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The Myth of Jesus

    This section will show that Jesus’ physical existence is extremely unlikely (Also see Part J (Jesus) of Christianity in Ruins (CiR). Below I argue that modern Christians are in gross violation of his teachings. They are hypocrites.

The Myth’s Roots

    1. The Jesus story is similar to older myths. Example: Mark’s Gospel is modeled on Homer. 
   2. Herod’s threat to kill Jesus comes directly from the tale in which Moses is endangered by the pharaoh’s wrath.
   3. The Jesus tale imitates the OT stories of Joseph and Moses: fleeing to Egypt, a plan to kill him, betrayal for 30 silver pieces, etc.

Birth and Early Years

    1. God created a “son,” who was born at a certain time but also existed eternally. Incoherent.
    2. Matthew and Luke give radically different ancestries. Joseph was his stepfather; the Holy Spirit was his biological father.
    3. The virgin birth is the result of Matthew's acceptance of a wrong translation. The word meant young woman, not virgin.
    4. The whole issue is irrrevant to Jesus’ mission. It’s an add-on meant to bolster his reputation. 
    5. Theologians explain the time of his arrival with statements such as “the time was ripe,” which is silly. And why in Palestine?
    6. Jesus’ arrival in time and place was enabled by the Jews’ expectations of a messiah. He was not it. 
    
    7. How did the magi from the East know of Jesus’ birth when King Herod did not? He would have had spies everywhere.
    8. Joseph and his family went from Nazareth to Bethlehem so Jesus could be born in David’s town. This tale is multiply probematic.
    9. Jesus’ supposed hometown, Nazareth, did not exist during his lifetime.1
   10. Large periods of Jesus’ life are missing from the Bible, from age one to about 30, except for a brief mention at age 12, but . . .
   11. If he was real and reputed to be the Son of God, his life would be well-described, but no contemporary reports exist.
   12. God had Jesus minister for only one (three?) years but he could have let Jesus live longer and save more people. Big mistake.

  13. Jesus hypocritically lectured on morals (e.g. the meek will inherit the earth) while not following some of his own teachings. He was not meek or humble or self-effacing. He bragged when modesty would have achieved his goals more effectively.

  14. God allowed the evidence for the human Jesus be weak to the point where many experts doubt that he was real. The evidence that he never lived is much stronger than the one book (Gospel of "Mark") that says he did. The other Gospels are dramatizations of Mark, not independent sources.

  15. Jesus ministered to only a tiny fraction of the world’s population. Apparently neither he nor God cared about the rest, such as Africa, Europe, China, India, Oceania, the Arctic, Euroope, or America. The mortal, ignorant Jesus did not know of those regions. 

  16. The son was supposed to come back in the 1st century, but he’s been absent for 2000 years. A psychiatrist might label this as passive-aggressive, but the only suitable word shrinks have for being that late is dead.

  17. Jesus lacked the character and intelligence that one would expect from God’s son. He was rude and insulting, and showed no knowledge of real events. If he had told the Jews not to fight the Romans, it would have saved thousands of his fellow Jews.

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  18. The son, Jesus, that is, God, part of God, 1/3 of the Trinity, or whatever, was dead but came back to life and is now with his father, that is, himself, so a genuine sacrifice did not occur. That incoherence is more evidence of God’s inability to think.


Evidence    


   1. No artifacts, for example carpentry or writings, can be traced to Jesus. He could read, so why no writing?
   2. The Epistles, most of which preceded the Gospels, barely mention Jesus. If he was real, how could that be?
   3. There is no evidence for him outside the Gospels, despite his alleged fame. All contgemporary secular writers were silent.
   4. Josephus' mention of him was a later forgery. Tacitus’ writings have multiple problems. Other mentions are no better.
   5. The town of Nazareth did not exist during Jesus' lifetime.1

   6. Jesus has vanishingly thin support for a supposed major historical figure.
   7. The Gospels conflict irreconcilably about important events in Jesus’ life.
   8. In spite of his fame, his tomb has never been found, although the Gospels say that its location was known when he died.
   9. Given Jesus’ putative importance to God’s plan, why wasn't the evidence for Jesus more convincing?
  10. Why didn't Jesus record his relationship with God in writing? We have nothing until 20 years after he died. 
  11. Crucially, neither Jesus' apostles nor other eyewitnesses never wrote anything.

