Vexen Crabtree 2015


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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards

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Vexen Crabtree 2015

Jesus did not exist

"Jesus Did Not Exist" by Vexen Crabtree

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I thought you might like to know more of the specifics...

One popular misconception about Jesus is that there is no mention of Him in any ancient sources outside of the Bible.  On the contrary, there are numerous references to him as an historical figure who died at the hand of Pontius Pilate.  Some even noted that he was reported to have risen from the dead, and was worshiped as a God by all who followed him.

Secular historians and others from antiquity attest to the historical reality of Jesus Christ.
JOSEPHUS: (37-101 A.D.)
Josephus  was born in Jerusalem only four years after Jesus' crucifixion.  He was an eyewitness to much of what he recorded in the first century A.D.  Josephus mentions many events and people from the Gospels.  Josephus was an Orthodox Jew who was commissioned by the Romans to write a history of the Jewish people and Rome up until that point.
Mentions Jesus: Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 3, par. 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.
Mentions John the Baptist and Herod: Antiquities, Book 18, ch. 5, par. 2
"Now some of the Jews thought that the destruction of Herod's army came from God, and that very justly, as a punishment of what he did against John, that was called the Baptist: for Herod slew him, who was a good man, and commanded the Jews to exercise virtue, both as to righteousness towards one another, and piety towards God, and so to come to baptism; for that the washing [with water] would be acceptable to him, if they made use of it, not in order to the putting away [or the remission] of some sins [only], but for the purification of the body; supposing still that the soul was thoroughly purified beforehand by righteousness."

Mara Bar-Serapion was a Syrian who lived in the first century A.D.  He wrote a letter to his son Serapion that mentions the Jews who killed their King.  The letter is now in the possession of the British Museum.
"What benefit did the Athenians obtain by putting Socrates to death? Famine and plague came upon them as judgment for their crime. Or, the people of Samos for burning Pythagoras?  In one moment their country was covered with sand.  Or the Jews by murdering their wise king?...After that their kingdom was abolished.  God rightly avenged these men...The wise king...Lived on in the teachings he enacted."

Thallus: (52 A.D.)  
One of the first secular writers that mentioned Christ.  Thallus wrote a history of the Eastern Mediterranean world from the Trojan War to his own time.  Unfortunately, his writings are only found as citations by others.  Julius Africanus, a Christian who wrote about AD 221 mentioned Thallus' account of an eclipse of the sun (Luke 23:44-45).
"On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down.  This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun."
Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.

PHLEGON: (1st Century)
A secular historian wrote a history named, "Chronicles."  This original work has been lost, Julius Africanus preserved a small fragment in his writings.  Phlegon mentions the eclipse (Matthew 27:45) during the crucifixion of Jesus.
"During the time of Tiberius Caesar an eclipse of the sun occurred during the full moon."
Africanus, Chronography, 18:1.

Re: I thought you might like to know more of the specifics...

The text you quoted also appears on which is a bad, biased, unhistorical source, frequently controversial over it's skewed historical perspective. No less, you copied and pasted from the site. Which is fine, but it's worth doing your own research on the claims the site makes.

The Testimonium Flavium, which is the Josephus text you quoted from Antiquities, is an infamous fraud, look it up. It was inserted by a ying Christian. Why would Christians NEED to insert frauds like that into the works of Historians?

Mara Bar-Serapion

"Bruce, an often-quoted Christian apologist, noted that this letter was "written some time later than A. D. 73, but how much later we cannot be sure" (Ibid.). He, of course, wants to see this letter as proof of the historicity of Jesus, but by his own admission, the document was written at least 40 years after the time that Jesus allegedly lived and possibly even later. Since Bar-Serapion made no claim in his letter that he had personally witnessed the execution of the "wise king" or had ever even seen him, his statement cannot in any sense be considered firsthand testimony of the historicity of Jesus, as Bruce and other apologists would like us to believe that it is.

We can't even be sure that Bar-Serapion was referring to Jesus. He didn't identify the "wise king" by name, as he did in the case of both Socrates and Pythagoras, so one merely speculates when he says that this is a first-century secular reference to Jesus. How does one make that determination? Messianic pretenders in Judea were a dime a dozen during the era of foreign domination. Josephus referred to some of them, and even the New Testament mentioned two of them in Gamaliel's speech to the Jewish council ( Acts 5:35-36). In Bandits, Prophets, and Messiahs: Popular Movements at the Time of Jesus (Harper & Row, 1985), authors Richard Horsley and John Hanson tell of several Messianic prophets of this period besides Theudas and Judas of Galilee, whom Gamaliel mentioned in his speech. Some of these Messiahs were even named Jesus, and most of them came to ignominious ends at the hands ofeither the Romans or their own countrymen. How, then, do Bruce and other apologists who cite Mara Bar-Serapion's reference to a "wise king" who was executed by the Jews know for a fact that this was an allusion to Jesus of Nazareth and not to some other Messianic prophet of those times?"


You're clutching at straws...

Re: Mara Bar-Serapion

So who else might bar-Serapion be referring to? I quote from, but I would have the same observation:

"While we may agree that the Serapion letter is of marginal value, for it tells us little about the historical Jesus, it does suggest an evaluation of Jesus independent of Christian influence. No Christian would refer to Jesus only as a "wise king," nor say that He lived on in His teaching. [ChilEv.Stud, 450] It is also clear that the writer regarded Jesus as a "real" person like Socrates and Pythagoras - and not as a myth or an invention of Christianity, as the Christ-mythicists would argue."

Re: I thought you might like to know more of the specifics...

Other things you've quoted on, from eclipses to other Jewish figures, are nothing to do with Jesus. Even if there was an eclipse reported in a Christian document and by another author, it simply means there was an eclipse. Maybe even an unnatural one!

But an unnatural eclipse is just as much proof for Satanism, Paganism, Mithraism, Zoroastrianism... as it is for Jesus!


"It was also typical to assimilate eclipses to major historic events, even when they did not originally correspond, or to invent eclipses for this purpose (Préaux claims to have counted 200 examples in extant literature; Boeuffle and Newton have also remarked on this tendency). The gospel stories also make a solar eclipse impossible: the crucifixion passover happened during a full moon, and the darkness supposedly lasted three hours (indeed, Julius Africanus claimed it covered the whole world). Such an impossible event would not fail to be recorded in the works of Seneca, Pliny, Josephus or other historians, yet it is not mentioned anywhere else outside of Christian rhetoric, so we can entirely dismiss the idea of this being a real event.
We know next to nothing about Thallus or his works. We don't even know if he wrote only one book or several. The only information we have about him, even his name, comes entirely from Christian apologetic sources beginning in the late 2nd century, and that information is plagued with problems. Scholars since the 18th century have even invented facts about him, and some of these groundless notions--like the idea that he was a Samaritan--are repeated even today."

Etc. As far as sources go, this one could be proof for anything, but is probably only proof of Christian mythmaking.

Re: I thought you might like to know more of the specifics...

The mere fact that you have devoted this much time and effort to trying to debunk Christianity and the existence of Christ is all the proof you need. If it weren't true, why be so passionate about destroying the faith? Why not Budhism, Islam or Hinduism? Why? Because you no doubt are aware that there is a God and your own struggle within makes you want to find the truth.

Let me make one small observation - You are very good at debunking any facts Christians use, however, you give very little, if any serious background to any of your so-called 'facts'.

If you choose to walk this path, it is your right, but the fact that you are trying so hard to convince others is the proof that you don't even believe it yourself.

Would love to see a bibliography of your 'facts' compared to the Bible. I'm quite certain yours would have many more holes in it.

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