Who is Jesus and why does he matter?
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@Hovering Hog Re: "As for the the Bible itself I find no value whatsoever in discussing / debating the Bible with someone who doesn’t have a belief in God."
...*perplexed look*... Ummmmmm..... Yet.... You decided to join... an atheist site.... to discuss... Jesus and the bible..... *staring blankly into the abyss*.... You, sir, are a fucking genius....
I believe the atheist has no belief in a God or something along those lines . If you don’t believe in a god then why on earth would you believe in Jesus Christ ? , it’s not rocket science mate .You need to believe there’s a number 1 before you can proceed to debate the merits of a number 2.
No God , no son of God. Genius ? I’ll leave that with you .
@Soaring Sausage Re: "I believe the atheist has no belief in a God or something along those lines."
...*surprised look*.... Holy shit! You know how to read a dictionary!... *patting head in encouraging manner*... Good booooy!... *reaching into waistband of trousers*... Here, have a cookie.
Re: "You need to believe there’s a number 1 before you can proceed to debate the merits of a number 2."
Oh, I totally agree. I definitely believe in a healthy and relieving No. 1 every morning when I wake up. But I rarely believe in a No. 2 during those moments. On the other hand, in order for me to have a No. 2, I absolutely have to have a No. 1 before the No. 2. However, it is not always necessary for me to have a No. 2 to have a No. 1.
Re: "No God , no son of God. Genius ? I’ll leave that with you ."
...*addressing the bench*.... Your Honor, I rest my case.
"If the image of Jesus as a salesman is so important as you claim then what does the NT say about his physical attributes ?"
When was the NT completed? The late 4th century AD.
When was the crucifix, a cross upon which an image of Christ is present, first used? The 6th century AD.
They wrote a book, then almost two hundred years later began a publicity and merchandising campaign. Soon after stock in relics took off. Business was good, and I have to give the roman catholic church credit for being marketing geniuses. They took a weak story, and today the roman catholic church is worth forty billion.
If you know anything about business and marketing, all the pieces are there and they fall into line neatly.
Yah - David ...reading your post reminded me of Marxism. I know “what I was suppose to take out of the lesson” - but me, I saw a lazy bum, who couldn’t do a days work if his life depended on it. Seriously.
Look at it this way, if jesus and his band showed up in a small city or town today, unemployed and no fixed address, they would be categorized as useless bums. Possibly a roving band of criminals.
One of the interesting things to ponder from your pictures it whether or not belief in Jesus could have been different if your larger pictures had been the prevailing image rather than the small picture which is what I, and I suspect many others, were indoctrinated with.
I know, for example, that many of my relatives would never have accepted a "savior" with dark skin, and I believe that if Jesus had been presented that way over the centuries, one of two things would have occurred. Either Jesus would never have been accepted and Christianity would not have thrived, or on a more positive spin, racism would have been drastically reduced. I suspect the former.
@ New Skeptic
Considering that christianity was initially a European religion, it would have been hard to launch the Crusades in the name of a dude that looked like who you were supposed to hate.
David... Revelation is a wacko on ‘shrooms (IMO) but his description is more “middle eastern” “North African” to me...
Is this usually related as purely symbolic?
In JWland everything “we” wanted to interpret in Rev was easily symbolic or literal because there is no rhyme or reason to John’s ranting...
@Winston: Hi, and welcome to the forums. So what about this Jesus character. Well, history and archaeology say nothing about him at all. All we have, concerning his existence, are Christian stories. We have unfounded assertions written by believers 2000 years ago.
Whether or not Jesus existed is not really the issue. The real question is; "Was he magical and sent from a God." If he was, no one noticed. There is nothing at all written about Jesus during his lifetime. Nothing of his miracles. Nothing of his ministry, Nothing of the great Palm Sunday event. Nothing of darkness covering the earth. Nothing of bright stars in the sky or a magical birth. Nothing. Zero. And yet, there are other street prophets and preachers that were alive during the time Jesus existed for whom we do have records.
