Did Jesus Exit? – Index

Introduction to the issue: Did Jesus exist?

Outline of Did Jesus Exist? By Bart Ehrman. Various skeptical points by Ehrman, especially the insignificance of non-Christian historical sources.

Keith Parson’s advice and Bart Ehrman on the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis (MJH).

Development and clarification of the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis.

About 17,000 Jewish males in Palestine were named ‘Jesus’ at any given point during the first century.

Chronology of Jesus’ ministry and crucifixion.

Ehrman’s Seven Gospels Argument (SGA) and the analogy of proving the existence of God with proving the existence of Jesus: both depend on what you mean by the key term ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’.

Ehrman’s Seven Gospels Argument (SGA) is concerned with seven gospel sources that are supposed to be independent sources. Ehrman fails to discuss the facts and data required to evaluate his key claim. I propose the MJH-Source Matrix as a guide to evaluate the key claim in SGA.

Mark portrays Yeshu’a as a flesh-and-blood person-MJH attribute 1 (A1). In the Comments section (near the end of the comments) I also show that Q portrays Yeshu’a as a flesh-and-blood person.

Crossan’s certainty about the crucifixion and death of Jesus is undermined by skeptical points made by Ehrman.

M appears to portray Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person.

L portrays Jesus as a flesh-and-blood person.

Mark represents Jesus as being ‘Jewish’ in both senses of the word.

Q represents Jesus as a devout follower of the Jewish faith.

Q represents Jesus as a male descendant of the Hebrew people.

L represents Jesus as a male descendant of the Hebrew people.

The Batman and Superman characters are common ideas in American culture. So, almost any American in the 21st century could create a story about Superman, and it would include many characteristics of Superman that other Americans would recognize. First century Palestinian Jews had a common cultural idea that could explain many of the attributes that make up the Minimal Jesus Hypothesis: the idea of a ‘Messiah’.

L represents Jesus as a devout follower of the Jewish faith.

The Minimal Jesus Hypothesis consists of 12 attributes. The agreement between Mark, Q, L, and M concerning the first 8 attributes can be explained in terms of the common cultural idea of a ‘Messiah’. The remaining attributes are primarily related to the crucifixion of Jesus, which are not explained by the idea of a ‘Messiah’. So, SGA has some significant force ONLY if there is agreement between these gospel sources concerning crucifixion-related events/attributes.

None of the 16 crucifixion-related events found in Mark are found in Q, M, or L. There are no crucifixion-related events covered by Q, M, or L. Thus, the SGA (Seven Gospels Argument) is very weak and inconclusive, because of two serious problems: (1) the common cultural idea of a ‘Messiah’ explains the agreement of the gospel sources concerning the first 8 attributes of MJH (Minimal Jesus Hypothesis), and (2) there is no agreement between the gospel sources concerning crucifixion-related events, which is what most of the remaining attributes of MJH are about.

Religious Experience – Recognizing God
What if you Saw a Miracle?
Geisler & Turek Rebuttal, Part 7: Chapter 8
Geisler & Turek Rebuttal, Part 7: Chapter 8
  • GizmoJones

    I have been so confused by these articles showing up on my Facebook feed: “Did Jesus Exit?” I didn’t know what that could mean or why the question would be important. At first I thought that they might be arguments for Jesus leaving town instead of rising from the dead, or some such thing.

    It took me awhile, but I finally realized today that the question you’re posing is “Did Jesus EXIST?” Maybe the typo doesn’t matter, but if you want people to click through to your blog — which you’ve clearly put a lot of time and effort into — you should fix your URL. Also, if you want your blog to show up in search results on Google, etc., you need to fix the typo, because nobody is going to search for “Jesus Exit.”

    • Bradley Bowen

      Read the first post in the series and you will see that I’m interested in the question ‘Did Jesus exist?’ because I’m interested in the question ‘Did Jesus die on the cross?’ I’m interested in the question ‘Did Jesus die on the cross?’ because I’m interested in the question ‘Did Jesus rise from the dead?’

