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July 16, 2007


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Will Durant, in the Caesar and Christ volume of his massive series The Story of Civilization, said that he did not doubt the existence of a historical Jesus. Since the notion that Jesus was no more than the figment of someone's imagination -- or some kind of hoax -- did not arise during the first several centuries of Christianity, it made more sense to accept that a real person was at the center of the new religious cult.

That, of course, is a far cry from assuming that Jesus was divine, which Durant clearly did not. I think most non-believers have been content to follow in Durant's footsteps. As in so many other cases, Dembski merely spins out an assertion without a rationale.

This investigation into the math debunks the math... not the actual possibility of the messiah Jesus being buried in the tomb. The bible does not give enough historical or contextual information about Jesus Christ to determine the details of his life, who may be buried in his tomb, or whether he even existed.

Based on the information that we have from the gospels, I don't think that this tomb can be ruled out conclusively.

I don't understand this other blog using math and science to prove or disprove things in the Bible. What are the odds that a man could hoax miracles and deceive a group of followers into believing he was the messiah? Well, we have Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and Joseph Smith (among many others that didn't stand the test of time)- they can't all be right; in fact, I'm certain that none of them are right. I bet the odds of a messiah hoax are greater than the odds of being born a virgin and resurrecting after death... somebody do the math on that one.

I used to take it as more or less historical fact that Jesus existed. I have since had to moderate my views.

There is absolutely no contemporary record of him existing, apart from a bit of scribbled marginalia in an account by Josephus, who's probably the most complete and respected Roman Jewish historian. It's something like "... the death of James. The brother of Jesus, called the Christ, the crucified one, who died and was reborn."

It's generally regarded as a much later insertion. The New Testament certainly isn't contemporary with the 1st century AD.

The capper for me is the parallels between Jesus, Horus and Mithras. They are astounding, such as:

Horus' father was Osiris, or more properly El-Asarus, whom he raised from the dead. (Lazarus)
Horus was called the Lamb and the Krizt.
Horus' mother's birth name was Meri.
Set (Satan) took Horus to a high mountain top and tempted him by offering the world.
Horus was resurrected after being nailed to a tree.

There are plenty of others.

I just re-read my comment. The odds of being born a virgin are 100%. I obviously meant being born from the womb of a virgin. You can't edit these comments, so let me just revise that statement before I get any corrections or teasing.

Scienceblogs.com would definitely count as a skeptic society, and they were all over James Cameron's crap from the very beginning.

And here, the Seti "Are We Alone" podcast talks about it!

Not to mention all the different forums on which the Jesus Tomb "documentary" was brought up (iidb.org, skepticality.com, skepticfriends.org, skepticforum.com, atheistnetwork.com, etc etc etc).

Including the fanbase of the seti podcast, there are plenty of skeptic societies interested in debunking James Cameron.

It's just that we've already done it months ago. Eat your heart out, Billy boy. Why would we feature just your usually bad math on these matters when Rook Hawkins of the Rational Response Squad is clearly much more educated on all the historical matters than you and James Cameron combined?

I was one of the first skeptics blasting this idiocy, since I checked out the website for the film before it was shown. (There are some delightful howlers in it, but none more hilarious than the argument that the existence of a child's ossuary may be evidence that the child was Jesus' and may have grown up to be the 'beloved disciple.' Well, not exactly. Unless physiology has changed drastically over 2000 years, the existence of a child's ossuary is pretty conclusive proof that that child didn't grow up.)

As for the real existence of Yeshua bar-Joseph, I've never found the arguments against this convincing. If he were a complete invention, the writers copuld have done a much better job, and wouldn't be stuck with so many quotes (from 'not one jot or tittle' of the Jewish law being changeable to 'eli, eli, lama sabacthani) they needed to explain away.

This is what the web site actually says...

Could Judah, son of Jesus have been the “Beloved Disciple” mentioned in the Gospels? If the “Judah” of ossuary 80/501 was still alive after the crucifixion, he would have been protected by Jesus’ followers. If spoken of at all, he would have been referred to in code.

I'm not sure that the new testament really describes the beloved disciple's age. But I am pretty sure that he is described as resting his head on the chest of Jesus during the last supper. Sounds like a son to me... or at least worthy of a theory.

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