All we have are stories that began to emerge some 20 to 30 years after the death of this supposedly magical deity that no one was talking about. Not even Paul of Tarsus knows that Jesus had a virgin birth, a ministry on earth or other relevant data. Instead, what you get are extremely vague early writings and then as the Christian writings evolve, they get more and more fantastic.
Dr Richard Carrier makes the argument that Jesus was an Old Testament Angel that was adopted by a sect of Jews and only later achieved God status as the small cult evolved. Dr. Bart Eherman never questions the actual existence of Jesus but relies on Christian stories for evidence and goes on to claim that if he existed he was merely a man. Other scholars have asserted that Jesus like Moses is a compilation of ancient Christian mythology all strung together and attributed to an angel (euhemerization in the case of Carrier's position) or simply mythology in the case of Eherman's position.
The truth probably lies someplace in the middle. I tend to lean towards Carrier's position. It's all mythology; however, if there were one, two, or even three possible Jesus who actually existed, it's still all mythology. Just stories written about or attributed to a Jesus character. Who, by the way, appears as a different character with a different personality in each of your Gospels and all of the Gospels present a different character in the form of Jesus than do the writings of Paul.
(You will have to watch the lectures of Eherman and Carrier for citations.)
@What do atheists believe about Jesus?
Your question is ill founded. What difference does it make, what atheists think about Jesus? We are not historians. You want to have a debate with Richard Carrier, Bart Eherman, Michael Shermer, Dan Barker, Paul Zachary (“P.Z.”) Myers, Ophelia Benson, Sam Harris or others.
Atheists are not people who do not believe in Jesus. He may very well have existed and no one gives a shit. Even if he did exist, you still have all your work cut out for your. You must prove he is the son of a god, sent here to earth to participate in a blood sacrifice to himself to forgive humanity for make believe sins that were created by the Christian faith. Atheists are people that do not believe in Gods.
I’m not an historian so mine is opinion based on very little. I put Jesus in the same category as Robin Hood and King Arthur. So, did they exist? Maybe yes’m maybe no. But if so, certainly not as they are in the legends.
I want to thank you all for all your comments so far.
The reason I asked the question on an atheist page (knowing that most atheists don't believe in Gods as @Cognostic mentioned. However, there are still some atheists that believe in a Higher Power), was because I think what people believe about Jesus has a profound impact on their lives. For some, it makes no difference what so ever. For others, it's a matter of an abundant life for here on earth, and for eternity. If Jesus was real...if there was evidence for his presence on earth, how would that change your views about him and the potential of considering him as God? Consider these extra-biblical 1st century sources about Jesus:
Josephus (37-101AD) - "About this time lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was the achiever of extraordinary deeds and was a teacher of those who accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. When he was indicted by the principal men among us and Pilate condemned him to be crucified, those who had come to love him originally did not cease to do so; for he appeared to them on the third day restored to life, as the prophets of the Deity had foretold these and countless other marvelous things about him, and the tribe of the Christians, so named after him, has not disappeared to this day." (Antiquities 18:63)
From this text, we can conclude: Jesus lived in Palestine, was a wise man and a teacher, worked amazing deeds, was accused by the Jews, crucified under Pilate and had followers called Christians.
Thallus is perhaps the earliest secular writer to mention Jesus. Julius Africanus, writing around 221AD quotes Thallus who previously tried to explain away the darkness occurring at Jesus’ crucifixion:
“On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his History, calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.” (Julius Africanus, Chronography, 18:1)
There are some things we can conclude from this account: Jesus lived, He was crucified, and there was an earthquake and darkness at the point of His crucifixion.
There are much more un-biblical accounts of Jesus being mentioned from 1st century historians which give us more than enough evidence that Jesus was real. Not only that, but that what was written in these extra-biblical accounts correspond and match up with the Gospel narratives, which are also historical accounts.
