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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Doherty is an amateur historian who is not taken seriously by any scholars that I know of (maybe with the exception of Robert Price).

So, your point?

His books are funny to read though, I'll give you that.
Hey, you were the one claiming that there was on-going academic research. I showed you this was wrong, because Doherty's research is not academic. Don't try to say I'm merely dismissing him because of his credentials, because I'm not.
Although it's not exactly a secret that this guy is not "the authority on this topic for the past 15+ years". He has absolutely no credibility among scholars (except, again, Price). Carrier and Wells also take him seriously, but neither of them are Biblical scholars.

I could write a detailed critique of Doherty's book (yes, even I can do that) but I'll spare my time and give you a simple assignment; the exact same assignment given to Doherty by an actual Biblical scholar (and atheist) Jeffrey Gibson: give us a single piece of evidence that you can find any reference to Doherty's "fleshly sub-lunar realm" in Middle Platonic thought.

This really shouldn't be too difficult if Doherty's ideas have any merit.

Over to you. Make it good.
See above for the problems with Doherty's thesis.

By the way, there's a delicious irony present when you insult me for "not using my own brain" and then failing to answer my criticism but just linking me a wall of text written by your hero Doherty... and not using your ummm... own brain.
Hypocrisy much?
Was it not you who told me I had to use my own brain instead of taking other people's words for granted?
I think he existed. There are a lot of interactions with Rome in his story and the Romans were excellent record keepers. I haven't done the research myself, but I am willing to bet you could find proof of his parents journey for the census, of him coming to trial, and of his crusifiction. So yes, a real man - NOT a god.
I'll look into it. Like I said, I haven't done the research. It's interesting, this is something I have never thought much about - just taken it for granted. It might be time to reexamine.
A. Believed he existed, and based on what little I know of him believe him to have been a charismatic cult leader who was more than a bit off center about who he was and his mothers virginity.
A. He existed, but he was just another human trying to make it out there. Many of the bible's claims are false.
Purple Monkey Dishwasher. There probably was a minor cult leader named Jesus schlepping around Jerusalem around the time. Maybe he made a scene with some money changers and even hot himself crucified, the rest people probably added. He's like the world's first Chuck Norris joke.
In my opinion Jesus was an invention of the roman Emperor Constantine between the years of 312 and 324 CE during which time he ordered for the fabrication of the new testament canonical books.

See this thread for further comments:
My message is that Jesus did not exist but was a 4th century literary fabrication

http://www.atheistnexus.org/forum/topics/my-message-is-that-jesus-d...
Interesting point of view Jack. I commend your irreverence. However, I've read that Constantine was reluctantly converted to Christianity virtually on his deathbed for political reasons. The legend of Christ and the subversive activities of Christians are well documented long before his lifetime. But you're probably right in saying that the early legitimized church that dates from that time had a big hand in overhauling and remaking the myths that surround Christ, to create the image that we know today. That's why, to me, the portrayal drawn by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code rings true, and for the same reason is abhorrent to Christians. Of course there's no proving or disproving it, we have to go along with our own instincts here. My instinct is the gospels are far from the truth, and the revisionism described by Brown is much closer. I thought it was a great premise on which to base a mystery story.
Hi David, hope you don't mind if I interject.

"However, I've read that Constantine was reluctantly converted to Christianity virtually on his deathbed for political reasons."

Not really. It's true that Constantine was baptised on his deathbed (a common practice at the time), but his conversion to Christianity and his subsequent sponsorship of it had started long before that.
There's also no good reason to believe that this conversion wasn't genuine: there simply were no good 'political reasons' to convert to a small sect like Christianity, and if there were, Constantine was powerful enough to not need them. More than likely, he really started believing it at some point.

"That's why, to me, the portrayal drawn by Dan Brown in The Da Vinci Code rings true, and for the same reason is abhorrent to Christians."

Whether it rings true or not is actually irrelevant: it's not in accordance with the facts. Dan Brown hardly did any research for his book (although he did claim that all the historical stuff in his book was "all true") and it shows; the only amusing thing about his book is that he succeeds in totally misconstruing every single historical topic he touches. Horrible errors everywhere, no exceptions.

The result is a book that 'rings' true to anyone not being careful, but is as wrong as it can be. I really hold it against Dan Brown that he neglected to do proper research and instead perpetuated a bunch of stupid myths instead of educating people and telling a story that is at least foundationally true.

"Of course there's no proving or disproving it, we have to go along with our own instincts here. My instinct is the gospels are far from the truth, and the revisionism described by Brown is much closer. I thought it was a great premise on which to base a mystery story."

I'm sorry, but "going along with my instincts" is just a way of saying that you're believing what you want to believe. Theists do the same thing when they say they believe in God because it feels right to them.
There might not be a way of scientifically proving or disproving historical ideas, but that doesn't mean all of them are equally valuable and likely to be true: some are well aligned with the evidence, and others are not. The Da Vinci Code falls in the latter category, as do the conspiracy theories about Constantine.

I'll see about replying to your longish post on the last page later ;)

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