Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Do We Have Evidence for the Historical Jesus?


Anonymous said...

I like your arguments.

But I think to clear things even more you should have showed that others gospels that muslims use to try to prove that Jesus wasn't God like Gospel of Judah and others.

Why for example isn't Judah's gospel reliable ?
Because it's not consistent with Old Testament message or I rather say with any old book.
I the gospel is mentioned that Jesus was from a place called Barbelo. But in the Old testament there is no such place.

In the future please discredit those, because they are false.
Also an other source would be the Pliniu the Young letter to emporer Traian in 112.

With Love, Hope and Faith from an orthodox christian brother.

Traeh said...

David Wood, great website.

Question: In your recent debate on the question of whether Christianity is a religion of peace, an essential distinction in the debate seemed to be that Christ is a complete pacifist only in relation to the propagation of Christianity. You seemed to argue -- though you expressed a bit of uncertainty -- that Christ would have allowed that governments sometimes justly use force, for example to defend the oppressed or the victimized.
My question: When Jesus said "turn the other cheek," what is your evidence that he restricted that to the propagation of Christianity, and did not mean to apply it to governments as well? Is it your view that for Christ, "turn the other cheek" applies only to efforts to propagate Christianity?

Traeh said...

In "Do We Have Evidence for the Historical Jesus," Sam (I think that's his name) says that "the only explanation" for why a lot of people started worshiping as messiah someone who died naked on the cross and was vanquished by the Roman Empire is that he was in fact the risen and resurrected Lord. (I think that was what Sam said.) Now, I'm guessing there are various things in Sam's mind that he did not have time to go into, which led him to that conclusion. Because the mere fact that some people started worshipping a man who died naked on the cross does not seem to me to lead by itself inexorably to the conclusion that this must be the risen Lord. Yet that is what Sam seemed to say in this brief video segment. The mere fact that someone died on the cross and a bunch of people started worshipping him could be "explained" in a variety of ways, only one of which is that he was the risen Lord. I guess that Sam finds that explanation the only valid possible one because of many additional facts, not the mere fact that someone died naked on the cross and people started worshipping him.

Incidentally, I have very much enjoyed what I have seen of Sam's debates and responses to call-ins.

Ehteshaam Gulam said...
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David Wood said...

Dan Barker??? Now you're appealing to Dan Barker??? He's even worse than your hero Richard Carrier!

Ehteshaam, do you even have the concept of what a scholar is? Do you really see no difference at all between actual experts and people who write bad internet articles?

Dan Barker said Jesus may have never existed, so he may have never existed. That seems to be your reasoning.

Well, can I find random article-writers on the internet who say that Muhammad never existed? Yes, I can. But suddenly, when we turn to Islam, scholarship becomes important.

Dude, you really need to grow up intellectually. Take about ten years off, and contact us again when you've matured a bit in your thinking. If you don't, you're just going to be the next Osama Abdallah or Nadir Ahmed (i.e. people who wouldn't recognize a good argument if it fell on them). I think you can do better.

David Wood said...

BTW, Ehteshaam, check out our most recent video. It turns out that I found some scholars who say that Aisha was nine years old when Muhammad started having sex with her. In fact, the scholars are none other than your greatest hadith scholars.

It's funny how, when it comes to something that's bad for Islam, no amount of scholarly support is enough for Ehteshaam. But when we turn to Christianity, he'll accept the most absurd theories, even if these theories are diametrically opposed to the evidence and laughed at by scholars.

Similarly, when a piece of evidence supports Christianity, Ehteshaam won't accept it, no matter how conclusive the proof is. And when we turn to arguments for Islam, he accepts absurd arguments, regardless of how weak they are.

Is anyone starting to think that maybe, just maybe, Muslims aren't objective in their analysis of the data?

Ehteshaam Gulam said...
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Ehteshaam Gulam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ehteshaam Gulam said...