Therefore, if Jesus is real, then what he said and what he did matters greatly. His influence has caused millions of followers around the world and it should be something at the very least to investigate in, whether someone is a Christian or not a Christian. If his historicity is true, and his words and actions are verified not only by biblical accounts but also un-biblical accounts, then when he says things like, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take up my yoke and learn from me, because I am lowly and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light", we must listen and respond.
In a world full of chaos, evil, murder, injustice, and self-promotion, I think it's fair to say that everyone is weary and burdened and in need of this "rest". Jesus can provide that rest and satisfaction for your own soul by coming to him and learning from him. Jesus doesn't make you better than the next person. Everyone is on equal ground at the foot of the cross. But what he does do is transform you from the inside out. So, whether you believe in God or not, you can't deny that millions of people have been powerfully transformed and changed from reading the historical accounts of Jesus in the Gospels. When you really research into the claims of Christianity, there is more than enough evidence to believe that what Jesus said and did was true.
My perception of the bible is that it is the claim, not the proof. Anything stated in the bible must be supported and collaborated by other sources. It must also match reality, notwithstanding any aberrations must be properly examined. One should never accept an extraordinary claim without confirmation from other independant sources.
If not, by logic, Harry Potter is true.
"Jesus lived, He was crucified, and there was an earthquake and darkness at the point of His crucifixion."
This is an example of a reported phenomena that can be examined. Jefferson Williams of Supersonic Geophysical and colleagues Markus Schwab and Achim Brauer of the German Research Center for Geosciences examined core samples, and concluded that there was a widespread earthquake in 31 B.C. and a seismic event that happened sometime between the years 26 and 36.
So the numbers do match up. At best the bible is off at least 30 years, plus or minus. Therefore the bible is not 100% accurate or true. What else is not true?
"In a world full of chaos, evil, murder, injustice, and self-promotion, I think it's fair to say that everyone is weary and burdened and in need of this "rest"."
Can you prove this assertion? According to multiple legitimate studies, mankind has never been better. Compared to the past, all of the metrics measuring quality of life have improved.
The perception for pessimism is generated by increased media coverage and the simple fact that bad news makes the headlines and sells better than bad news. Fifty years ago it was incredibly rare that someone would have a camera or video to capture a crime or someone being killed. But with the many digital devices people can carry on their person, we are exposed to more videos of murder. But if one sees more deaths, it is not because the world is sliding backwards, it is because of the proliferation of cell phones.
So Winston, your post appears to be just a plea to turn to jesus because he can console and save us in this time of need. You are preaching. If you can PROVE that this world is in as bad a shape as you state, then I will reverse my position.
I'm not really disappointed, just bored.
The Flavius Josephus Testimonium Flavianum is widely accepted to be a Christian forgery. **
Not that it matters. Josephus was born in 37ce, which was few years after Jesus was mean to have died. So he could not possibly have written a first person account about Jesus.
Thallus even more so; fairly likely he did not exist.. It's interesting to note that not ONE contemporary source wrote of the darkening of the sky . Nor of the resurrected dead at the time of Jesus' putative death. THAT would be pretty hard to ignore.
"[When Jesus died on the cross], the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised. And coming forth from their tombs after his resurrection, they entered the holy city and appeared to many.” (Mt. 27: 52-53). "
"In the ninth century a Byzantine writer named George Syncellus referenced a third-century Christian historian named Julius Africanus, who referenced an unknown writer named Thallus (unknown lifespan, active in 2nd century CE) on the darkness at the crucifixion:
On the whole world there pressed a most fearful darkness; and the rocks were rent by an earthquake, and many places in Judea and other districts were thrown down. This darkness Thallus, in the third book of his 'History', calls, as appears to me without reason, an eclipse of the sun.
All of the works of Africanus are lost, so there is no way to confirm the reference or to examine its context. We have no idea who Thallus was, or when he wrote."
There is no contemporary evidence for the existence of Jesus. None
The historicity of Jesus has not been established. In fact it is becoming increasingly clear to me that me that he may never have existed.
I cite the piece below only to provide an alternative point of view. I accept that it is not possible to make truth claims on this matter.