      So, I really am working on the question ‘Did Jesus exit?’

      • GizmoJones

        My question is: Do you mean to say “exit” or “exist”?

        If you mean to say “exist” then you should correct the title of the blog AND correct your URL, because right now it says “exit.”

        • Greg G.

          It is a play on words. “Exit” is the word he used as a reference to the crucifixion and to the title of Ehrman’s book Did Jesus Exist?. I was ready to point out that his spell check had put in the wrong word in the first post but then saw that it was intentional.

          • GizmoJones

            Thank you! That’s what I was trying to understand.

  • Albert J

    Clearly, you can’t get something from nothng. Even so called vacuums hold the electromagnetic patterns of DNA for days after the DNA is removed. Saying things came from nothing is like saying an etch-a-sketch picture spontaneously appeared from nothingness.

    You can’t predict past Singularity because Infinity has no boundaries.Physics is just a sub set of Infinty, that which is before/beyond singularity or a Big Bang.

    What part of Infinity don’t Atheists understand?


    • Greg G.

      Even so called vacuums hold the electromagnetic patterns of DNA for days after the DNA is removed.

      How would that be measured? It sounds like something a homeopath would say.

      A cause acting on nothing cannot produce an effect so either there has always been something or we can listen to science. Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle suggests that time can be bi-directional at the Planck scale. Einstein’s Theory of Relativity shows us that the order of events cannot always be determined. A stable nothingness has never been observed and probably isn’t possible as something would be required to maintain the stability.

      From the link you provided:

      According to Vilenkin, quantum theory has a solution because it permits something to pop out of nothing –

      • Albert J

        Fell free to contact the HeartMath Institute in California about their research. You may also want to contact the University of Princeton about their research in turning randomness into coherency. The Russians have duplicated the DNA experiments in a vacuum.

        • Greg G.

          The HeartMath Institute is based on woo. They sell products that aren’t shown to be able to improve a condition that isn’t shown to actually affect health. They start off with the idea that the heart is precognitive and do research to try to show it. They haven’t had much success with the research, except that it helps convince rubes to buy their products.

          Princeton University is running a privately funded Global Conciousness project. They haven’t had any convincing success that can be attributed to conciousness in 15 years of research.

          • Albert J

            As usual, no sicnce, why do I waste my tiume. What part of hreat rate variability is not proven biology? What part of random number generators going coherent when massive focus by humanity is unproven scicnce.

            More importantly, where is your science? I gave you trillions of examples of tings coming from other things. You can’t even come up with one THING coming from No-Thing orr random chaos.

            Coherency rules, randomness drools. Just like light defeats darkness 100% of the time, coherency defeats randomness 100% of the time. And No-thingness is simply silly and unscientific drivel. Even secular physicists have thrown in that twowel and moved on.

            Aristole,Galileao, Newton, Darwin, Bohr, Hawking, were all important scientists in their time. But science and facts have moved on.

          • Greg G.

            What part of hreat rate variability is not proven biology?

            Heart rate variability is observed. Heart ailments can reduce the variability.of the heart beat rate but manipulating the heart beat rate does nothing to treat the cause of the ailment.

            What part of random number generators going coherent when massive focus by humanity is unproven scicnce.

            All of it. They haven’t shown that humanity caused any of the coherence they have detected. If they are using random number generators with the same software, the coherence may be an illusion that random number generators can actually produce random numbers. That’s a problem with security that uses software to generate random numbers.

          • Albert J

            You clearly don’t have a clue what you are taling about. Read the vast peer reviewed research in the medical journals and we can discuss the fight or flight affects on cells from Adrebaline and Cortisol, and how to control them with DHEA naturally, by using bio-feedback, a scientifically proven technique.

            But that is just a tangent. You are dodgung the real questions by pretending you have some biological knowledge about how the heart communicates with the body in 4 monners, all 4 many times more powerful then the brain does.