As for Bassam Zawadi site links,

if for some reason they don't work, you can go to his site, go to refutations, and go to Sam Shamoun and browse down till you find Prophet Muhammad's marriage with Aisha.

Bassam does a fantastic job in Apologetics. He's a million times better than me.

Ehteshaam Gulam

David Wood said...

Ehteshaam said: "But I have to ask WHATS WRONG WITH ATHEIST SCHOLARSHIP?"

When did I ever say I have a problem with atheist scholarship? If you recall, I quoted a number of atheist scholars in our debate.

But notice the crucial phrase: "atheist scholarship." The people you quote aren't scholars in historical Jesus studies or any related field. Dan Barker isn't a scholar at all. Richard Carrier, AT BEST, is a scholar of ancient Roman science. And yet you will cite them as if they're historical Jesus scholars, when all respected historical Jesus scholars reject the Jesus-myth theory (even the atheists and agnostics).


Ehteshaam said: "Really, you should show more respect to People like Richard, Dan, Bart Ehrman, etc. These are respectable scholars-- who cares if they are atheists?"

You got one out of three right. Not bad considering your track record of getting absolutely everything wrong. For the record, I cite Ehrman all the time, BECAUSE HE ACTUALLY IS A SCHOLAR. Now why don't you ask Bart Ehrman what he thinks of the Jesus-myth theory. Is it because he'll tell you it's ridiculous?

Ehteshaam said: "BTW Why do you debate Osama Abdulah, David Wood, if he's so terrible? Also you let him post racist and vile things here."

Are you two feuding again? I thought you were buddies now. Has that changed? It's amazing how Muslim apologists can't stop fighting one another.

Anyway, I debate Osama for the same reason I debate you. He challenged me to a debate, just as you challenged me.

Ehteshaam said: "Bassam does a fantastic job in Apologetics. He's a million times better than me."

Well, you got something right. Bassam is definitely a million times better than you.

Ehteshaam Gulam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David Wood said...

Ehteshaam said: "I use their material because its good scholarship. It's GOOD SCHOLARSHIP--at least to me. That's all that matters."

This is the line of the century. Ehteshaam says it's good scholarship TO HIM, and that this is all that matters. So, Ehteshaam, are you going to agree with me if I say: "The greatest scholarly resource on Islam is It's good scholarship to me, and that's all that matters"?

Ehteshaam said: "why do you think Bart Ehrman became an atheist? NO, it wasn't the problem with Evil, Read Misquoting Jesus."

I simply don't know what to say, Ehteshaam. I don't know if you're lying or just plain ignorant. Bart Ehrman says in his book on the problem of evil that he rejected Christianity, not because of any biblical studies, but because of the problem of evil. And here you tell Bart Ehrman that he's wrong about why he left Christianity.

Oh well. I'm sick of it. Your next comment had better be a direct quotation, from Ehrman himself, saying that the reason he rejected Christianity is that he studied the Bible. Until you post this quotation, I'm not accepting anything else from you.

David Wood said...

I can't believe that ignorant people like Ehteshaam speak with such confidence, even when they have no clue what they're talking about, but they do. Here's a quotation for our young friend:

"But the problems of the Bible are not what led me to leave the faith. . . . It's a very long story, but the short version is this: I realized that I could no longer reconcile the claims of faith with the facts of life. In particular, I could no longer explain how there can be a good and all-powerful God actively involved with this world, given the state of things." (Bart Ehrman, God's Problem, p. 3).

Isn't it amazing that Ehteshaam knows more about Ehrman's conversion than Ehrman himself?

So where's the quotation, Ehteshaam? Did you just make up your claim? Did you lie to us? A little Taqiyya?

minoria said...

Regarding DAN BARKER as someone to take seriously,he is NOT as competent as Ehteshaam thinks.

In his debate with LICONA he made alot about that the 1 COR 15 creed says,literally,that Jesus "died,was buried and WOKE UP on the 3 rd day."