Because the New Testament has no credibility as a history book, I find this opinion more credible:
"In Rome, in the year 93, Josephus published his lengthy history of the Jews. While discussing the period in which the Jews of Judaea were governed by the Roman procurator Pontius Pilate, Josephus included the following account:
About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.
- Jewish Antiquities, 18.3.3 §63
(Based on the translation of Louis H. Feldman, The Loeb Classical Library.)
Yet this account has been embroiled in controversy since the 17th century. It could not have been written by a Jewish man, say the critics, because it sounds too Christian: it even claims that Jesus was the Messiah (ho christos, the Christ)!
The critics say: this paragraph is not authentic. It was inserted into Josephus' book by a later Christian copyist, probably in the Third or Fourth Century. "
Jesus, huh?... Hmmmm.... Let's seeee.... Well, I was taught he walked on water, turned water into wine, and multiplied two fish and two loaves of bread into enough food for a few hundred people. And those are stories that were handed down by word of mouth over the course of several hundred years before being put into print. And, from my understanding of that time period, there were countless other wandering "holy men" capable of performing the same and/or similar neat little tricks to awe the masses.
Meanwhile, on television during my lifetime, I have seen Chris Angel walking on water, David Blaine levitating, a guy on Penn & Teller turning water into wine, and a few other guys making various items multiply and appear out of thin air. So what?
Bottom line is, what does any of this have to do with my being an atheist? I simply do not believe in any god(s). Moreover, my reason for this has nothing to do with Jesus specifically. My being an atheist is based solely on the writings/teachings of the bible itself, along with the writings/teachings of the countless other religions in the world. So, basically, whether or not Jesus was a real person is of very, very little concern to me.
By the way, welcome to the AR, Mr. Winston. Pleasure having you with us. Please make yourself at home and enjoy the lively discussions.
Winston: "If Jesus was real...if there was evidence for his presence on earth, how would that change your views about him and the potential of considering him as God?"
If he was real, there would probably be some evidence he left behind, and there would be a better chance that I would believe he existed. But then starts the hard part: Is he the son of God? More important still, is there even a god, even some new age spirit that got confused with God the Father? This is the big question I struggled with for 50 years. I was confirmed Lutheran, but was always skeptical about the existence of God, or any god. I wanted there to be one. Starting in my late teens I went on two quests to find him, and by that time I was willing to forego the lack of hard evidence. I was willing to accept an emotional warm fuzzy that was clearly imprinted in my psyche as the hand print of God.
Oh, I had warm fuzzies, and still do, but this proves nothing other than I am capable of having some deep emotional experiences. I'd always left the door open for the possibility that he may someday show himself, not necessarily in the flesh, but just by allowing me to know. I called myself a Christian, but a Christian who just didn't know. But alas, I do not know what I cannot know. I never really closed the door. I just stopped looking. And then one day I had an epiphany while doing an internal inventory. I realized I did not believe, and I had not for some time. A heavy weight was lifted. My search was over. I had wasted too much time struggling to know the unknowable. By definition, you cannot know the unknowable, and searching for such a thing is a fool's errand. I immersed myself in reality and haven't looked back.
Really, the big issue is not Jesus. It's God. Does he exist? If you cannot know this, then everything that follows, including Jesus, is irrelevant.
"Oh, I had warm fuzzies, and still do, but this proves nothing other than I am capable of having some deep emotional experiences. I'd always left the door open for the possibility that he may someday show himself, not necessarily in the flesh, but just by allowing me to know. I called myself a Christian, but a Christian who just didn't know. But alas, I do not know what I cannot know. I never really closed the door. I just stopped looking. And then one day I had an epiphany while doing an internal inventory. I realized I did not believe, and I had not for some time. A heavy weight was lifted. My search was over. I had wasted too much time struggling to know the unknowable. By definition, you cannot know the unknowable, and searching for such a thing is a fool's errand. I immersed myself in reality and haven't looked back."
My goodness, that is also my story.
