Did Jesus Exist

RJM

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The so-called Infancy Gospel of Thomas is a biographical gospel about the childhood of Jesus, believed to date at the latest to the second century. Interestingly, the stories cover how Jesus matures and learns to use his powers for good and how those around him first respond in fear and later with admiration. One of the episodes involves Jesus making clay birds, which he then proceeds to bring to life, an act also attributed to Jesus in Quran 5:110, and in a medieval work known as Toledot Yeshu.
Ok -- but then straight after making the clay birds fly, the infancy gospel of Thomas has the boy Jesus killing a kid who breaks his toy dam and lets the water run out, by cursing him and making his body wither away, and then causes another child who bumps him to drop dead. He strikes neighbours blind and also has his father running to the school in a panic fearing Jesus has killed one of his teachers for daring to try to teach him.

How do you line this up with the sinless, virgin born Jesus?

https://www.interfaith.org/christianity/apocrypha-infancy-gospel-of-thomas-greek-a/
 
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wil

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a figment of your imagination
IDK what I find more interesting.

ML not believing the crucifixion and resurrection described by a few 30-50 years later because it doesn't fit their paradigm..

Or believing one discounted document 100- 200 years later because it does...

Or decrying a learned theogical for after a lifetime of study admitting that some things he just doesn't know (agnostic)

(I'll stay away from their assuredness about the history described 400 years later and return to pondering)
 

RJM

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One of the wisest comments I ever read was on these forums: God meets us where we are.

I don't remember who said it. I can't believe the infinite creator of all the worlds is so concerned with my individual religion and belief, but with my heart and soul. Surely I have to be open to growth and change. It happens all the time. What I believe today, God meets me there.

I have difficulty with a religion that seems to need to draw its energy from correcting and condemning others.
 
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RJM

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How could she not when we are in her midst, nestled in her bosom...warmed when cold, fed when hungry and forever in her embrace as the only begotten of continually begotten children of.G!d?
That's beautiful
 

muhammad_isa

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No. Apparently you have been misinformed.

What about this?

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
-Josephus -- The_Antiquities_of_the_Jews Book_XVIII Chapter_3-
 

RJM

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What about this?

3. Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
-Josephus -- The_Antiquities_of_the_Jews Book_XVIII Chapter_3-
That passage is regarded as corrupted by interpolations, but nevertheless confirming the fact of Jesus's existence, and the fact of his crucifixion under Pilate.

However the whole affair at the time would have been treated as an internal dispute within Judaism?
 
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RJM

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Josephus on Jesus

The extant manuscripts of the book Antiquities of the Jews, written by the first-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus around 93–94 AD, contain two references to Jesus of Nazareth and one reference to John the Baptist.

The first and most extensive reference to Jesus in the Antiquities, found in Book 18, states that Jesus was the Messiah and a wise teacher who was crucified by Pontius Pilate. It is commonly called the Testimonium Flavianum. Almost all modern scholars reject the authenticity of this passage in its present form, while most scholars nevertheless hold that it contains an authentic nucleus referencing the life and execution of Jesus by Pilate, which was then subject to Christian interpolation or alteration. However, the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction remains unclear.

Modern scholarship has largely acknowledged the authenticity of the second reference to Jesus in the Antiquities, found in Book 20, Chapter 9, which mentions "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James." This reference is considered to be more authentic than the Testimonium.

Almost all modern scholars consider the reference in Book 18, Chapter 5 of the Antiquities to the imprisonment and death of John the Baptist also to be authentic and not a Christian interpolation. A number of differences exist between the statements by Josephus regarding the death of John the Baptist and the New Testament accounts. Scholars generally view these variations as indications that the Josephus passages are not interpolations, since a Christian interpolator would likely have made them correspond to the New Testament accounts, not differ from them. Scholars have provided explanations for their inclusion in Josephus' later works ...

In the estimation of James Dunn, there is "broad consensus" among scholars regarding what the Testimonium would look like without the interpolations. According to Dunn's reconstruction, the original passage likely read:

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.

In this passage, which is based on John P. Meier's reconstruction, Jesus is called a "wise man", but "lawful to call him a man" and "he was the Christ" are removed, as is the reference to the resurrection. According to Bart D. Ehrman, Meier's reconstruction is currently the most accepted among scholars.

Geza Vermes has performed a detailed analysis of the Testimonium and modified it to remove what he considers the interpolations. In Vermes' reconstruction "there was Jesus, a wise man" is retained, but the reference to "he was the Christ" is changed to "he was called the Christ" and the resurrection reference is omitted. Vermes states that the Testimonium provides Josephus' authentic portrayal of Jesus, depicting him as a wise teacher and miracle worker with an enthusiastic group of followers who remained faithful to him after his crucifixion by Pilate, up to the time of Josephus. Vermes's version reads:

Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. For he was a doer of startling deeds, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. And he gained a following both among many Jews and many of Greek origin. He was called the Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day.
 
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RJM

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This is good, imo
30 min

 
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