His argument was why didnt Paul use the Greek word for RESURRECTION instead?DAN BARKER believes Paul and the others believed in a SPIRITUAL resurrection.


He seemed to not know that "to fall asleep" was used in Palestine by the Jews to mean "to die."So "to die" and then "to WAKE UP" is naturally referring to a PHYISCAL resurrection.The DEAD man woke up from his physical "sleep"(er,death).

I ask you,Ehteshaam,now that you know these ADDITIONAL details about the Jews and their language,WHY should Carrier's idea that the first followers(Peter,Paul,John,James)believed in a spiritual resurrection be MORE convincing.


The fact that it has a JEWISH-ARAMAIC colloquialism referring to dead coming back to life which is an obvious LITERAL translation of the original Aramaic words supports the view that the people understood it as meaning a physical thing.

Very few scholars believe in the spiritual resurrection(and again,in Judaism there has never been such a thing),not even EHRMAN.Even CARRIER says it is only a theory.

minoria said...

Regarding BARKER's ideas I have to say he makes statements that diminish his stature as someone to take seriously in a scholarly discussion.He makes alot of fuss about Jesus saying he came to bring a sword.He even said that in a debate with DINESH D'SOUZA.

Dinesh must have been very surprised.


Every scholar knows Jesus meant it as a METAPHOR for DIVISION.Why?Because the very NEXT sentence has Jesus EXPLAINING what he meant by that?


He says they can't be reconciled.They can,taking into account that Matt-Luke copied from Mark and that Mark wrote in BAD GREEK.And adding what is in JOHN.

What happened was that women(with MARY MAGDALENE) went to the tomb,found the stone rolled and entered.

Then Mary Mag left to tell others the tomb was empty.After she left 2 angels appeared to the others and told them about the resurrection.

Mary Mag returned with Peter and the beloved disciple and they found the place empty.They returned but she stayed.

I noticed that LUKE (who copied from MARK) ADDS more material.He says the women went in and then after a while there was an angel.Now MARK's Greek was bad,he did not write well so in his report he made it seem as though the angel appeared all of a sudden,but LUKE,who had ASKED OTHERS,besides reading Mark,tells us otherwise.So one complements the other,simple as that.

minoria said...

Again,2 VITAL evidences for Jesus' existence are JOSEPHUS and PAUL.

Virtually all scholars accept as authentic the passage in Josephus that says "James,brother of Jesus,the one called the Messiah".


As I argued before,Josephus was 25 when James was killed AND lived in the SAME city and so there is no reason to NEGATE the passage as more than enough to show Jesus had a real brother called by logic Jesus existed.


No serious scholar doubts Paul's evidence is conclusive.He was a CONTEMPORARY of the first disciples AND he KNEW them:John,Peter AND JAMES,who he called "the Lord's brother".All agree "the Lord" means Jesus.So by logic Jesus existed.


Josephus was a non-Christian.And again,he was a grown up man who lived at the same time as James,then old,and in the same city,and James was the LEADER and CHIEF of the Jesus group in Jerusalem.So the passage is conclusive also regarding Jesus' existence.


No you can't.Nor of Zarathustra,or Krishna,Rama.

Radical Moderate said...

Ethshaam Gulam said...
"It's POSSIBLE Jesus never existed:
In My years of studying,
IT'S Possible he was made up."

Ok if you think thats possible, and you think he could of been made up then when are you leaving islam to become a athiest?

Your still going to hell, but at least you go to hell on your own terms instead of Mohamds terms who perpetuated and corrputed teh "Jesus Myth".

Radical Moderate said...

For Etshaam website a article on salvation.

"Narrated Anas: I heard the Prophet saying, "On the Day of Resurrection I will intercede and say, "O my Lord! Admit into Paradise (even) those who have faith equal to a mustard seed in their hearts." Such people will enter Paradise, and then I will say, 'O (Allah) admit into Paradise (even) those who have the least amount of faith in their hearts." Anas then said: As if I were just now looking at the fingers of Allah's Apostle. (Bukhari Volume 9, Book 93, Number 600)"

So Mohamed will intercede for muslims. LOL

Unknown said...