  12. Paul, the first Bible writer, converted to Jesusism but did not believe in a mortal Jesus. Paul never mentions people connected to Jesus, such as Herod, Quirinius, Tiberias, Judas, or Pilate. He is silent about Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jesus' parents, his boyhood,  miracles,  teachings, eyewitnesses, exorcisms, baptism, parables, temptation by Satan, or even his arrest and trial.

  13. Paul never gives Jesus even an approximate time frame; Jesus' life, if any, could  have been in the early first century BCE or before, rather than the usual dates of about 4 BCE - 30 CE (which themselves are uncertain).

  14. It is inconceivable that if Paul thought Jesus was human, he would mention no details of Jesus' life. The unavoidable conclusion is that Jesus never existed as a human. See "Paul and a Human Jesus - No," p. 677-680 in Chrstianity in Ruins.

The Bible

   1. Paul’s mission would have benefitted greatly if he had shown familiarity with Jesus’ life and person. Paul’s silence is deafening.
   2. From Paul to John, descriptions of Jesus become more and more mythologized, a typical progression for mythical heroes.
   3. The Gospel of "John" raises Jesus to be nearly equal to God, and Jesus comes off as an insufferable narcissist.
   4. The first Gospel, Mark, dates about 40 years after Jesus’ death. If jesus was real, it would have been written promptly.

   5. Matthew’s Gospel quotes Jesus’ exact words scores of times. That adds to Matthew’s reputation as a fiction writer.
   6. The Gospels are anonymous, based on third-hand (or more) hearsay. The writers cite no sources, fatal to good historiography.
   7. It is not clear whether Jesus believed himself to be divine, or God, or God’s son. The Gospels can be read either way.
   8. How can the God-Jesus issue remain unresolved? It, and many other Bible problems, have led to endless heresies.
   9. The Bible's conflicts and errors allowed early branches of Christianity (e.g. Docetism) to claim that Jesus never lived on earth.

Prophecies

   1. Jesus prophesied that he would return in the lifetime of some of his audience, but he has not showed up for 2000 years.
   2. He wrongly predicted that he would be in the tomb for three days (and three nights?) but it was two nights and one day. 
   3. All supposed OT prophecies about Jesus are far-fetched or extremely vague. None are believable.
   4. Wikipedia lists 44 relatively recent prophecies of Jesus' return.2 Wikipedia cites his predicted returns to occur in 2010, 2021, 2025, and "before 2057." There are undoubtedly more fermenting in the minds of deluded believers, who ignore the many failed predictions. They also ignore Jesus' statement that only God knows when it will happen, so prophecies are heresy. (Mark 13:32)

Life and Character

   1. He said that the OT laws are both in effect and not in effect. If it's the old laws, he had no objection to Jehovah's  murders.
   2. No secular writers mentioned him, even those well-positioned to. Apologists' excuses for this are completely vapid.
   3He was not the perfect person that God would choose. He was rude, insulting, and disrespected his family.
   4. He was also boastful, arrogant, hypocritical, and a sinner, not appropriate for the Son of God.
   5. He showed inconsistency by saying that the OT laws were both in effect and not in effect.

   6. His "miracles" such as restoring the dead, feeding thousands with a few scraps, and walking on water are impossible.
   7. If he could supernaturally heal a few sick people, why didn’t he eliminate all disease for all people for all time? Was he unable, or uninterested? Or didn't the Bible writers even think of that?       
   8. Jesus showed profound ignorance, despite the claim that his divine father created the world and the universe.
   9. Nothing is known about Jesus’ appearance. The art of drawing was known at the time, so why didn’t an artist make one?
  10. Where did Jesus get his information? If God informed him, God failed to teach him anything about the world.

