As I’ve mentioned on multiple occasions, I don’t debate with Christians. I used to, and in fact had what I’d call a discussion with two on Twitter recently. That’s very unusual for me to do, but sometimes I see something that appears so outrageous I have to comment. My comment wasn’t meant to start any thing, but it did. Mainly, I avoid these interactions because no matter what is said on either side, no one’s going to be convinced of the other argument.
Christians want to be taken seriously in their belief. They have a need, especially online, to prove that what they believe is true and what atheists say is false. The ones that are most interesting to me are the ones that use some sort of scientific evidence for biblical accuracy.
I mostly ignore those whose argument is based on biology, especially evolution. Its clear to me the people making an argument there don’t actually understand evolution. What’s more interesting to me are the ones that use archeological finds in Israel that seem to prove their narrative.
We all know of some of these, for instance the Caiaphas ossuary. Although disputed by some, it is an interesting find. How about the Pilate stone. Another interesting find. None of these prove the existence of Jesus. Here’s why.
I can create a narrative of a fictional character, interspersed with some interactions with historical figures from say, 100 years ago that everyone knows existed. That doesn’t make my fictional main character of the story as someone that actually existed 100 years ago. It also doesn’t say that character didn’t exist.
Another example is Peters House. Of course the evidence discovered in Capernaum is completely circumstantial, it doesn’t deter believers from declaring this another proof of Jesus. There is no evidence, however, that this was indeed the home of the disciple Peter.
Finally, there’s the House of David inscription, discovered in 1993. Until then there had been no record of King David ever found. Interesting because of the impact of David in the bible that there was nothing ever written about him outside the bible. Still, this inscription doesn’t prove the historicity of David, because it’s dated some 2 centuries after the supposed life of David. Of course, biblical archeologists declare this as proof, but other scholars are skeptical.
What I always tell Christians that bring up these examples is none of it proves anything one way or the other. I personally think these finds are interesting and even worth pursuing by experts. No matter how much is written about them, I think it’s improbable that any of them may used as proof of Jesus, or David having ever existed.
3 thoughts on “Evidential Proof of Jesus?”
They are very quick to jump on any evidence bandwagon and count it for proof. The news of these “discoveries is never rescinded and some of them make the circuit for years. Good read.
Do you believe that Pythagoras existed? Or that Socrates existed? What about Euclid or Hypatia, both of Alexandria? I’m just wondering what your criteria are for establishing that a figure discussed in historical literature was fictional or mythological rather than an actual historical person around whom legendary accounts accrued.
Pingback: Is the Bible an Historical Document? - Conservative Skeptic