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Why do skeptics question whether the Biblical Jesus Christ ever existed?

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  • Why do skeptics question whether the Biblical Jesus Christ ever existed?

    Historians general accept that Jesus was a real figure that lived during time the NT describes, a rabbi? that taught a Messianic message, claimed to be the Kig of the Jews, was condemned in Roman Court of Rebellion against Rome by claiming to be the King of the Jews, and was crucified under Roman Law. The question arises what about the Biblical Jesus Christ that skeptics seriously question ever existed. The life and records of Philo are a witness to this problem of the existence of the Biblical Jesus Christ.


    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateAChristian/comments/2u3xnm/why_didnt_philo_of_alexandria_write_about_jesus/



    Why didn't Philo of Alexandria write about Jesus or Christianity?

    Philo of Alexandria was born: 25 BCE in Alexandria, Egypt. He died: 47-50 CE. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Jesus is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Jesus' miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. Philo spent time in Jerusalem where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. One of Alexander's sons (and Philo's nephews, Marcus) was married to Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, 39-40. After the exile of Herod Antipas – villain of the Jesus saga – Marcus ruled as King of the Jews, 41-44 AD. But nothing from Philo on Jesus, the other 'King of the Jews'.

    Philo was there when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with an earthquake, daytime darkness, and resurrection of the dead 'saints' took place and when Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days. He was there when Jesus ascended into heaven. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words by Philo are extant. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although Jesus, this Word incarnate, was walking around giving speeches and performing miracles, Philo wrote not one word about him or any of this.

    © Copyright Original Source




    Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
    Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
    But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

    go with the flow the river knows . . .

    Frank

    I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

  • #2
    Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
    Historians general accept that Jesus was a real figure that lived during time the NT describes, a rabbi? that taught a Messianic message, claimed to be the Kig of the Jews, was condemned in Roman Court of Rebellion against Rome by claiming to be the King of the Jews, and was crucified under Roman Law. The question arises what about the Biblical Jesus Christ that skeptics seriously question ever existed. The life and records of Philo are a witness to this problem of the existence of the Biblical Jesus Christ.


    Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateAChristian/comments/2u3xnm/why_didnt_philo_of_alexandria_write_about_jesus/



    Why didn't Philo of Alexandria write about Jesus or Christianity?

    Philo of Alexandria was born: 25 BCE in Alexandria, Egypt. He died: 47-50 CE. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Jesus is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Jesus' miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. Philo spent time in Jerusalem where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. One of Alexander's sons (and Philo's nephews, Marcus) was married to Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, 39-40. After the exile of Herod Antipas – villain of the Jesus saga – Marcus ruled as King of the Jews, 41-44 AD. But nothing from Philo on Jesus, the other 'King of the Jews'.

    Philo was there when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with an earthquake, daytime darkness, and resurrection of the dead 'saints' took place and when Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days. He was there when Jesus ascended into heaven. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words by Philo are extant. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although Jesus, this Word incarnate, was walking around giving speeches and performing miracles, Philo wrote not one word about him or any of this.

    © Copyright Original Source



    Very few deny that Jesus existed, although there are still a few, usually among the self-described New Atheists.

    Generally the argument is over how accurate the descriptions are.

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by shunyadragon View Post
      Historians general accept that Jesus was a real figure that lived during time the NT describes, a rabbi? that taught a Messianic message, claimed to be the Kig of the Jews, was condemned in Roman Court of Rebellion against Rome by claiming to be the King of the Jews, and was crucified under Roman Law. The question arises what about the Biblical Jesus Christ that skeptics seriously question ever existed. The life and records of Philo are a witness to this problem of the existence of the Biblical Jesus Christ.


      Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/DebateAChristian/comments/2u3xnm/why_didnt_philo_of_alexandria_write_about_jesus/



      Why didn't Philo of Alexandria write about Jesus or Christianity?

