The evidence for a historical Jesus is amazingly thin and highly suspect.
There are no known writings contemporaneous to Jesus that mention him.
The earliest known writings mentioning Jesus, by Paul sometime before 60 CE, focus
mainly on Christ as a spiritual being offering salvation, and give little regard
to a corporeal Jesus who may have existed on earth.
The Gospels, which were probably written in the 1st or 2nd century CE, do describe
the life of Jesus, but are most likely merely retellings of the popular myths of
the day. Some historians think many of the details of Jesus' life were borrowed
from Mithraism, a Pagan religion whose deity Mithra lived a life remarkably
similar to that of Jesus (virgin birth, 12 disciples, miracles, death &
resurrection, etc.), and that this was basically a marketing ploy to make
Christianity more appealing to Pagans and win them over as converts, or to make it
more palatable when they were forced to convert during the reign of Constantine.
There are a very few non-Christian sources, Jewish and Roman historians, all born
after Jesus' purported death, so of course they were writing at least several
decades after his death. Among them are Josephus Flavius, Tacitus, and Pliny the
Younger. For the most part, Jesus is mentioned only very briefly, almost in
passing. Some of these writings are believed to be Christian forgeries; as for
the rest, the authors were likely just passing on stories as told to them by
Christian believers. At any rate, these writings were held by the Church for
centuries, and one early Church leader, Eusebius, openly advocated the use of lies
and deception to further the interests of the Church. Some scholars think he
authored the forgeries.
> In a message dated 1/1/00 2:32:10 PM Central Standard Time,
> firstname.lastname@example.org writes:
> > > Sorry you missed it, but the new millennium began in 1996, 2,000 years
> > after the
> > > *actual* birth of Jesus Christ.
> > >
> > >
> > Actually, no one knows the date of Jesus's birth. Estimates run about 3-4
> > years before and after the year 0. The date of our current celebrations was
> > a convention adopted later on.
> Is there any actual historical evidence that JC even existed?
> Holbrook Az....(in a snowstorm)
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