Nice video.

I'm in agreement with The-Fat-Man.
I'm not quite understanding why some Muslims would try to disprove the existence of Jesus. By trying to do so, wouldn't this also call into question the Qur'an? Since it also speaks of this "nonexistent" figure.

To me, by using this line of argumentation to try to disprove Christianity, they would then be shooting themselves in the foot. If I a were Muslim, I would maybe think twice about trying to disprove a historical figure that also happens to be spoken of, and revered in a book that I thought of as God's uncorrupted word.

It seems self-defeating.

Anonymous said...

Ethshaam Gulam said...
"It's POSSIBLE Jesus never existed:
In My years of studying,
IT'S Possible he was made up."

It's funny how muslims debaters always use arguments from atheists anti-christians scholars(some might be, some might not be).

A good example for that would be the debate between Nabeel Qureshi and Paul Williams that took place in London.

Paul Williams arguments for his conversion were 2 "scholars" that didn't believe that Jesus resurrected.

And if we were to study their arguments(atheist's one) we would realize that they deny Islam also because they deny miracles and the existence of a God.

Paul-a christian brother.

Anonymous said...

To The Fat Man:
"So Mohamed will intercede for muslims.".

Many scholars believe that Muhammad was a fraud(in his prophethood).
(examples: Muir, Marcus Dods).

Why is that ?
Because he keeps on copying Jesus life.
Jesus the only one that will intercide: 1 Timothy 5:2.

Paul-a christian brother.

Royal Son said...

Ehteshaam: Is it possible that the Qur'an is false?

Fernando said...

Hi Paul Guralivu... glad to see you around... another good friende from Romania... a beautifull country... Ho pe to see you more and more around here... may God bless you and youre familie...

p.s.: don't bother with Ehteshaam Gulam... he dos not know whate he's speaking...

Fernando said...

Ehteshaam Gulam...

Justt some names thate denied, in somme sort off another, the existence of muhammad:

* Muhammad Sven Kalisch
* Lutzian Klimovitch
* John Wansbrough
* Khristos Morozov
* Theodor W. Juynboll

leviMichealathan said...

Ehteshaam Gulam, the era of ahmed deedat is over; it was a painful death for the muslim; many islamic channels still show his debates with jimmy swaggart and co, trying to rekindle the "oneupmanship" that islam thought it had with Christianity.

the reason for this is that muslims have nothing and no one to defend their faith; the one that comes the closest is shabir ali, but he believes Jesus was crucified.

osama, nadir and you are doing more harm to islam. you are a loser and i think david will soon stop communicating with you all together. i still can't believe that you think dan barker is a scholar!!!!!!

well, i guess it runs in the brotherhood of islam to quote the best scholars, just like sheik muhammad quoted dan brown as a scholar.

if they are against Christianity and written a book about it, they must be scholars, right?

dan barker is a nobody. christians don't take him seriously, but when we have to defend our faith, we will; that's why people like james white debated him; every debate that he debated in, he was humiliated because all he has are assertions, no proves; he goes against the more plausible explainations when it comes to christianity and yet he (like other athiests) claim to always follow the evidence, logic and reason.

in fact, he is so inept, that he told james not to quote from his (barker's) book!

apart from ur "scholarship", david has shown that you are quite dishonest wrt bart erhman; did you know that james white and william lane craig refuted erhman soundly in their debates? just like josh macdowell and john gilchrist refuted deedat in their debates?

take david's advice and take 10 years off before your muslim reputation is totally destroyed.

to be honest, i think all the christians on this blog wait for you and osama to comment so that we can have a good old laugh...u and osama never dissapoint.

dasize said...