  11. God's criteria for selecting Jesus make no sense. There were millions of other people who were equally moral as Jesus.
  12. Jesus has a temper tantrum and kills a fig tree because it does not bear out of season. A stupid and childish act. Mark 11:13 
  13. Jesus claims that a person who believes in him can play with poisonous snakes and drink poison. Wrong. Mark 16:18
  14. If a man does not believe in Jesus he must be burned. Savage, not just or merciful. John 15:6  
​  15. A slave who knew of his master's wishes but did not follow them may be beaten savagely. Luke 12:47
  16. No man can be Jesus' disciple unless he hates his family and himself. Christians, note Jesus' "family values." Luke 14:26

Death

   1. Jesus’ death to save humanity is called penal substitutionary atonement. It is a carryover from primtive human sacrifice.
   2. Substitutionary atonement is implausible and immoral. An innocent party suffers and the guilty parties are still guilty.
   3. The sinners should be the ones to be punished, in this world, not in an imaginary next.
   4. Jesus escaped from Jews who wanted to kill him but then he submitted readily to his death. He showed suicidal signs.

   5. At his trial, Jesus never uttered a word in his defense. That is another sign of a suicide.
   6. Pontius Pilate allows Jews to determine what will happen to Jesus, but a Roman prefect would never do that.
   7. Why was no one waiting outside the tomb for him to return? The most plausible answer is that he never existed.
   8. Early Christians would have preserved his tomb, but its existence and location are unknown.
   9. Almost any naturalistic theory explains the empty tomb better than a miraculous resurrection.3

  10. Jesus' death, not his torture on the cross, was supposed to save mankind. The crucifixion is meant to inspire guilt.
  11. The Resurrection was irrelevant to Jesus’ mission for humanity, which was to die, not be tortured.
  12. Being dead for three days but expecting to be with God is a minor sacrifice.
  13. Phenomena at his death, such as corpses coming to life and hours of darkness, are silly. Matthew and Luke wrote fiction.
  14. There are other unlikely happenings, such as the great quake and the torn curtain. They went unnoticed.

Other Issues

   1. Modern-day theologians differ drastically about what Jesus' alleged life means.
   2. Why did Jesus minister only to Jews when they were an extremely small fraction of the Earth’s inhabitants?
   3. Marcion and other early Christians, the Docetists, rejected a Jesus in human form, indicating that he did not exist physically.
   4. Marcion is more believable than the Gospellers: he writes in his own name, while the Gospel writers are unknown.
   
   5. Jesus used the phrase “the son of man” many times but it’s not clear who it was. How can this issue be so unclear?
​   6. Apologists claim that Jesus had to be real because his teachings spread rapidly. But if he was real his pronouncements would have prevented the religion from dividing into many sects very quickly.
​   7. They also claim that if Jesus had not been real, believers would not have been so willing to be sacrificed for the cause. But almost all the stories of martyrs were made up and modeled after earlier stories of martyrdom.

Conservatives Violate Jesus' Teachings 
    Conservative and literalist Christians ignore some of his most important lessons. They get away with it because most of them have no idea of what Jesus taught. (Verses below are paraphrased and highlighted.)

   1.  ​Mark 12:31  Love your neighbor as yourself. Care for them, don't ignore them. Many conservatives ignore the poor and detest gays. 
   2. Mark 10:25 Rich people cannot enter Heaven. "Rich," in Jesus' time, was living in a house and having edible food.
   3. Matthew 19:21, Luke 12:33 Sell your possessions and give the proceeds to the poor. Contradicts the hypocritical "prosperity gospel."
   4. Matthew 6:24 You cannot serve both God and money. Christian Republicans claim to serve God but they are greedy for money.
   5. Matthew 22:21 Leave Caesar's things to Caesar. That is, stay out of government. But literalists want to gain more political power.

   6. Matthew 7:1  If you judge, you will be judged. Jesus would judge the religious right very harshly. They ignore this problem.
   7. Matthew 11:28 Come to me, weary and burdened, and I will give rest.​ Many conservative Christians do not care about the poor.
   8. John 14:27 Peace I give to you. Many conservatives accept unnecessary wars. Defeat Islam! Onward Christian soldiers!
   9. Matthew 25:45 Whenever you neglect the least of them, you neglect me. Jesus says if you ignore the poor, you ignore him.

    If these objections to Jesus do not create doubt, you're immune to evidence and reason. You are unable to think obejctively.
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FOOTNOTES

   1. Salm, Rene. The Myth of Nazareth: The Invented Town of Jesus. American Atheist Press, 2008.
   2. "Predictions and claims for the Second Coming of Christ," Wikipedia,
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predictions_and_claims_for_the_Second_Coming_of_Christ
   3. Wikipedia,  http://wiki.ironchariots.org/index.php?title=Resurrection#Alternative_explanations

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