Did Jesus exist? Michael Paulkovich and AaronRa

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I have been researching the latest, of a never ending, round of pop-research on the issue of the historical Jesus and Jesus mythicism. Some Atheists have really taken to the utterly radical view that not only was Jesus not the son of God, God incarnate, etc. but never even existed as a person.

I have been researching the latest, of a never ending, round of pop-research on the issue of the historical Jesus and Jesus mythicism. Some Atheists have really taken to the utterly radical view that not only was Jesus not the son of God, God incarnate, etc. but never even existed as a person.
In particular, I have been looking into Michael Paulkovich and Raphael Lataster. In this case, I ran into an article written by YouTube celebrity Atheist AaronRa who is really good at appealing to the “New Atheist” movement: meaning replacing reasoned discourse with emotional reactions and generally lacking a basic knowledge of contextually relevant theology and history.
He posted an article on the Patheos site which was simply titled “Jesus never existed” November 3, 2015 AD.

I wrote the following comment which resulted in a long exchange with a Jew and which included some passing remarked by a few others. When dealing with such a lively comment section it is a good idea to pick the most capable replier to your comments and so I focused on the Jewish person.

I found Paulkovich’s claims fascinating as a few years ago I personally conducted research on documents written 70 AD to 200-250 AD and chronicled 205 texts that reference Jesus.
The number refers to the texts themselves and not to the number of times that Jesus is referenced in each text.
Counting each reference would take us well beyond the 205 total.
Furthermore, the number refers to the texts and not to each manuscript behind each text.
Counting each manuscript would also take us well beyond the 205 total.
My evidence is here: Historical Jesus – two centuries worth of citations

I specifically mention my 205 texts because Michael Paulkovich specifically claims to have not found Jesus within 126 texts (and my stopping at 205 was arbitrary as I could have gone on and on and on).

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Now, you will find that Atheist of the radical Jesus never existed view will generally immediately back down when challenged and will rabbit trail elsewhere, such was the case with a comment replying to me by a certain MarquisDeMoo:

Jesus may well have existed as a person and I am no historian but I certainly would not take a cascade of mutually referencing religiously inspired texts as evidence. That people are gullible enough to want to believe is after all part of the atheist’s case. From an evidential perspective I would think you would need independent verification such as a diary or letter, written during the lifetime, administrative document or court record even.
Sorry too but the standard of evidence does have to be higher than that for a Roman General simply because of the importance you put on him existing and the fact that his purported life story matches that of so many others of the time. Whether someone called Jesus actually existed or not adds or subtracts nothing to the atheist case but it is critical to the Christian who has a vested interest in perpetuating the myth based on his life, after all, no Christ, no Christian.

Here is my reply:

Friend, I hope that you will consider the following.

1) You appear to have ignored my evidence and are merely replying to my comment for if you had viewed the evidence you would know that the 205 references are not all to religiously inspired texts.

2) Even if they were all religiously inspired texts that would be no grounds upon which to disregard them as doing so would be unscholarly, not how history is done and would commit the logical fallacy known as the genetic fallacy (disregarding an argument due to its source alone).

3) Your other logical fallacy is known as an ad hominem which is when you take aim at the person making the argument such as those who, as per you, “are gullible.”

4) While this is an argument from silence, in both directions, the fact is that Jerusalem, Jesus’s main place of activity, was utterly destroyed in 70 AD and thus, expecting many records to survive therefrom is tantamount to expecting to find many diaries, letters, admin docs, etc. written on paper from the US embassy in Benghazi.

5) That Jesus’s life story matches that of so many others of the time is a modern day myth based not on primary source material but from pop-“scholarship” from a much, much lower level that the direct references that I present.

Also, you seem rather certain that Jesus’s life story matches that of so many others of the time and yet, I would assume that you conclude that based on religiously inspired texts that supposedly state such things.
I hope you will consider these points as I found your statements interesting enough to consider, muse upon and reply to.

MarquisDeMoo replied thusly:

I make no apology for suggesting that the religiously inspired are gullible, after all it is no more than you might accuse a Mayan who worshipped the Sun and slaughtered his daughter to appease his gods.
Necessity is the mother of invention and in its desperation to backup its fairy tale the church has 2000 years of incremental invention to try and prove the existence of the supposed son of god. A God should be able to do better. That is why I demand better proof.

Now, the last statement was key as it would allow me to have the Marquis set the table, as it where, which would essentially put them on the defense as I could then examine and dissect their demanded standard of evidence.

Here is my reply:

Friend, you seem to be condemning human sacrifice and yet, upon what premise do you do so?
Also, you seem to be demanding proof of “the existence of the supposed son of god” and 205 references to Jesus dating from 70-250 AD does not suffice. So, what would you consider “better proof”?

Well, I did not hear back from MarquisDeMoo as I tend to find that when I ask people bottom line style question they go away as they prefer having people chase them around various rabbit trails.

It is at this point that the Jewish person, lorasinger, chimed in and since I asked “what would you consider ‘better proof’?” they began with “How about…” and yet, they did not answer the question but, you guessed it, trailed off:

How about the fact that Jesus was a Jew in a Jewish world, one who by his own word, upheld Torah law and declared that it was in effect to the end of time. Torah tells us that God is one and indivisible, without offspring. Torah forbids human sacrifice. It also tells us that every person must atone for their own sins.

The moment you step into combinations of a god and mortal woman producing a sacrificial man god son who dies for mankind and is resurrected, you are taking your place right beside a half dozen similar other such stories from the pagan world. The Jesus story in the NT does not come from Judaism.

Keep this reply in mind and you will see my reply, in turn, in the next segment, Did Jesus exist? A discussion with a Jew


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