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Just now I made one minor change which I believe is in line with the intent of this article as previously written. (Adding of "no" so it now reads "There is no contemporary evidence of Jesus".) There are two other parts of this that confuse me, however: The section "Burden is on those who say there is a historical Jesus" content does not appear to support the main point nor does the counter-apologetics section. I am willing to try to improve these but am new here and don't want trash somebody else's work if I am missing a point, so will hold off for a bit. Also I am just learning this wiki stuff so not sure if this is the right way/place to raise the question. -DaveL

27 March Y8 comment: I undid my edit described above because after reading another page created by Tatarize (Argument from Evidence), it appeared to me that the omission of the word "no" from "There is contemporary evidence of Jesus" was deliberate. I now think the intent in both topics is to present what I will call a Socratic dialogue, where a counter-apologetic position is stated, then the apologetic response is stated (in this case that there is contemporary evidence for Jesus) and then this is refuted. Since I am new here and I had only intended to fix up what I thought was an inadvertent omission, I decided it would be best to undo it. The fact that Sans Deity has now restored the "no" suggest to me that at a minimum this Socratic dialogue approach is not the standard here or widely understood. It does not appear in the help pages so far as I can tell (although while looking for it I found the guidance on whether edits are minor and I now understand that since I changed the meaning it was not a minor edit, and will bear this in mind going forward). I think some discussion is in order on whether there was a "Socratic dialogue" intent originally and if so should it be standard, etc. I think this discussion is needed because 1) There appears to be more topics in this format, 2) They will only get more confusing if they have a mixed point of view. I was planning to start a thread about it on the wiki discussion board when I saw there is already one started by Tatarize, and then I noticed that Sans Deity had put the "no" back. This would seem to confirm that further discussion is warranted here. So unless somebody else responds here I think I will put something on the board about it when I get some time. -DaveL


Sometimes my clarity leaves much to be desired. It's a counter apologetics wiki. It's hard to counter the apologetics if you don't point out the apologetics in the first place. I haven't seen any clear indication of a generally accepted format. Tatarize 18:12, 15 October 2008 (CDT)

Contemporary evidence?

The gospel accounts were likely modified to better agree with one another, and parts of the are of questionable authorship.

We don't know whether or not the Tacitus account was drawn from contemporary sources.

We don't lack contemporary evidence. We have poor contemporary evidence.

My take is this:

While we cannot establish the truth of the story as a whole, we can establish that (a) the Christian movement happened, (b) many of its leaders were executed, and (c) followers believed that the founder had been executed.

Our poor contemporary evidence is not enough to establish that three Babylonians gave him perfume and money because they saw a UFO, that he had an especially convincing travelling magic show, that he had exactly twelve friends (well, eleven), or that he fed some West Bank settlers with genetically modified catfish.

But the fact of his existence and martyrdom are not extraordinary, and should not require the same level of rigorous proof. I think what we have is evidence enough to indicate the founder of a popular religious and political movement existed and was executed, despite the later embellishments.

--jaban 13:21, 26 March 2011 (CDT)

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