Thursday, October 02, 2014

Researcher carefully combs through 126 texts from around the time of Jesus, finds no mention of him. Well that's awkward.

Courtesy of the Inquisitr:  

Jesus never existed. That is the conclusion of a researcher who says he has combed 126 texts written during or shortly after the time Jesus is supposed to have lived — and found no mention of Jesus whatsoever. 

The claim that Jesus, the messianic figure at the center of the world’s largest religion, Christianity, was simply a fictional character is not a new one. Advocates of the “Mythical Jesus” theory have been around for years, arguing that the story of Jesus bears a close resemblance to numerous other mythological stories of ancient gods who were born of virgin mothers and performed miracles. 

In a new article entitled “The Fable of the Christ,” Michael Paulkovich summarizes his findings, or lack of findings, which lead him to believe that Jesus never actually existed, but is instead a fictional character, made up to give followers of the religion founded in his name a central icon worthy of their worship. 

Just last month I posted another article that also called into question the evidence for the existence of Jesus. This newer article takes that doubt and runs with it.

Here is how the author, Michael Paulkovich, sums up his findings: 

When I consider those 126 writers, all of whom should have heard of Jesus but did not, and Paul and Marcion and Athenagoras and Matthew with a tetralogy of opposing Christs, the silence from Qumran and Nazareth and Bethlehem, conflicting Bible stories, and so many other mysteries and omissions, I must conclude this "Jesus Christ" is a mythical character. "Jesus of Nazareth" was nothing more than urban (or desert) legend, likely an agglomeration of several evangelic and deluded rabbis who might have existed.

If all this evidence and non-evidence including 126 silent writers cannot convince, I'll wager we will uncover much more. Yet this is but a tiny tip of the mythical Jesus iceberg: nothing adds up for the fable of the Christ. In the Conclusion of No Meek Messiah I summarize the madcap cult of Jesus worship that has plagued the world for centuries. It should be clear to even the most devout and inculcated reader that it is all up for Christianity, and in fact has been so for centuries. Its roots and foundation and rituals are borrowed from ancient cults: there is nothing magical or "God-inspired" about them. The "virgin birth prophecy" as well as the immaculate conception claims are fakeries, the former due to an erroneous translation of the Tanakh, the latter a nineteenth century Catholic apologetic contrivance, a desperate retrofitting. 

Jesus was no perfect man, no meek or wise messiah: in fact his philosophies were and are largely immoral, often violent, as well as shallow and irrational. There have been many proposed sons of god, and this Jesus person is no more valid or profound than his priestly precursors. In fact, his contemporary Apollonius was unquestionably the superior logician and philosopher. 

Christianity was a very minor and inconsequential cult founded late in the first century and then—while still quite minor—forced upon all the people of the Empire, and all rival kingdoms in the fourth century and beyond, as enforceable law with papal sanction. Christianity has caused more terror and torture and murder than any similar phenomenon. With its tyrannical preachments and directives for sightless and mindless obedience, the Bible is a violent and utterly useless volume, full of lies and immoral edicts and invented histories, no matter which of the many "versions" you may choose to read—including Thomas Jefferson's radical if gallant abridgment. 

The time to stop teaching the tall tales and nonsense to children, frightening them with eternal torture administered by God's minions, has long ago passed. Parents who do so are likely deluded, and most surely are guilty of child abuse of the worst sort ... 

Wow! And here I thought I was sometimes a little too direct in my denouncement of religion.  This guy takes it to a whole new level. 

The problem with seeming to attack the foundation of Christianity is that Christians believe it is an attack on them personally, an attack on the very essence that makes them who they perceive themselves to be.

As Atheists we can discuss all of this, and examine new evidence, in a clinical manner with very little emotional attachment to the findings. However to a Christian it feels like their very character is under attack.

That makes these posts a little tricky as I am not somebody who wants to hurt people, but rather simply wants them to examine what they believe and why in the hopes that at the very least they will no longer blindly echo the fables, myths, and lies told to them as innocent, trusting children.

I think this conversation is vitally important for the future of our country, and the future of mankind in general. After all "When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." Which interestingly enough is a passage found in the Bible.

So hopefully this post will be read in the spirit in which it is presented.


  1. Olivia4:24 AM

    He did it all wrong. He should have looked for the description of the guy pictured above. I am sure that a man with light brown slightly wavy hair, white skin and blue eyes would stand out quite conspicuously in the area where Jesus spent his life. Someone surely would have recorded seeing this unusual looking person.

    1. I was going to make a similar comment. You beat me to it! -:)

    2. Anonymous4:34 PM

      people were texting then?? crap I missed that part

  2. Religion is the world's oldest profession, then came prostitution perhaps as a way to supplement the take from the collection plate.

