of Jesus' message is all about...well except when it comes to gays and those who don't accept him as saviour.

    Renegade Eye, the beauty of Christianity, and all religions that rely on God and other historical figures is that it is pretty much impossible to debunk the existence totally of the characters (including God) involved. When it comes to Christianity, it is impossible to debunk the "accept Jesus or go to hell" spiel too.

  10. It is like up until recently Rabbis and Jews alike bought into the story of Moses

    We still do.

  11. I wrote my ideas about it in the wikipedia, especially in the entry about Beth Lekhem Haglilit (Bethlehem of Galilee) in the Wikipedia, but most of it was remove, I think. There are pretty good hints that say that there may have been this small school of seperatists and their rabbi, probably several, as many such small groups were springing all over the country and mainly around galilee at the time.

    That's completely seperate from the fact there was no Jewish settlement in the Judean Bethlehem at the time, that was "adopted" 300-400 years later by the byzanteens to make a tighter linkage to the "direct line of david" narative, regardless of historical facts.

    In short, he may have been an actual person, but the super-hero from the comi... I mean the new testament, is quite a richer story with lots of extra myths invented and borrowed from many other sources (similar to the mythical proportions of the stories of Robin Hood and other figures, that had more contemporary myths stuck to them each time the story was retold).

    I don't see a point discussing if he existed or not, speculating if there are secret proof in the dead sea scrolls that were not yet released or whatever. the fact so many people believe he died for their sins and do fanatic things in the name of such myths is the real worrying problem. Facts don't break faith, basically. Same in Judaism.

    Actually the only religious leader to ever get it right was the Dalai Lama, who is ready to accept scientific fact over tradition if there is a conflict.

  12. Beaj: I don't doubt for one second that Jesus really existed. The real question should be whether there was anything special about this man.

    Geno had this to say(just in case you didn't notice):It is like up until recently Rabbis and Jews alike bought into the story of Moses

    We still do.

    I love the part about "Rabbis and Jews" the best. Then comes the question: if this guy said that(and he then went on to claim he was Jewish) is everything ok up in there!?(no, not Heaven)

  13. Gert: Palestinian police handled it well? Oh my, that is a first!

  14. BEAJ: BTW: This is your ol' compadre Eitan. I've already linked to ya on my new site. If you'd like to, please do the same (I mean link to me;)

  15. Eitan, your comments link to "profile not available." You'll have to show me where your new site is before I can link to it.

    Geno, many Jews do not believe the story is literal anymore, and many like me think it is just complete fiction.

    Seefood, there were probably a lot of pissed off Jewish rebels and many new spiritual interpreters prior to the time the Jews were thrown out of Israel around 70 AD, the vengeful God was letting the Jews down big time.

  16. Sure, beaj, no problemo at all! My blog's @ http://www.ContinuedInChicago.blogspot.com