To The Daily Sun,
Marie Ludwick makes all the common arguments about the historical Jesus. Firstly, I have to point out that Ms. Ludwick misread my letter. I said there are no "primary" historical sources for the existence of Jesus. I said scholars are increasingly theorizing he may not have existed. There is a major difference in types of historical sources. A primary one is a contemporary source, and the others are hearsay that require corroborating sources in order to be taken seriously. These are secondary sources and they come in all manner of species.
The BC/AD dating system was created by the monk Dionysius Exiguus in 532, who worked as an archive translator for Pope Gelasius. At that time they dated from the Emperor Diocletian (AD) who ruled from 284 to 305. In Dionysius' calendar, Anno Diocletiani 247 was followed by Anno Domini 532. Anno Domini was not popular until after Bede used it in his Ecclesiastical History of the England in 731. Seven decades later Emperor Charlemagne adopted it in 801 for dating the acts of government in Europe. So from AD Anno Diocletiani we went to AD Anno Domini and now we're moving to CE.
Now to Ms. Ludwick's sources. The historian Tacitus was born in the year 56CE so he is not a primary source. Being born nearly three decades after the alleged events is hardly a contemporary source. He wrote his "Annals of Tacitus" in 109CE which is nearly eight decades after the alleged incidents. The historian Josephus was born in 37CE so he, too is a hearsay source. His "Antiquities of the Jews" was written around 94CE which is long after the stories began to circulate in the time of Paul (50s), who never met Jesus. Seutonius is another secondary source because he was not born until 69CE. Seutonius was in diapers during the siege of Jerusalem. So Tacitus, Josephus, Seutonius and Paul are not primary, contemporary sources for a Jesus; they are hearsay sources colored by decades of hand-me-down stores, embellishments, exaggerations and alterations. The same can be said of the Synoptic Gospels which were written decades after the alleged events. With the Gospel of John the source is even weaker because it was not written until the end of the century.
Nor did I say archaeology disproves the Bible. I said archaeologists "make it clear there isn't any body of evidence supporting the Pentateuch" characters such as Abraham, Noah, Moses, or Joshua. The same lack of evidence for the events such as the flood, captivity, exodus, and conquest make them doubtful. The Bible is historical fiction, so actual places can appear, but with persons and events they are fabricated or wildly embellished through generations and ages of epic myth-making. Most ancient stories spread via the spoken word so they are highly vulnerable to constant changes. Archaeologist and professor at the University of Tel Aviv, Ze'ev Herzog, wrote in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz a few years ago:
"Following 70 years of intensive excavations in the Land of Israel, archaeologists have found out: The patriarchs' acts are legendary, the Israelites did not sojourn in Egypt or make an exodus, they did not conquer the land. Neither is there any mention of the empire of David and Solomon, nor of the source of belief in the God of Israel. These facts have been known for years, but Israel is a stubborn people and nobody wants to hear about it. This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel. Perhaps even harder to swallow is the fact that the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom." Read the article at http://www.truthbeknown.com/biblemyth.htm For an extensive education on where most Israeli archaeologists stand read the "THE BIBLE UNEARTHED" by Archaeologist Israel Finklestein and historian Neil Asher Silberman.
Marie Ludwick should know that quote mining invites quote mining. Einstein said, "I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. . . Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms."
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