  3. The Romans recorded everything; they were fanatical about it. It makes no sense that they would completely miss the miraculous deeds happening in a part of their empire.

    1. Leland10:46 AM

      And even more miraculous from their detail oriented bureaucracies: They were NOT stupid enough to force entire populations to return to their home towns JUST TO BE COUNTED! As with any other successful bureaucracy, they would have created separate lists in each town about who came from where and sent each list to the home town!

  4. Anonymous4:36 AM

    Why none of the writers ever heard about Jesus.

    Jesus had his Facebook account set to "private" and used SonofSam as his Twitter name.

  5. Anonymous4:45 AM

    Remember how pissed off we were when we found out that Santa wasn't real? Oh no, not Jeezus also, too!!!! And, there goes that fairy tail ending, "They lived happily ever after.."

    Reality check on aisle nine.

    RJ in BBistan

    1. Anonymous5:32 AM

      Geez, just don't tell me that Paul Bunyan is a myth.

    2. We know the Great Pumpkin isn't.

      Don't we?

  6. The other interesting aspect of this is that you don't hear anything about Jesus in any of the Greek classics, at least in the ones I've read. They too should have heard of Jesus, yet the name is never mentioned in any of their stories I've read.

    If I'm wrong, please correct me.

    1. Leland10:49 AM

      Hhhmmm. Didn't the classic Greek period PREDATE Jesus and Rome?

    2. Anonymous1:16 PM

      Yup. But that would ruin Gryph's thesis. He doesn't believe in Jesus; therefore, Jesus never existed. Simple, no?

    3. Anonymous1:36 PM

      Hey 1:16, so if Gryph believes in the tooth fairy, the tooth fairy therefore exists?

  7. Anonymous5:06 AM

    Quote of the Day
    Moral courage has rewards that timidity can never imagine.— Billy Graham

    That's SarahPalinChannel's quote of the day. Sarah, please understand that it takes real moral courage for those of us in the minority to proclaim that we do not believe in the religion professed by the majority -- and that many in the "majority" don't believe that religion, but are too timid and afraid to speak up for themselves.

    s/s A Courageous Atheist

  8. Anonymous5:53 AM

    Apollonius of Tyana, the historically verifiable person behind the jesus myth.

  9. Anonymous5:56 AM

    Then, how do you explain the image of Jesus showing up on toast with or without butter? Thimk!

    1. Eeeeek! You said the obscene "T" word!!!! -:)

    2. Anonymous7:40 AM

      Lol!! Love it!

  10. Holy Moses6:02 AM

    Not many people today know that they had texting back then but it's true, My great great Uncle Clamiticus was killed while Texting & Charioting.

    1. Leland10:50 AM


      LOVE IT!

  11. Anonymous6:06 AM

    Why do you suppose that the Zimmerman family thought that they were qualified and entitled to have their own reality show? Hmm!\

  12. Anonymous6:21 AM

    Thanks for linking the IHOP piece. I drive by there when I take the dog to the Vet. The parking lot is always full and I was sure that they were selling something other than pancakes.

    RJ in BBistan

  13. Anonymous6:31 AM

    Can't explain why I believe, regardless of proof out there. All I know is that His presence is felt, He is real and of course He is love. The relentless evil of this world is not the physical earth's fault. Something causes men, born without an inkling of what sin is, to grow up and kill and mame and corrupt and abuse and cheat and steal.....

    There is something finally that can't be bought, sold or packaged and that is the Son. Men can try, but, in the end, it just leaves them rich in body, but poor in spirit. It's the only story ever told that can't be proven, yet it's the only story that can be experienced with faith and after the faith comes the evidence of things not seen or heard, spiritual things that only each individual or a body of collective individuals can verify.

    It's an incredible new way of life and it's real. Wish I could prove it, but even people's testimonies today have to be measured with a grain of salt, because we can't trust anyone, so many exaggerate and lie these days.

    But, unlike some, it's not up to me to put down or ever be disrespectful to those who are atheists. Everyone has the freedom (so far) to choose the path they seek; but I can only share that there is solid spiritual evidence given to those who seek Christ.

    1. Anonymous6:57 AM

      It is sad that you are so STILL believe in something that never happened, that you STILL feel compelled to attribute qualities to something that doesn't exist. I used to, but my eyes have long since been opened, because the evidence against what I was taught to believe was just too compelling. It was a major change in my life to leave behind the comfort of the Catholic community I was raised in, but with my brain instead of my emotions at long last engaged, I really had no choice. I hope that someday your brain will do the same.

