User:Dickie birdie

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New Testament scholarship is unreliable because it has an agenda, its opinions are presented as facts and the actual historical facts about Christianity are not presented transparently. Dickie birdie (talk) 07:07, 29 October 2013 (UTC)


The Annals survive only in parts, with only Books 1-4 and 12-15 intact. [1] John Wilson Ross noted that the Annals were not mentioned in antiquity. [2][3] The earliest surviving manuscript of the Annals dates from the ninth century, known as the "first Medicean" (technically referred to as M or M1). [4] No original copies of the Annals exist and the surviving copies of Tacitus' works derive from two principal manuscripts, known as the Medicean manuscripts, written in Latin, which are held in the Laurentian Library in Florence, Italy.[5] It is the second Medicean manuscript, 11th century and from the Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino, which is the oldest surviving copy of the passage describing Christians.[6] Scholars generally agree that these copies were written at Monte Cassino and the end of the document refers to Abbas Raynaldus cu... who was most probably one of the two abbot of that name at the abbey during that period.[6]

The authenticity of the Annals has been challenged several times since 1775, by Voltaire, Linguet, John Wilson Ross, P. Hochart, Leo Wiener, Eugène Bacha and T. S. Jerome.[7]

Early Christian writers such as Tertullian, Lactantius, Sulpicius Severus, Eusebius and Augustine of Hippo do not refer to Tacitus when discussing the subject of the Christian persecution by Nero.[8][9] Furthermore writer, Suetonius, mentions Christians being harmed during this period by Nero, but there is no connection made with the fire.[10]


  1. ^ P.E. Easterling, E. J. Kenney (general editors), The Cambridge History of Latin Literature, page 892 (Cambridge University Press, 1982, reprinted 1996). ISBN 0-521-210437
  2. ^ John Wilson Ross noted that the Annals was unknown in antiquity, with classical writers only quoting from Tacitus' Histories. John Wilson Ross, Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged In The XVth Century (The Echo Library, 2007). ISBN 978-1-40684-051-3. Originally published London: Diprose and Bateman, 1878.
  3. ^ Louis Paret, The Annals of Poggio Bracciolini and other Forgeries (Paris: L. Paret, 1992).
  4. ^ Cornelius Tacitus, Anthony John Woodman, Tacitus: The Annals, page xxvii (Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 2004). ISBN 978-0-87220-559-8
  5. ^ Cornelii Taciti Annalium, Libri V, VI, XI, XII: With Introduction and Notes by Henry Furneaux, H. Pitman 2010 ISBN 1108012396 page iv
  6. ^ a b Newton, Francis, The Scriptorium and Library at Monte Cassino, 1058–1105, ISBN 0521583950 Cambridge University Press, 1999. "The Date of the Medicean Tacitus (Flor. Laur. 68.2)", p. 96-97. [1]
  7. ^ Clarence W. Mendell, Tacitus: The Man And His Work (Yale University Press/Oxford University Press, 1957).
  8. ^ See Tertullian, Apologeticum, lost text quoted in Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History II.25.4; Lactantius, Of the Manner in Which the Persecutors Died II; Sulpicius Severus, Chronica II.28; Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History II.25.5; Augustine of Hippo, City of God XX.19.3
  9. ^ Robert E. Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53
  10. ^ Suetonius, Lives of Twelve Caesars, Life of Nero 16:2


Earlier manuscripts of works by Josephus also contained other references to Jesus Christ that have not survived in our current versions [1] (notably a reference mentioned by Saint Jerome, ignored by modern scholars).