David Wood,

I am kind of confused about Bart Ehrman. I know he is no friend of Christianity, but has he changed his views? I wouldn't call him a Christian by the real definition of the word. However in the debate "Does the Bible Mis Quote Jesus" with Dr. White. Bart actually says he is a Bible believing Christian. That didn't make sense to me and caught me by suprise. What did he mean by that?

Nakdimon said...

Esteshaam: “My Response: I don't think Dan Barker is "silly" or "radical". He was a preacher, wasn't he? He is educated when it comes to Christianity.”

LOL. Have you read ANYTHING that Barker wrote? Let me rephrase that: Have you ever heard Dan Barker debate? Barker is the most rude, radical and silly atheist debater out there when it comes to opposition of the Christian message. Dan Barker is NOT educated in Christianity, in fact, he is disappointingly weak. To think that he is a former pastor, he either deliberately misrepresents Christianity or just was a lousy pastor that didn’t know anything about Christianity since he irrationally attacks it by misrepresenting it. Barker lies about his scholarship. When he lectures, he claims to be this knowledgeable guy that knows the Hebrew and Greek of the bible very well, yet when he is among people that do know those languages and he is challenged by them, he back paddles and suddenly he doesn’t know that much about those languages.

David, I said ITS POSSIBLE HE WAS MADE UP. And what's wrong with Dan Barker? Just because he is atheists, it doesn't mean you can throw him out the window. Same With Richard Carrier-- just because he called you a liar (his words not mine), doesn't mean you can throw him out as well, he's a respected Ph.D. and even he says Its POSSIBLE that Jesus never existed. Really, you should show more respect to People like Richard, Dan, Bart Ehrman, etc. These are respectable scholars-- who cares if they are atheists? I have a lot more respect and agree with them than Christians. It's POSSIBLE a man named Jesus NEVER existed. I have NEVER SEEN any evidence for it.

You remind me of the Infidelguy. You say that MAYBE Jesus never existed, yet you cite Bart Ehrman as a respectable scholar, as if Bart Ehrman denies the existence of Jesus. Bart Ehrman CHALLENGED the Infidelguy on his own show to name any reputable historical Jesus scholar that thinks that Jesus never existed, when the Infidelguy attempted to deny the existence of Jesus. In fact, Bart Ehrman laughed at him when the Infidelguy finally tried to name scholars. So, Esteshaam, of the 3 guys you mentioned by name, only ONE is a Jesus scholar and thus the only relevant name in your line up. And that scholar tells you that no reputable historian denies that Jesus ever existed. Since you claim that you respect Bart Ehrman, why don’t you believe what he says, assuming that you are familiar with his work at all.


Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

As to Etheshaam, we have seen a number of similar examples.

We had the muslim Ibn who radically argued that Jesus' resurrection was unreliable because atheist scholars have refuted the nature of the supernatural (or miracles); just imagine the inconsitency and stupity.

Now we have Etheshaam also utilizing similar scholars exclaiming that Jesus never existed (at least that is how I understand it).

If Ibn was correct about the resurrection based upon his use of scholarship, then Islam is debunked and false.

If Etheshaam is correct about Jesus and Christianity based upon these scholars, then Islam is wrong and false. How in the wild earth can Muslims appear so inconsistent?

According to liberal Jesus searchers, Jesus was according to some a deceiver (Reimarus), according to most of these scholars the Jesus was only a good teacher, either Jewish or a Greek philosopher. According to Barth Ehrman he believed himself to be an apocalyptic prophet, however, based upon Ehrman's view on naturalism, Jesus did no miracles. Furthermore, according to liberal scholarship Jesus was not born by a virgin, which contradicts the Qur'an, and most important of all, these scholars agree that Jesus was crucified and died. According to some and this is the view favoured by Etheshaam is that Jesus never existed. Here again we see a Muslim violating the trust of his own sources, which is becoming a trend among muslims today.

Now, Etheshaam if these scholars are authoritative as you propose, are you then implying that you agree with the above ideas?

Would you also agree with Richard Carrier that Jesus never existed? Are you also gona agree with Carrier about his articles on Islam?