    2. Anonymous7:45 AM

      Damn 6:57. The person wrote a polite comment sharing his/her views!! He didn't put you down or anyone. So why can't you do the same!!!!!!
      Your comment is simply rude and truly intolerant.
      I'm an atheist but I found 6:31s comment interesting and respectful to us

    3. Anonymous10:41 AM

      You're right, 7:45. I AM intolerant -- of people, especially educated, first world people, who stubbornly cling to belief in what has been repeatedly PROVEN are fairy tales as if they are real! There is zero proof that Jesus Christ existed, absolutely ZERO, and there is much evidence supporting the creation of the Jesus MYTH. Yet this person turns off their brain, sticks their fingers in their ears, and goes LA LA LA I can't hear you when the evidence is presented. Yes, I am intolerant of such willful ignorance.


    4. Anonymous10:18 PM

      6:31 How can you believe you are worshiping a loving Christ or God? Would a loving mother allow the death and suffering that occurs in this world everyday? Don't tell me it comes because someone is an unbeliever. Those tiny tots starving to death, being mutilated by parents, living in filth are not yet old enough to believe in anything.

      You would have me worship and donate to an icon that is supposed to be omnipotent and caring but yet allows such horrors to occur daily?

      You need to get yourself some common sense and tell your idol to get busy and fix all these bad things if it wants you on your knees praying to it, and tossing your hard earned coins at it. I don't see any evidence of a loving savior caring for his people.

  14. Anonymous6:42 AM

    There were Romans who wrote things that mentioned Jesus. Most of these writers were not only secular but were anti-Christian.
    Pliny the Younger, proconsul in Asia Minor wrote to Emperor Trajan in a letter: " was their habit on a fixed day to assemble before daylight and recite by turns a form of words to Christ as a god; and that they bound themselves with an oath, not for any crime, but not to commit theft or robbery, or adultery, not to break their word, and not to deny a deposit when demanded. After this was done, their custom was to depart, and meet again to take food...."[Pliny, Epistle 97]
    A Roman historian, Tacitus, who is respected by modern scholars for historical accuracy, wrote about Christ and His church: "The author of the denomination was Christ(us) who had been executed in Tiberius' time by the Procurator Pontius Pilate. The pestilent superstition, checked for a while, burst out again, not only throughout Judea...but throughout the city of Rome also...[Tacitus, Annals XV 44]
    Other secular witnesses to the historical Jesus include Suetonius in his biography of Claudius, Plegan recording the eclipse of the sun during Jesus' death, Celsus, a pagan philosopher.
    You can believe that Jesus was God or not as you choose, however there is plenty of proof that He lived here on earth and died just as the Bible says He did.

    1. Anonymous10:39 AM

      Pliny was born in 61 A.D. Tacitus was born in 56 A.D.
      That would make their writings about 80 years after jc's supposed existence. The author of the cited piece looked at writings done during jc's supposed life. I guess the writers of that time were too busy covering the chariot races for the sports pages and had little time to write about some guy pulling fish and bread out of the sky, working miracles, healing the sick, etc. Oh wait, I get it. Maybe like it is today, the press only "reported" what the government told them to. And finally, to say "I know it's true 'cause the bible tells me so." always seems to ignore the fact that "god's word" was written, translated, retranslated, mistranslated, revised, edited, and made up by HUMANS !

    2. Leland10:58 AM

      Sorry, but I have to say that all these "accounts" you posted are second and third hand accounts. STILL no PROOF.

      Where is the legal document the Romans would have generated for the execution of this person? Or the documentation concerning Joseph and Mary in the census?

    3. LisaB25952:38 PM

      @Anonymous 10:39:

      Ummm, you shouldn't do math. Most historians believe Jesus was most likely executed in 33 AD. That would make histories written 61 AD and 56 AD 28 years and 23 years later.

    4. Anonymous5:04 PM

      LisaB2595---Ummm, maybe you SHOULD do some math---or is it reading comprehension?

      Those writers were BORN in 61 AD and 56 AD. Thus, their writings, unless they leapt from the womb pen in hand, would have dated from approximately at least 20 years later.

  15. Jim In Texas7:03 AM

    To Anon 6:42. Those are not contemporaneous references. Those are historians commenting on Christians and their origins and their beliefs, not on a living Christ.

  16. hedgewytch7:51 AM

    Does that mean I can have my holidays back now?

  17. Anonymous7:53 AM

    Researchers comb through 125 texts written in the early 21st century. None mentions Mother Teresa, Pope Francis, or President Obama. Therefore, none of these people ever existed. Gryph, where'd you get your reasoning? In a Folger's coffee can? You sure didn't get it from a law school.