Two manuscripts located in the Bibliothèque nationale de France by John of Damascus entitled "On the Orthodox Faith" contain references to Josephus describing the appearance of Jesus: "...since also Josephus the Jew, as some say... records in the same way that the Lord appeared with joined eyebrows, beautiful eyes, a long aspect [or face], both humped over and well grown."; this passage is no longer included in current translations of John of Damascus. [2] Andrew of Crete added that Josephus "also describes the appearance of the Mother of God." [3]

G. A. Wells has noted that the Testimonium was unknown to Origen, stating "Origen could not have known it because in his polemic against Celsus he professes admiration for Josephus 'although he did not believe in Jesus as Christ', whereas in the interpolated passage [the Testimonium] Josephus is made expressly to say of Jesus 'he was the Christ'." Wells further observed that "Origen's comments on Josephus' mention of James do not square with the passage on James from the Antiquities of the Jews," adding "the passage about James that is in the extant manuscripts of Josephus does not link his murder with the siege of Jerusalem."[4]

Contemporary Biblical scholars like John P. Meier argue part of the reason why the passages about Christianity in Josephus are authentic is because they exist in all relevant manuscripts – Clare K. Rothschild (Associate Professor of Theology at Lewis University) has censured this argument on the basis that "the earliest manuscript dates from the eleventh century", [5] the Ambrosianus 370 (F 128) being the earliest; [6] preserved in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. Clare Rothschild has also cited the account by J. Spencer Kennard, [7] who wrote "that Thomas Gale of Cambridge had large Greek fragments of Josephus not in the textus receptus: we do not know what became of them, and we are left to wonder whether their suppression was not deliberate." [8]


  1. ^ J. Spencer Kennard, Jr., "Gleanings from the Slavonic Josephus Controversy", in The Jewish Quarterly Review, (New Series, Volume 39, number 2; October 1948), page 164.
  2. ^ John of Damascus, On the Orthodox Faith Book 4 Chapter 16: Concerning images. Referenced in the website.
  3. ^ Mark Miravalle (editor), Mariology: A Guide for Priests, Deacons, Seminarians, and Consecrated Persons, page 159 (Seat of Wisdom Books, 2007). ISBN 978-1-57918-355-7. Citing Patrologia Graeca, Volume 97, pages 1301-1304 (J.-P. Migne,1865).
  4. ^ G. A. Wells, The Jesus of the early Christians: a study of Christian origins, pages 192-193 (Pemberton books, 1971). ISBN 0-301-71014-7
  5. ^ Clare K. Rothschild, "Echo of a Whisper": The Uncertain Authenticity of Josephus' Witness to John the Baptist, in David Hellholm, Tor Vegge, Ayvind Norderval, Christer Hellholm (editors), Ablution, Initiation, and Baptism: Late Antiquity, Early Judaism, and Early Christianity, page 257 (Berlin/Boston: Walter de Gruyter, 2011). ISBN 978-3-11-024751-0
  6. ^ Clare K. Rothschild, page 273.
  7. ^ J. Spencer Kennard, Jr., page 164; with Kennard citing the article by Salomon Reinach in Revue des Études Juives, Volume 87, October 1929; pages 113–136. Reinach stated he got his information about Thomas Gale from the testimony of William Cave. His article was reprinted in Amalthée: Mélanges d’Archéologie et d’Histoire, Tome II (Paris: Libraire Ernest Leroux. 1930–1931), pages 314–342. [2]
  8. ^ Clare K. Rothschild, page 272.


Christianity is a derivative religion modelled on Judaism, evolved out of historical and religious context. The biography of Jesus Christ as given in the New Testament was modelled on Old Testament passages.

No Uniformity of Belief[edit]

Early Christian Gnostic sects during the first three centuries denied that Jesus was crucified, because they believed he did not have a physical substance. Basilides promoted the idea that Simon of Cyrene substituted Jesus at the crucifixion, and that Jesus himself took the form of Simon, and stood by and laughed at them.[1]

Docetists held the view that Jesus Christ only seemed to exist (their name was derived from the Greek word dokes, meaning "to seem"). To them Jesus existed as an incorporeal phantasm, a pure spirit and hence could not physically die. [2]

Marcion of Sinope (c.100-c.160) promoted the doctrine that "Jesus did not really take human flesh. He was not even born, but simply appeared on earth during the reign of Tiberius. He was a celestial being with the appearance of a human body." [3] To Marcion there was a contrast between Yahweh, the Evil God of the Old Testament and the Good God of the New Testament who sent his son Jesus to redeem mankind. Marcion believed that matter was evil and spirit was good and that was why he rejected the physical substance of Christ.


