On Mon, 3 Jan 2000 EvMick@aol.com wrote:
> Is there any actual historical evidence that JC even existed?
> Holbrook Az....(in a snowstorm)
This is an interesting question and it does deserve some serious
discussion. Why have we got a billion people running their lives
around an individual whose existance is up for question?!?
The lack of rational examination of this question is *stunning*.
My general feeling is that Jesus as an individual might have exiested.
Throw out all of the virgin birth stuff and look at the missing 30
years of his life. If he happened to spend that time in far east
studying Buddism and similar perspectives, then returned to try
and transplant it onto the Jewish background with its predictions
for a Messiah things start to make much more sense. It was a
case of trying to fit a square peg into a round hole and the
hole basically won. As the Gospels were written long after
he was dead, when the religion was getting off the ground, there
would seem to be ample room for embelishment, explaining the
"miracles", etc. The suppressed areas of his life/teachings/followers
(in the Gnostic religious sects?), point out that the "popular"
information is a highly selective view.
So, in answer to Mick's question, I would say there is very little
hard evidence that people would agree upon indicating he actually
existed. However, there is enough circumstantial evidence to believe
that he might have existed but we have a classic case of the historians
writing the history.
I believe that from a "historical" viewpoint, there is some evidence
that the Roman governors of Palestine crucified any number of criminals
and rabble-rousers. So someone who was being acclaimed as a Messiah
would certainly be viewed as a threat and dealt with accordingly.
In "The Science of Aliens" by Clifford Pickover, he discusses some of
the tradeoffs involved in interpreting some of religous history as alien
visitations. He cites work by Eve LaPlante, who debunked many "abduction"
stories, in saying that Mohammad, Moses and Saint Paul were probably victims
of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy (which would account for seeing & hearing
things). He also quotes Dostoyevsky, who was an epileptic as
believing that Mohammad was clearly an epileptic.
Robert Freitas, in Chapter 3 of his Xenology Volume, argues that
much of the "fanciful" in Biblical history can be explained as
sitings of visting aliens. The tone of both the Pickover & Freitas
works would tend to cast doubt on the "alien visitation" explanations,
but if you want to really believe in the "miracles", this is the best
scientific explanation for them.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Thu Jul 27 2000 - 14:01:57 MDT