    1. Anonymous10:42 AM

      Who is calling any of these people the son of God?

    2. Jim In Texas10:43 AM

      @Anonymous 7:53. Where did you get your "reasoning"? It clearly said that these were texts from sources that SHOULD have been aware of Jesus if the stories told in the Gospels were true -- not the random texts that you're premising your false "reasoning" on.

    3. Anonymous11:12 AM

      Anon 7:53, gets their reasoning skills from Faux News.

    4. Anonymous11:33 AM

      What a false equivalence that is! Take your meds, Anonymous 7:53AM.

  18. I do not believe in this truly odd super hero Christ that so many modern Christians worship. After I converted myself to Buddhism and later Paganism (of a more northern Native American variety), I did a great deal of reading and comparing. The historical inspiration for Christ was probably more like a Lama than this disturbing supernatural being followers cling to. More a spiritual teacher and more likely more than one person. Certainly pagans at that time were ticked off at how much the Christians had borrowed from their beliefs to ascribe to Christ. "He" definitely borrowed quite a bit from the Dhammapada.
    My two cents' worth.
    M from MD

    1. Anonymous11:17 AM

      I agree. Growing up I always thought the Joseph marries the already pregnant Mary as some kind of allegory about treating women...maybe Mary was raped and instead of stoning her or whatever Joseph stepped up and did the right thing... The Angel of God in the story is about the gift of life? Just some thoughts... I'm no scholar or literarian.

  19. Anonymous8:13 AM

    If Jesus' presence is "felt" there would be no need to brainwash children into believing in him. There would be no need for weekly "checkups" of your faith by going to church and being berated by the same tired stories that have been repeated for hundreds of years. Christians say that God works in mysterious ways and that we cannot comprehend them-- I disagree. God works in very human ways. In the Bible he admits to being jealous, wrathful, unappreciative of even his most devout followers (I bet Job's family loved being put on the chopping block just to prove a point to Satan)... That is not godly behavior, that's very human behavior. They say God is perfect in all things and we should strive to be like him-- if someone steals my lawn mower and refuses to give it back, does that mean I'm justified by sneaking into their house at night and smiting their first born?
    Or is it the God who protects Christians is the Old Testament God-- the one who will rain down fire on His enemies-- but the God who humans should strive to be like is the New Testament reincarnation, Jesus? Turn the other cheek, do what you're told because the meek inherit the earth, and never question your faith even in the face of death. Sounds like a training manual for blind obedience to me.
    I was a Christian, born and raised. God's "presence" was never anything than personal contentment. I felt better about a situation because I prayed over it and as long as I believed God would do me a solid, it made me feel better to not have to worry about it. When I had a near-death accident, I woke up screaming. There was no calming influence, no soft hand on my shoulder, no whisper of assurance in my ear. I was covered in blood and utterly alone. And that's when I realized being alone "without" God is not the purgatory everyone makes it out to be. I didn't die, I dragged myself out of that wreck of twisted metal and I did it myself. Since then, my accomplishments are my own. My failures are my own. I learn from my mistakes and I ask forgiveness not from some flying spaghetti monster in the sky, but from those I have wronged. Leaving Christianity behind me has done nothing but improve my quality of life.

    1. Anonymous10:44 AM

      Powerful post. Thanks for sharing your experience. I loved your statement, "God's 'presence' was never anything than personal contentment." Very perceptive.

    2. Leland11:01 AM

      AMEN! That is NOT a slur, either. Congratulations!

  20. Leland10:47 AM

    And ignorance.

  21. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Although I am a devout atheist, plenty of the teachings of Jesus are just saying: "Be nice to each other!" and "Do unto others as you would have done unto you," and I find no dissonance between my lack of belief and these teachings at all.

  22. Anonymous11:47 AM

    Agreed! I questioned and departed 'god' at about the age of ten! I'm in my 70's now and sincerely know there is no god helping me get through life! I do it myself, with the help of doctors, friends and family!

  23. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Really? Quite shocking if you think about it. What did people scream when they missed the nail head with the hammer and hit their thumb instead?

  24. I found Paulkovich's claims fascinating as a few years ago I personally conducted research on documents written 70 AD to 200-250 AD and chronicled 205 texts that reference Jesus.
    The number refers to the texts themselves and not to the number of times that Jesus is referenced in each text.
    Counting each reference would take us well beyond the 205 total.
    Furthermore, the number refers to the texts and not to each manuscript behind each text.
    Counting each manuscript would also take us well beyond the 205 total.
    Search online for "Truefreethinker and historical Jesus two centuries worth of citations."


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