            Now, what science backs up Atheism? How do you get from rocks and gas to life? There is no science to back that up. Zapping organics with high voltage makes tar, not life. Maybe that puts a hole in the Dino version of hydrocarbons, but it does nothing for Atheist insitence on the now defunct Darwinism theory. Show me your science. SOme me how to get some-thing from no-thing or random chaos.

          • Albert J

            By the way, name calling means desperation, apparently you have no science to disprove th vacuum experiments, so you resort to attacking the scientists. The role of the skeptic in sicnce is to provide a scientific example like the following to debunk incorrect theories and experiments (like the psuedo scientific homosexual gene experiments that proved to be made up );

            Here is how to be a skeptic, Darwinism is impossible as stated because of the Cambrian Explosion fossil record (even Dawkins admits this ) and the cellular pumps in humans that need all parts to work at the same time, which means they could not have evolvd one gene to one part at a time. That is how to be a real scientific skeptic!

          • Greg G.

            Here is how to be a skeptic, Darwinism is impossible as stated because of the Cambrian Explosion fossil record (even Dawkins admits this )

            You seem to be confused. Darwin, not Dawkins, thought that in the 1800′s. You should read up on the last century and a half of the research on evolution.

            A real skeptic applies critical thinking. You reject good science while accepting woo as science.

          • Albert J

            The Atheist Whoo Hooo PseudoScience passed off as fact;

            1) No-thingness became bored and lonely and became some-things (huh????), this was of course stolen from the Vedas where Brahman (everythingness) is bored/lonely and gets the impulse to create some-things from every-thingness (which makes logical sense at least). What things in NO-thing(s) is there to get bored and lonely? And if there are those there, then you are just repeating the Vedas from more than 10,000 years ago, before any Religions were even around.
            2) A magic wand is waved then and Abbra Kadabra, the laws of nature appear magically (no explanation from Atheists how these laws are maintained and arbitered for more than 14+ billion years without collapsing though< just Abbra kadabra, poof, there they are)
            3) A magic wand is waved, and Abbra Kadabra from rocks, liquids and gases, life springs forth, poof!
            4) A magic wand is waved, and abbra kadabra, humans can discriminate between coherency and randomness.
            5) Abbra Kadabra and don’t look behind that curtain, nothing to see there, except;
            a. The Cambrian Explosion, destroying Darwinism (both Neo and Classical), Global Swarmy and ocean acidification alarmism all in one!
            b. You can’t get from a mouse to a human in 300 genes with Classical or Neo Darwinism.
            c. It is impossible under Classical or Neo Darwinism for the cellular pumps we humans have to have evolved on gene at a time, yet here they are pumping away, except in Atheist brains apparently).
            d. The Universe is not only still expanding, it is also accelerating and defying physics (whoops).
            6) All Religions and spiritual scriptures define God=Love=Infinity.
            7) To believe in nothingness or Randomness as the core of the Universe is to argue that you personally are pointless, have no reason to get out of bed, and there is absolutely nothing to worry about. So why do 100% of Atheists worry and care (about something)? Are you all just a bunch of whiner hypocrites? Why do you clump together, make you own Bibles and have Atheists Sunday schools (as cute and cosmically ironic as it all is) if the Universe is just random nothingness?

            And why are Atheists so bent on denying the science at hand in order to deny Love and Infinity exist, when both Love and Infinity are scientific facts?

            Woooo, Woooo, here comes the Atheist Choo Choo of Blind Faith Superstition, all Rubes climb aboard now! Once that magic wand waves, you can make up anything and believe anything. Don’t let the facts get in the way!

