Apparently you can't do polls on here.... but

Do any of you think that Jesus actually existed? What do category do you fall into?

A. Believed he existed, claims are false

B. Believed he existed, claims are exaggerated

C. Don't believe he existed

D. Believe he existed, claims are true (sorry had to leave the idiot category open)

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In Jesus sect? Assuming Jesus existed, Paul never met him. Unless you count his "vision on the road to Damascus" which I regard as pure bull shit. The first person to keep an account of Jesus' life was Josephus. How do we know Jesus and his disciples existed?

To answer this may I likewise respond: See my previous response.

I did answer your question by stating that the Jewish High Priests seemed to have focused mostly on Jesus and were not that interested in his followers, thereafter. After his death, there was relatively little persecution of the Jerusalem Christians; the High Priests simply weren't that interested. In the Book of Acts (chapter 4), Peter and John are arrested and taken before the same High Priests with the same Caiaphas there (he was the one who had condemned Jesus and sent him to Pilate for final disposition)... the result of which was that BOTH Peter and John were released and no punishment given them. On another occasion, one of the Sanhedrin cautioned the rest saying that if the work were of man, it would fail as had other previous false messiahs... but, if the work were of God, then they dare not oppose it for by so doing they would be in opposition to God. And... again... those arrested were set free.

And, as I pointed out before, as Paul was a Roman Citizen, the high priests couldn't have done a thing to Paul. If they had, they would have been arrested for punishing or killing a Roman Citizen. Only Rome could judge Romans.

So... no... this makes no sense either. The only thing that DOES make sense is that Paul was working for the Roman Government by infiltrating and then, as the people were gullible enough, basically taking over and eventually alienating all of the actual 12 apostles! The canonical Gospels, all written by Pauline "disciples, save for Mark and the original "Q" (Quelle)document (as well, imho, as the anti-gnostic Gospels of Thomas and Philip), were written as pro-Roman documents that vilified the Jews and either promoted Roman views as positive and needful or, at least, did not vilify them ("Render unto Caesar..." and the many entreaties to turn the other cheek, be obedient to Rome, seek not to be freed, etc.). All of this was as the direct result of ... Paul, because the authors thereof were all Paul's disciples. The Gospel of Luke, for example, was the most pro-Roman as it, and the Book of Acts) was written by Lucius, Paul's Roman secretary and physician. It is in Luke that we see Pilate stating that he did not wish to have an innocent man's blood on his hands... and then piously washing his hands after being "forced" to crucify Jesus due to the Jews. Of course, this is all hogwash. The REAL Pilate of history, the same man reprimanded twice by Rome for previous bloody treatments of Jews under his rule, would have had no such qualms and said nor done any such thing.

It was specifically to audiences of the Roman Empire that Paul and his disciples deliberately twisted the Gospels, because the Roman Empire was the market to which they re-packaged Christianity. And, despite a couple centuries of persecution, yet still the fledgling religion did as it was intended to do from the start of Paul's clandestine collusion with Rome: Paul's version of "Christianity," conquered the world, from Rome.
Hey these arguments of Paul being supported by the Romans in this way are new to me. Could you provide some sources? Thanks in advance!
I have a feew good ones for you bookmarked at my home computer. Once I'm home, I'll send them to you.

The BEST study on all of this is found in the wonderful book: "Mythmaker: Paul and the Invention of Christianity" by Hyam Maccoby

You can find it on amazon.com, of course, and read a few excerpts of it here: http://www.positiveatheism.org/hist/maccoby2.htm
So you are referencing the Bible then?
@Khemin

Thanks for that reference. It was fascinating reading.
Hey, just a reminder...it looks like the site you posted is someone referencing the Bible for info on Paul's life. Are your claims of what Paul went through coming from the Bible?
This is the Paul question I had. As you can see, you forgot to respond...no problems though, there are only like a hundred freaking conversations going on here. Heh.

Thanks again for the information.
"And this is the "simpler" explanation? All of this explained by... epilepsy?"

Yeah, because epilepsy is simpler than assuming the existence of a Jewish zombie God avatar that knocks people off their ass from a spiritual realm and whines at them.
Don't you hate it when Jesus drunk dials you?
I'd have to go with the majority here, and take option [E].

Such an individual was mentioned by the Roman historian Josephus; but so what?

Claims of supernatural power weren't mentioned, he was barely a footnote, even to the historian. Because that was a time of social, political and religious upheaval, there were literally prophets of doom and misery on "every street corner".

Beyond that fact, everything about him is subjective or just outright hysterical mythology.
how can we possibly know exactly what happened - even the probable knowledge of the authors of the bible is extremely unclear...
the relation between [historical figure] jesus and [christian construct] jesus is so tenuous as to make the 'reality' of jesus utterly irrelevant. it's not 'real' jesus who's the problem...

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