Oh dear....... not again.....
Well if you insist......
You say....."From this text, we can conclude: Jesus lived in Palestine, was a wise man and a teacher,
worked amazing deeds, was accused by the Jews, crucified under Pilate and had followers called
No.... sorry to disabuse you..... but.......
When addressing the mythical nature of Jesus Christ, one issue repeatedly raised is the
purported "evidence" of his existence to be found in the writings of Flavius Josephus, the famed
Jewish general and historian who lived from about 37 to 100 CE. In Josephus's Antiquities of the
Jews appears the notorious passage regarding Christ called the "Testimonium Flavianum" ("TF"):
"Now, there was about this time, Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a
doer of wonderful works,--a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to
him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ; and when Pilate, at the
suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him
at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine
prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him; and the tribe
of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." (Whitson, 379)
This surprisingly brief and simplistic passage constitutes the "best proof" of Jesus's existence in the
entire ancient non-Christian library comprising the works of dozens of historians, writers,
philosophers, politicians and others who never mentioned the great sage and wonderworker Jesus
Christ, even though they lived contemporaneously with or shortly after the Christian savior's purported
Despite the best wishes of sincere believers and the erroneous claims of truculent apologists, the
Testimonium Flavianum has been demonstrated continually over the centuries to be a forgery, likely
interpolated by Catholic Church historian Eusebius in the fourth century.
So thorough and universal has been this debunking that very few scholars of repute continued to cite
the passage after the turn of the 19th century. Indeed, the TF was rarely mentioned, except to note
that it was a forgery, and numerous books by a variety of authorities over a period of 200 or so years
basically took it for granted that the Testimonium Flavianum in its entirety was spurious, an
interpolation and a forgery. As Dr. Gordon Stein relates:
"...the vast majority of scholars since the early 1800s have said that this quotation is not by Josephus,
but rather is a later Christian insertion in his works. In other words, it is a forgery, rejected by
So well understood was this fact of forgery that these numerous authorities did not spend their
precious time and space rehashing the arguments against the TF's authenticity. Nevertheless, in the
past few decades apologists of questionable integrity and credibility have glommed onto the TF,
because this short and dubious passage represents the most "concrete" secular, non-biblical reference
to a man who purportedly shook up the world. In spite of the past debunking, the debate is currently
confined to those who think the TF was original to Josephus but was Christianized, and those who
credulously and self-servingly accept it as "genuine" in its entirety.
You then go on to quote Thallus ..... or more correctly you quote Sextus Julius Africanus....who
apparently claims to quote Thallus....
and you say,"There are some things we can conclude from this account: Jesus lived, He was crucified,
and there was an earthquake and darkness at the point of His crucifixion."
but there is a fairly well known problem with this as a proof of the gospel ..... it runs as follows...
"The works are considered important by some Christians because they believe them to confirm the historicity
of Jesus and provide non-Christian validation of the Gospel accounts: a reference to a historical eclipse,
attributed to Thallus, has been taken as a mention of the darkness described in the Synoptic gospels
account of the death of Jesus, although an eclipse could not have taken place during Passover when
this took place.
A common view in modern scholarship is that the Crucifixion darkness is a literary creation rather
than a historical event."
So i'm sorry to inform you there are no contemporary non biblical references to Jesus ....
Although I note you go on to say..
"There are much more un-biblical accounts of Jesus being mentioned
from 1st century historians which give us more than enough evidence that Jesus was real."
Perhaps you could let me know what this other 1st century "evidence" is......
If I met someone who called him/herself an atheist and then said “... I believe in a Higher Power” (I added the “I” and quotes), I sure would be pinning them down .... like “gravity” or “magnets” or “nuclear” ‘cause I see evidence for those forces we describe as such.
Anyway, there is a boatload of equivalent evidential standard (in some cases higher evidential standard because it lacks hearsay) for alien visitation...
And “university professors”, astronauts, military personnel etc have studies or made claims (some backed by photographs or video footage) ... about 1in 5 people believe in aliens.