      Philo of Alexandria was born: 25 BCE in Alexandria, Egypt. He died: 47-50 CE. He wrote an account of the Jews covering the entire time that Jesus is said to have existed on earth. He was living in or near Jerusalem when Jesus' miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. Philo spent time in Jerusalem where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. One of Alexander's sons (and Philo's nephews, Marcus) was married to Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, 39-40. After the exile of Herod Antipas – villain of the Jesus saga – Marcus ruled as King of the Jews, 41-44 AD. But nothing from Philo on Jesus, the other 'King of the Jews'.

      Philo was there when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with an earthquake, daytime darkness, and resurrection of the dead 'saints' took place and when Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days. He was there when Jesus ascended into heaven. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words by Philo are extant. It was Philo who developed the doctrine of the Logos, or Word, and although Jesus, this Word incarnate, was walking around giving speeches and performing miracles, Philo wrote not one word about him or any of this.

      © Copyright Original Source



      Did Philo write about Herod? Pilate? Quirinius? Caiaphas? Annas? I don't know that he wrote about any personages among his contemporaries.
      1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
      Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
      .
      "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

      "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by tabibito View Post

        Did Philo write about Herod? Pilate? Quirinius? Caiaphas? Annas? I don't know that he wrote about any personages among his contemporaries.
        You appear not to know very much then.

        Read Helen K Bond's monograph on Pilate - chapter 2.

        As your friend rogue06 so kindly gave us all a link to his pdf download site - I had a look and you can download your own copy of that work from there.
        "It ain't necessarily so
        The things that you're liable
        To read in the Bible
        It ain't necessarily so
        ."

        Sportin' Life
        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post

          You appear not to know very much then.

          Read Helen K Bond's monograph on Pilate - chapter 2.

          As your friend rogue06 so kindly gave us all a link to his pdf download site - I had a look and you can download your own copy of that work from there.
          Quite true. I do know little about Philo's works.
          I am surprised however that you are not repeating your wonted claims about the authenticity of Philo's works; that we can't possibly know what Philo really wrote because etc etc. His works were, after all, preserved mostly if not entirely by Christians.
          1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
          Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
          .
          "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

          "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

          Comment


          • #6
            From Shunyadragon's source

            Philo ... was living in or near Jerusalem when Jesus' miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. Philo spent time in Jerusalem where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. ...

            Philo was there when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with an earthquake, daytime darkness, and resurrection of the dead 'saints' took place and when Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days. He was there when Jesus ascended into heaven....


            It seems that someone has been tinkering with the facts a touch.

            THE WORKS OF PHILO, Complete and Unabridged Translated by C. D. Yonge

            Relatively little is known about Philo’s life. He lived his entire life in Alexandria, Egypt,
            the location of the single largest Jewish community outside of Palestine in this period (the
            Jewish population of Alexandria was perhaps one million people). Philo came from a prominent
            and wealthy family, was well educated, and was a leader within the Alexandrian Jewish
            community. So far as is known, Philo visited the temple in Jerusalem only once in his lifetime
            (On Providence 2.64).
            Philo was involved in the crisis in his community related to the pogrom initiated in A
            D.38 by the prefect. Flaccus, during the reign of the Roman emperor, Gaius Caligula. Philo was
            selected to head the Jewish delegation that went to Rome to see Gaius Caligula. Philo’s account
            of these events is found in his two writings Flaccus (In Flaccum) and The Embassy to Gaius (De
            Legatione ad Gaium—for details on these events and writings, as well as all other facets of
            Philo’s life and literary production, see the books and articles recommended near the conclusion
            of this introduction).


            I wonder who the someone might be.
            1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
            Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
            .
            "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

            "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by tabibito View Post
              From Shunyadragon's source

              Philo ... was living in or near Jerusalem when Jesus' miraculous birth and the Herodian massacre occurred. Philo spent time in Jerusalem where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. ...

              Philo was there when Jesus made his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. He was there when the crucifixion with an earthquake, daytime darkness, and resurrection of the dead 'saints' took place and when Jesus rose from the dead after 3 days. He was there when Jesus ascended into heaven....


              It seems that someone has been tinkering with the facts a touch.