            Atheists are like the Global Swarmies stuck in the thicker than normal Ice in Antarctica, LOL. You remind us of the Sherriff in Blazing Saddles with the gun to your head, just keep saying, “Everything that has a beginning, has to have an ending, everything that has a beginning has to have an ending, everything that has a beginning has to have an ending,
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  • Albert J

    the Christ-Mass Story

    The observed, the observer and the whole. The Higgs Boson is an observer observing the observed self fulfilling projection of consciousness. Consciousness is relative to perspective, just like spacetime. When you split the whole (The Christ inside us all that gives us all the next breath and animates all of life with quantized life force-lifetrons), into observer and observed, then energy becomes mass and matter, depending on the perspectives and the focus of observers on the observed. To get to the whole from the Observer + observed, you must use the power of the heart + Love ( which erases the affects of negative emotions and death/aging hormones Adrenaline and Cortisol via DHEA) to overcome the instability of the mind and tame it to be silent (night). Only then can you transcend the limitations of the mind’s calculations and it’s need to frame the movie of life at 5 microseconds per frame, and experience the true nature of non-dualistic reality (the Kingdom of Heaven).

    As told 2,000+ years ago to farmers and shepherds;

    Today we celebrate the birthday of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught that you should seek the Kingdom of Heaven and to enter that Kingdom, you must cultivate loving hearts. Then your hearts would become the Kingdom of Heaven. When Jesus was born in the manger, three kings were led by a star to His place of birth. One of them, seeing the infant Jesus observed: “This Child will be a lover of God.” The second said: “No, God will love Him.” The third one said: “Verily He is God Himself.” The significance of these three statements is – “To love God is to be His Messenger.” To be loved by God is to be a son of God and finally, as Jesus Himself said: “I and My Father are one.” Be aware that all of you are messengers of God. All of you are Children of God. So be free from selfishness and manifest the qualities of the Divine Father from today.

  • Albert J

    Last time I checked, physics had validated Infinity, yes? Scientifically then, God is part of Infinite possibilities, yes? So, the only question now is, which came first, God, or no God. The question of whether God is is scientifically settled now with Infinity.

    Since no one can provide any science at all showing something from nothing or from random chaos, yet trillions of examples exist showing something from something, atheists seem to have three choices;

    1) Deny Science and live in 100% blind faith mode that their lives are hopeless and pointless, because it is better to be right than happy, with the Flat Eathers, based on the 0.000001% chance the Cosmos will dissolve into randomness along with God
    2) Embrace the preponderance of science and seek the truth, which does not mean accepting typical religious explanations by the way
    3) Stick their heads in the sand and pretend their lives mean something temporarily as they pretend they personally are the centers of the UNIVERSE, and that somehow the 100% failure of human rights and Liberty in Atheist nations can be corrected by relativistic humanism (where he who has the biggest guns makes the rules).

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ~ Upton Sinclair

    “I want to know how God created this world. I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts; the rest are details.Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” ~ Albert Einstein

    “Spacetime tells matter how to move, matter tells spacetime how to ‘curve’.” ~ John Archibald Wheeler

    ~ Identical fermions never collide. ~

  • Albert J

    Intellectualism disease, the delusion that you personally are the center of the Universe and the lights will go out when you die. And the delusion that you personally are smarter than Infinite Intelligence.

  • Albert J

    It has become a favorite tactic amongst trolls to declare their belief in peer reviewed science. With this simple strategy, they at once excuse themselves from the need to know anything about the science, and at the same time seek to discredit skeptic arguments on the grounds that, not having been published in peer reviewed journals, they may be dismissed out of hand.

    A retreat to authoritarian arguments in the face of dead simple observations is not new. It is a repeat of history. Not having learned from it, we appear to be condemned to repeat it. But both history and the current peer reviewed science are, if one steps back and looks at the big picture, on the skeptic side.

  • Albert J

    “In the beginning was the WORD.”

    Sonics, harmonics, acoustics. Walking on water and hover boards become possible according to Physics. What seems mystical now is just mising a few ganularities from science.


  • Malcolm Jarvis

    Just a quibble…..it says “Did Jesus Exit?”