I withhold belief in this too.
Should I do as you suggest and “imagine” or “trust” it’s real and start behaving or living according to that?
One of the things about Alcoholics Anonymous I found off putting was the insistence of 'a higher power', or 'a god of your understanding' .
If asked, I always replied that in AA my G.O.D is Group.Of.Drunks
After a few years, I become gratified to discover than AA has a LOT more atheists than it will admit.
AA DID help me, or at least the members did. BUT I got me sober, not AA or anyone else . I attended AA for the first three years of my sobriety. My sobriety date is 30 June 2002. Am I cured? I have no idea. I don't want to know badly enough to take a drink.
Sorry White,don't know where that came from. Wasn't thinking about it.--ah; I think it was 'higher power' that was the trigger
Been there, done that too.
And like you, I credit my control of my addiction to myself. AA and other agencies did provide some support and knowledge, but I did it myself.
Although AA now attempt to disassociate themselves from religion, their core principle is the same as religion. We are flawed sinners.
No prob Cranks - I get off topic too and sometimes talk too much... :)
My understanding of alcoholics was on the receiving end of living with an alcoholic father - what a fuck up that does to family life! Oh, I “understood” all the reasons he drank - but it was his choice also.
I’m glad to hear you’ve been sober for the last 18 or so years! Good for you.
My dad only “quit” after his stroke and was “forced” to... poor prick.
You too David - a worthwhile accomplishment.
I was raised a christian, and accept the teaching of jesus. But as I grew away from religion, I realized that every positive message that came from jesus was not divine, but common sense and being a nice person.
I also realized that some messages that came from jesus were obsolete and caused harm for others. For example, slaves obey your masters, even the cruel ones.
Winston...” In a world full of chaos, evil, murder, injustice, and self-promotion, I think it's fair to say that everyone is weary and burdened and in need of this "rest". ”
I remember in grade school, being asked whether TV was a reflection of real society.
My teacher spat off some large number of how many violet murders I’d witness watching TV.
Then he asked a simple question. How many do you think you’ll witness in real life?
You may see the above as you’ve outlined it.
I see communication and cooperation, change, emotion and struggle against injustices (where you see chaos)
You’ll need to define “evil”. For me, evil is simply a lack of empathy which may be positive or negative.
Murder. Yes has been happening within our species and outside species. Our first “moral” agreement on “murder” was to not kill those within our own tribe (it weakens us and doesn’t foster trust) - however murdering the “other tribes” is acceptable (is it?)....
Injustice. Yup - the best we can get is a system of laws and then watch those within that system of laws because corruption creeps in (or not) - keep ourselves accountable to one another
And self promotion. Yah. Anyone who puts
Himself above others as having full knowledge and can fix everything and loves to be worshipped ...yah that sucks - oh, I wasn’t talking god,
I’m thinking Kim Yung (sorry if they have lots in common)
My life is lived and enjoyed very much. I’ll rest when I’m dead and cease to exist. Until then, I value my time.
I have enjoyed reading your comments although some have caused me sadness. Some of you who answered grew up in a Christian home and now don't believe which is a sad reality to me. I did not grow up in a Christian home and lived a life full of drugs, pain pills, and alcohol. I was using these substances to try and suppress the pain, anxiousness of this world and try to find an "escape" from reality. If we are all honest, the world we live in is deeply troubled, unless we refuse to accept reality or we live in a bubble (which in a sense is refusing to accept reality in some ways). My pursuit of happiness and satisfaction in life through drugs and drinking left me in a dark and empty place. Everything I tried to find fulfillment (drugs, alcohol, money, status) left me more empty and unsatisfied with life. Self-help programs couldn't change me the way Jesus did. It was only when I turned to Christ in faith and began to follow him and learn from him, I was transformed completely. My outlook on people, life, spiritual things, all changed when I submitted to the claims of Christ. I hope all of you can find the hope and peace I have found as well through Christ once day as well.