              THE WORKS OF PHILO, Complete and Unabridged Translated by C. D. Yonge

              Relatively little is known about Philo’s life. He lived his entire life in Alexandria, Egypt,
              the location of the single largest Jewish community outside of Palestine in this period (the
              Jewish population of Alexandria was perhaps one million people). Philo came from a prominent
              and wealthy family, was well educated, and was a leader within the Alexandrian Jewish
              community. So far as is known, Philo visited the temple in Jerusalem only once in his lifetime
              (On Providence 2.64).
              Philo was involved in the crisis in his community related to the pogrom initiated in A
              D.38 by the prefect. Flaccus, during the reign of the Roman emperor, Gaius Caligula. Philo was
              selected to head the Jewish delegation that went to Rome to see Gaius Caligula. Philo’s account
              of these events is found in his two writings Flaccus (In Flaccum) and The Embassy to Gaius (De
              Legatione ad Gaium—for details on these events and writings, as well as all other facets of
              Philo’s life and literary production, see the books and articles recommended near the conclusion
              of this introduction).


              I wonder who the someone might be.
              I think the first clue that something was wrong with the description provided in the OP is that he is generally known as Philo of Alexandria.

              I'm always still in trouble again

              "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
              "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
              "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                I think the first clue that something was wrong with the description provided in the OP is that he is generally known as Philo of Alexandria.
                That is what gave me the impetus to check. Reading his account of Pilate was interesting - all of six paragraphs centred on Tiberius' attitude to the temple, with a couple of comments about how Pilate had annoyed Tiberius with the incident of the shields. (of course, I haven't read the entire thousand odd pages yet, but Pilate is mentioned by name only twice.)
                1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                .
                "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tabibito View Post

                  Quite true. I do know little about Philo's works.
                  There is such a thing as the internet to check basic facts

                  Originally posted by tabibito View Post
                  I am surprised however that you are not repeating your wonted claims about the authenticity of Philo's works; that we can't possibly know what Philo really wrote because etc etc. .
                  Bond gives full citations in her monograph - you can find a good reference [or perhaps a university] library and verify her sources for yourself.
                  "It ain't necessarily so
                  The things that you're liable
                  To read in the Bible
                  It ain't necessarily so
                  ."

                  Sportin' Life
                  Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                    There is such a thing as the internet to check basic facts


                    Bond gives full citations in her monograph - you can find a good reference [or perhaps a university] library and verify her sources for yourself.
                    The topic addressed Philo's lack of mention of Christ, which would seem to indicate that reading Philo's works would be necessary to determine whether discussion of Christ would be germane. So far, it doesn't seem that Philo's interests and discussions would lead to any expectation that Christ should be featured. Had the topic been Pilate, maybe Bond's monograph would have been relevant. I note that the monograph comes highly recommended - it is rubbished by a Jesus myther.
                    1Cor 15:34 εκνηψατε δικαιως και μη αμαρτανετε αγνωσιαν γαρ θεου τινες εχουσιν προς εντροπην υμιν λεγω
                    Come to your senses as you ought and stop sinning; for I say to your shame, there are some who know not God.
                    .
                    "It is not divine truth that makes the man seem more innocent in what is equally sinful, but human wrong-headedness." AUGUSTINE: re adultery

                    "The synoptic gospels claim that Jesus was crucified on the 15th day of Nisan and buried on the 14th day of Nisan:" Majority Consensus

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Hypatia_Alexandria View Post
                      There is such a thing as the internet to check basic facts


                      Bond gives full citations in her monograph - you can find a good reference [or perhaps a university] library and verify her sources for yourself.
                      Don't you think that when a source gets such a basic fact wrong -- namely, a claim that Philo was closely associated with Jerusalem and was there when Jesus was crucified -- which is so easy to refute, that this says an awful lot about the trustworthiness and accuracy (or lack of) of that source?

                      I'm always still in trouble again

                      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
                      "Overall I would rate the withdrawal from Afghanistan as by far the best thing Biden's done" --Starlight
                      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                        Don't you think that when a source gets such a basic fact wrong -- namely, a claim that Philo was closely associated with Jerusalem and was there when Jesus was crucified -- which is so easy to refute, that this says an awful lot about the trustworthiness and accuracy (or lack of) of that source?
                        It is clearly an erroneous comment.

