Saturday, 30 March 2013

Christ myth: some inconsistencies

"Truth is not hard to kill but a lie well told is immortal" - - Mark Twain

I know that it might be hard to accept that the stories of the life of Jesus are merely myths, but many people claim exactly that.  One of their starting points is the inconsistencies in the bible's own accounts of the life of Jesus.  Another is the suggestion that the bible was written so long after the time of the supposed events that it can't possibly be accurate - which after all is consistent with what we actually see.

First century Judea was a strategically important region from the Roman point of view and it is particularly well documented by plenty of writers.  The surprising thing is that the writers of the bible got things so wrong.  Here are a few of the inconsistencies that make the Jesus myth so difficult to believe:
  • Caesar did not tax the world in the time of Quirinius.  The first such tax was imposed in 74CE.
  • Quirinius and Herod did not overlap.
  • There is no archaeological evidence that Nazareth existed at the beginning of the first century, but did it did exist by the end (when the gospels were written).  
  • The term Nazarene did not imply coming from Nazereth, so if he actually existed the mythical Jesus might have been a 'Nazarene'.
  • It is very unlikely that the slaughter of the innocents occurred.  Herod made a lot of enemies who then catalogued his misdeeds in every detail but they never mentioned this slaughter.  Anyway this story is only found in one of the gospels, Matthew, and is a clear redaction of the Moses story anyway.
  • The ministry of Jesus is not found described in any documents other than the bible for about a century - which is much too late to count as contemporaneous evidence.
  • The triumphant entry into Jerusalem is described differently in each of the gospels, but nobody else records it, including those who were known to have been there at the time.
  • The accounts of the trials of Jesus are different in all the gospels and they were not recorded elsewhere.
  • The various versions of the crucifixion in the gospels are incompatible in almost every detail.  The synoptic gospels have it starting at 3 p.m. on the afternoon of Passover, but John has it on the day before.  All four say it was Friday.
  • The crucifixion darkness was not recorded by anyone else, and neither were the ripping of the temple veil nor the earthquakes.  The mass resurrection in Jerusalem also appears to have gone unnoticed.
  • The resurrection was originally only mentioned in Luke and Acts.  The account in Mark was probably added later and John doesn't bother with this trivial detail.

Given this amount of inconsistency in the story, how can anyone actually believe it.

On a charge of perjury, doesn't the bible indict itself?

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