When addressing the belief in God or if there is a God, some of my biggest questions I have for atheist beliefs are as follows:
How could such abstract and intangible qualities, such as morals and ethics, arise from the material ’stuff’ of the universe? How can meaning arise in a random, material universe? How does purpose itself emerge in a purposeless universe? God has put eternity in every persons heart (Ecc. 3:11). He has given them a longing for something more than what this world has to offer. How can you have value for life as an atheist? Where does "value" come from and who determines what is valuable? How do you define what is good and what is bad and by who's standards? Where does love come from in an atheistic worldview? If an atheist says he loves his wife, isn't that an inconsistency with the atheistic worldview that does not believe there is no moral law? If we have any kind of moral values, which I assume most if not all on this thread do, there must be a moral law giver. There must be a standard from which we differentiate good and bad. That moral law giver, from a Christian perspective, is what we call God. I'd be curious what you believe about some of these questions.
When it comes to Jesus being real, whether you agree with 1st century historians or not (there are a lot of scholars and historians that take the quotes I mentioned earlier as authentic as well btw), Bart Ehrman even believed Jesus existed. He said, “The reality is that every single author who mentions Jesus — pagan, Christian, or Jewish — was fully convinced that He at least lived. Even the enemies of the Jesus movement thought so; among their many slurs against the religion, His nonexistence is never one of them…. Jesus certainty existed.“ (see Did Jesus Exist: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, Bart Ehrman).
I know many atheists believe the Bible is irrelevant but it is also a historical book. It was written over the span of 1400 years and has over 40 different authors from 3 different continents and it all portrays a unified and cohesive storyline. The timelines, people, places, and even language in the NT are consistent to 1st century times. We are still finding archeological records today that verify biblical claims. I'll leave you with this... Each one of you view the world, it's origin, our meaning and purpose for humanity, all through a specific lense and worldview. I know I most likely won't persuade you to believe otherwise. But if you consider the claims of Christianity with an open mind, I may be surprised what you find. With that said, consider Isaiah 53, a prophesy about Jesus Christ, God's suffering servant, that was written over 700 years before Christ and was fulfilled in him through his death and resurrection:
He grew up before him like a tender shoot,
and like a root out of dry ground.
He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him,
nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3 He was despised and rejected by mankind,
a man of suffering, and familiar with pain.
Like one from whom people hide their faces
he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.
4 Surely he took up our pain
and bore our suffering,
yet we considered him punished by God,
stricken by him, and afflicted.
5 But he was pierced for our transgressions,
he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
and by his wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,
each of us has turned to our own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.
8 By oppression[a] and judgment he was taken away.
Yet who of his generation protested?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of my people he was punished.[b]
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in his mouth.
This doesn't happen by chance. God has revealed these truths to us to awaken our hearts to be united and reconciled back with him through trusting in Jesus. Each one of you on here have a purpose and are extremely valuable to God, made in His image (Gen. 1:27). You are not just a clump of cells until you die and then cease to exist. You matter and have way more value than that. I pray that one day you, or anyone else that reads this in the future, will be able to see that you were fearfully and wonderfully made (Pslams 139) and have a unique God-given purpose and are loved by Him.
That sounds like the groundwork for a fallacy of composition.
I'm pretty sure the word "Jesus" does not appear in the book of Isaiah.
That third long paragraph opened up a huge can of worms. I suggest you start a new thread about christian versus atheist morals and the meaning of life.
"I hope all of you can find the hope and peace I have found as well through Christ once day as well."
When I came to the realization I was an atheist, my life, outlook, and perception of this world improved massively. I dropped religion and I am much happier and better off emotionally than in my theistic days. You are making the unevidenced claim that being a theist improves one's life.
"I know many atheists believe the Bible is irrelevant but it is also a historical book. It was written over the span of 1400 years and has over 40 different authors from 3 different continents and it all portrays a unified and cohesive storyline."
That is also a claim that can easily be dismantled by a quick Google search of "inconsistencies in the bible". Heck, the four gospels by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all tell different stories about the same event.