                        However, the thread title uses the phrase the"Biblical Jesus Christ"and the literary representations and portrayals we find in the various New Testament texts are self-evidently different and reflect the developing Christology..
                        "It ain't necessarily so
                        The things that you're liable
                        To read in the Bible
                        It ain't necessarily so
                        ."

                        Sportin' Life
                        Porgy & Bess, DuBose Heyward, George & Ira Gershwin

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                          Very few deny that Jesus existed, although there are still a few, usually among the self-described New Atheists.

                          Generally the argument is over how accurate the descriptions are.
                          This I agree with qualifications and as noted historians accept the existence of a historical figure Jesus living about the time the NT records the life of Jesus, The issue is not the views of nebulous 'self-described New Atheists.' The questions concerning the evidence of the Biblical Jesus has been the subjection of scholars and theologians for centuries.
                          Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                          Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                          But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                          go with the flow the river knows . . .

                          Frank

                          I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by rogue06 View Post
                            Don't you think that when a source gets such a basic fact wrong -- namely, a claim that Philo was closely associated with Jerusalem and was there when Jesus was crucified -- which is so easy to refute, that this says an awful lot about the trustworthiness and accuracy (or lack of) of that source?
                            I will document the 'close' association' of Philo in his travels around Rome, and close association to the influential people and rulers of Palestine.

                            Source: https://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html



                            Philo was also in the right place to give testimony of a messianic contender. A Jewish aristocrat and leader of the large Jewish community of Alexandria, we know that Philo spent time in Jerusalem (On Providence) where he had intimate connections with the royal house of Judaea. His brother, Alexander the "alabarch" (chief tax official), was one of the richest men in the east, in charge of collecting levies on imports into Roman Egypt. Alexander's great wealth financed the silver and gold sheathing which adorned the doors of the Temple (Josephus, War 5.205). Alexander also loaned a fortune to Herod Agrippa I (Antiquities 18).

                            One of Alexander's sons, and Philo's nephews, Marcus, was married to Berenice, daughter of Herod Agrippa, tetrarch of Galilee and Peraea, 39-40. After the exile of Herod Antipas – villain of the Jesus saga – he ruled as King of the Jews, 41-44 AD. Another nephew was the "apostate" Julius Alexander Tiberius, Prefect of Egypt and also Procurator of Judaea itself (46-48 AD).

                            Much as Josephus would, a half century later, Philo wrote extensive apologetics on the Jewish religion and commentaries on contemporary politics. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words are extant. Philo offers commentary on all the major characters of the Pentateuch and, as we might expect, mentions Moses more than a thousand times.

                            Yet Philo says not a word about Jesus, Christianity nor any of the events described in the New Testament. In all this work, Philo makes not a single reference to his alleged contemporary "Jesus Christ", the godman who supposedly was perambulating up and down the Levant, exorcising demons, raising the dead and causing earthquake and darkness at his death.

                            With Philo's close connection to the house of Herod, one might reasonably expect that the miraculous escape from a royal prison of a gang of apostles (Acts 5.18,40), or the second, angel-assisted, flight of Peter, even though chained between soldiers and guarded by four squads of troops (Acts 12.2,7) might have occasioned the odd footnote. But not a murmur. Nothing of Agrippa "vexing certain of the church" or killing "James brother of John" with the sword (Acts 12.1,2).

                            © Copyright Original Source



                            Can you cite references to support your position of the limits of Philo's knowledge of Jerusalem ?
                            Last edited by shunyadragon; 04-21-2022, 08:51 AM.
                            Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                            Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                            But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                            go with the flow the river knows . . .

                            Frank

                            I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              It is well documented that Philo made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem during th elife of Jesus, and intimate knew major figures of Palestine including the ruling and influential families.
                              Glendower: I can call spirits from the vasty deep.
                              Hotspur: Why, so can I, or so can any man;
                              But will they come when you do call for them? Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1, Act III:

                              go with the flow the river knows . . .

                              Frank

                              I do not know, therefore everything is in pencil.

                              Comment

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