I sure hope you do, otherwise you have proven yourself incredible inconsistent.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Actually Dan Baker has a PhD in practical theology. This hardly makes him a scholar of the historical Jesus.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

And then again lets not forget that German Muslim scholar who denies the existence of Muhammad.

Radical Moderate said...

David Wood said...
"I can't believe that ignorant people like Ehteshaam speak with such confidence, "

Dr Wood; Ethshaam sounds like Mangenment material, or maybe he should join the US Armed Forces he could be a 90 day wonder and go to Officer Training School :)

Dr Wood they actualy teach this concept in a mangement class in a Fortune 10 Company I worked at.
"Its not what you say as long as you say it with confidence".

Ethshaam you are wasiting your talents, seriously go into Mangement or Join the US Armed Forces.

Haecceitas said...

Hogan Elijah Hagbard:
"Actually Dan Baker has a PhD in practical theology. This hardly makes him a scholar of the historical Jesus."

I don't think that's correct. It's my understanding that Barker only has an undergraduate degree in religion (from an insitution which he's referred to as "a glorified sunday school").

Barker isn't a scholar in any imaginable sense of the word.

Haecceitas said...

As for those others, G. A. Wells has a Ph.D. in German. One might just as well appeal to the authority of a dentist or a computer scientist who has a doctoral degree and also happens to study the issues related to the historical Jesus in his spare time.

I think Earl Doherty has some credentials in classical studies or ancient history (perhaps a M.A.), but nothing that would make him a respected scholar.

This is not to say that Wells or Doherty or even Barker are disqualified from the discussion simply because they don't have the right credentials. But one can't appeal to them as some kind of authoritative scholars.

I wouldn't mind calling Carrier a scholar (he has advanced degrees in a related field of study), but he's not "highly respected" anywhere outside of the atheist community, as far as I know.

Robert Price has legitimate credentials, but most of his views are - by his own admission - so far away from the mainstream of scholarship that at most a few of his scholarly peers take him seriously.

Haecceitas said...

"However in the debate "Does the Bible Mis Quote Jesus" with Dr. White. Bart actually says he is a Bible believing Christian. That didn't make sense to me and caught me by suprise. What did he mean by that?"

I've listened to the debate a few times but I don't recall anything like that (and it would be very hard to forget if it were true!). So I suspect that this is some kind of a misunderstanding on your part. Perhaps you can point to the particular statement by Ehrman that you have in mind.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

I am pretty sure he has a PhD in practical theology, but we can check it out.

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Well mayby you are right, the Wikipedia and his biography mentions nothing about a PhD, but a major or a degree in religion.

Fernando said...

Brother Hogan: I'm almost certain Dan does nott habe a PhD in practical theology...

Hogan Elijah Hagbard said...

Even though he had a PhD in practical theology, it does not make him an expert in proper theology. Furthermore even possessing a PhD in theology only qualifies you in that minor detail of a topic you have choosen to study.

Often we give far too much credit to the a person with papers.

What typically happens is that anyone with a PhD is given the authority to address any topic, which is absolutely crazy.

minoria said...

I checked out the website satya,which has a good article link by GARY HABERMAS which critiques WELLS(who denied Jesus existed).There I got info I knew but had to refesh.It is always good to refresh.

GALAT 1:19

Here it says:"...but I SAW no other apostle except JAMES,the LORD's brother."

It tells of his visit to Jerusalem.It means Jesus had a real brother who Paul knew,so Jesus existed.

1 COR 9:5:

"Do we not have the right to take a sister with us as wife,like is done by the other apostles,and the brothers of the Lord,and Cephas(Peter)?"


Notice Paul has 3 types:apostles,Peter and the "brothers of the Lord".He obviously means blood kin of Jesus existed in HIS (Paul's) time,siblings.Notice Paul is talking in the PRESENT TENSE(the Lord's brothers are still alive)Then it is MORE proof Jesus existed.