  1. ^ Ismo Dunderberg, Christopher Mark Tuckett, Kari Syreeni (editors), Fair Play: Diversity and Conflicts in Early Christianity: Essays in Honour of Heikki Räisänen, page 488 (Brill, Leyden; 2002). ISBN 90-04-12359-8
  2. ^ Ed Hindson, Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for The Truth of Christianity, page 179 (Harvest House Publishers, 2008). ISBN 978-0-7369-2084-1
  3. ^ Justo L. González, Essential Theological Terms, page 105 (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005). ISBN 978-0-664-22810-1

No Archaeological Evidence[edit]

There is no independent archaeological evidence to support the historical existence of Jesus Christ. The discovery in 2002 of the alleged James Ossuary containing the inscription Ya'akov bar-Yosef akhui diYeshua (In English, "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus") would have been regarded as evidence had the artifact been deemed authentic. The recent 2007 claim about the Talpiot Tomb, originally discovered in 1980, that it contained the remains of Jesus Christ based upon the inscription "Jesus, son of Joseph" could also have been deemed as evidence, had the claims been accepted by mainstream archaeologists and Biblical scholars.[1]


  1. ^ Susan Ashbrook Harvey, David G. Hunter (editors), The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Studies, page 88 (Oxford University Press, 2008). ISBN 978-0-19-927156-6

Suetonius, Cassius Deo, Paulus Orosius[edit]

Suetonius, Claudius 25: "Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome"

Cassius Dio, History 60.6.6-7: "As for the Jews, who had again increased so greatly that by reason of their multitude it would have been hard without raising a tumult to bar them from the city [Rome], he [Claudius] did not drive them out, but ordered them, while continuing their traditional mode of life, not to hold meetings."

Paulus Orosius, History 7.6.15-16: "Josephus reports, 'In his ninth year the Jews were expelled by Claudius from the city.' But Suetonius, who speaks as follows, influences me more: 'Claudius expelled from Rome the Jews constantly rioting at the instigation of Christ [Christo, or rather xpo].' As far as whether he had commanded that the Jews rioting against Christ [Christum] be restrained and checked or also had wanted the Christians, as persons of a cognate religion, to be expelled, it is not at all to be discerned"

Did Claudius regard Christianity as part of Judaism, or was he unable to distinguish between Christianity and Judaism. We will never know. First century Judaism was as equally fractured as first century Christianity.

The Gospels[edit]

The Gospels found in the New Testament are devoid of historical provenance. Nobody knows when they were written, who wrote them or where they were written. A historical vacuum. The earliest Gospel manuscript fragments date from the corresponding period when they were first mentioned by the Church Fathers during the early second century. There are no references to the Gospels in first century Christianity.


The Roman Emperor Diocletian tried his best to eliminate Christianity and he failed hopelessly. Christianity will forever represent a disfunctional trait of human nature that is attracted to the bizarre and the illogical. It will persist to exist despite the ease with which it can be discredited.

Suzanne M. Olsson[edit]

According to local reports, Olsson arrived in Srinagar, Kashmir in 2002, "claiming to be Christ's 59th descendant".[1] Soon after she attempted to gain access to the Roza Bal tomb, "seeking DNA testing of the shrine's remains" in an effort to prove her claim of descent[2] and seeking to move the remains of the entombed persons to another location. Olsson wrote to the shrine's caretakers:

My family has its origins in France, where Jesus and his wife Mary Magdalene lived for 30 years after the crucifixion. There they had two sons and one daughter. We're descendants of the son. And if you wish to know more, I refer you to a book called Bloodline of the Holy Grail by Sir Lawrence Gardner. [...] We feel any claims you make about the sanctity of the grave are invalid [...] we would prefer to move our grandfather.[2]


  1. ^ Khan, Shahnawaz (28 May 2010). "Jesus: dead or alive?". South Asia Wired. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Arshad, Sameer (8 May 2010). "Tomb Raider: Jesus buried in Srinagar?". The Times of India. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 

Majority view[edit]

The reason why most people accept the historical existence of Jesus Christ is simply because they want to, for the sake of it. There simply is no other reason.