Should You Believe In Jesus?
Today, Kyle Butt is going to educate us on why we should all believe in Jesus. I know some of you may be thinking that because I’m a mythicist I’m going to say that no one should believe in Jesus because he didn’t exist. I would never say that to someone. The subject of Jesus’ historicity shouldn’t prevent someone from believing in Jesus. I mean y’all already believe a magic man in the sky controls your lives. A Jew dying and rising in the lower heavens really isn’t that big of a deal.
Regardless, I’m very interested in finding out why I should believe in Jesus.
1. Jesus, The Most Well-Known Man
Jesus Christ is by far the most well-known person from ancient history but he claimed to be much more than a mere man he claimed to be god. When we look at the evidence we find that his claim is true.
Most well-known person? Really? He wasn’t that well known. If he was, tell me what he looked like…if you say generic Jew number 5 then you’ve all but proven my point. We know next to nothing about Jesus. The Gospels don’t tell us much past the main tenets of Christianity. They are made up stories about Jesus even if he were a historical figure. The only person that could tell us about Jesus is Paul and he doesn’t really relay any information about Jesus. He only relay’s Jesus’ teachings and that’s about it.
But hey, this isn’t about how historical he is right…it’s about why I should believe in Jesus. It doesn’t matter if he was historical or not. Believing in Jesus entails believing that he died for our sins and that he is the way to get to heaven. That is what it means to believe in Jesus. His historicity doesn’t matter for believing the theological aspects of him.
Hostile witnesses that testify that he lived. You see one primary aspect of the character of jesus that separates him from mythological deities or mythical savior gods is the fact that his life on earth was a historic reality. He lived in time and space. Witnesses that didn’t believe in jesus they testified to the fact that he did live.
First of all, this is false. Nobody, not even Paul testifies to the idea that he lived on earth. The references in Paul are very ambiguous and are more indicative of Jesus being manufactured by God out of Davidic flesh. Jesus is just like the other mythological savior deities. All extra-biblical references to Jesus only attest to what current Christians believed. They are not independent references to Jesus. If you want to learn more, check out my CHRESTUS app. It recently got an update on Android that has new information as well as a new interface.
Like I said though, nobody outside the New Testament attests to a historical Jesus.
Jewish author Josephus mentioned jesus. The Roman historian Tacitus talked about Jesus. The Roman governor Pliny the Younger mentioned Christ and Christ followers, Christians as did several other ancient sources jesus lived.
Gah… I know what you’re thinking. He just talked about people that reference a historical Jesus. He didn’t though. Josephus never wrote about Jesus and there are a plethora of reasons why which I’ve laid out numerous times before. Simple fact is that Josephus didn’t write about Jesus. Pliny the younger only records what second century Christians were saying. We expect them to be talking about Jesus as if he was a historical figure. Tacitus probably didn’t write anything about Jesus. He was writing about Chrestus, another Jewish instigator that Suetonius talks about. But even if Tacitus did authentically write about Jesus he was only relaying what Pliny the Younger would have told him since they were pen pals.
So none of these supposed historical records are actually references to Jesus.
Again though, I want to stress that Jesus doesn’t have to be historical to believe in Jesus. Because Jesus can be purely celestial and be the only way to get to heaven.
2. Jesus Fulfilled Prophecies
Jesus fulfilled hundreds of prophecies. There are prophecies in the old testament that were written hundreds or thousands of years before jesus lived. Now those prophecies talk about how the messiah would live, talk about how the messiah would be born, how the messiah would die, and those prophecies every one of them matches perfectly the life of jesus christ. When we consider that some of them were written well over a thousand years before christ lived. That fact is it’s amazing and it’s valid evidence that shows that jesus was who he claimed to be.
The early Jewish community came to Christ and many of them became christians and one of the primary reasons for that was that the apostles were preaching Jesus was the Christ and they were using those prophecies that matched his life perfectly.
First of all, any reasonable person would conclude that if the New Testament accounts of Jesus perfectly fulfilled all the OT prophecies supposedly about him that would probably mean that they used the OT to create the NT. We have evidence of that happening. Philo of Alexandria and Paul both cite the scriptures when talking about their respective savior angels. Both Philo and Paul describe this angel the same way. The only source the Gospels cite is the scriptures. Reasonable people would conclude that the only source for information about Jesus would be the scriptures. That’s only evidence we actually have.
Second, this is a weird situation I always find myself in. On the one hand, you have people like Cameron Bertuzzi who claim that nobody expected a suffering and dying messiah therefore Jesus really did suffer and die. Then you have this asshole and others like him that claim that Jesus was real precisely because he suffered and died just like the scriptures say he would. This is very confusing for me because it’s like who do I listen to, the Christians or the Christians…You would think that the answer would be simple but it isn’t. That’s why I go with what the early first century Jews were actually saying. They claimed that they searched the scriptures to figure out who the savior was supposed to be, examples would be Paul, Philo, and Josephus. To me, it only makes sense that there would be so many different versions of Jesus floating around the first century if and only if there were no real Jesus to base the information on.
Regardless though, the fact that the Gospel Jesus “fulfills” the OT prophecies is not proof that the Gospel Jesus is real or that you should believe in him. You might as well believe in Harry Potter.
3. Jesus Performed Miracles
Jesus performed miracles and Jesus had power over every single aspect of life. He healed sick people he caused blind people to see he stilled storms and he raised the dead even his enemies were forced to admit that the miracles he performed were real no other figure in human history ever exhibited this type of ability over every aspect of life
Well, for one thing, Jesus didn’t perform any miracles. I’m not saying this because miracles are the least likely explanation. That’s more than enough to dismiss them entirely but that’s not why I’m saying this.
Jesus’ miracles were copied from the Old testament. A lot of them come from the Elijah/Elisha narrative but also other prophets. The stilling of the seas comes from Jonah. Healing sick people comes from the notion that Jesus would heal the sick, notably lepers, blind and deaf people. This was foretold in Isaiah 35:5 and in the miracles that Elijah/Elisha performed. Raising the dead is a famous miracle that both Elijah and Elisha performed and was copy-pasted onto Jesus.
4. Jesus’ Stunning Personality
Jesus’s personality was unique. The gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John paint a picture of jesus that is unique in all the annals of human history. Jesus accepted worship yet he did so without arrogance. He angrily overturned tables yet his love for the offenders was obvious. He taught rules and laws that continue to this day to transform lives. He sacrificed his life yet he prayed for his murderers.
Jesus personality is unique in every way.
The Gospel accounts are fictional. Also, there really is only one Gospel account. That would be Mark’s Gospel. The other Gospels used Mark’s account either directly or indirectly in order to generate their narratives.
Jesus’ personality was crafted in order to make the story work. This was not a real person. Even if you consider Jesus to be a historical figure, the Gospel Jesus never existed.
Also, how can you seriously act like the multiple Jesus’ of the Gospels were all the same? The Synoptics are completely different when compared to the Gospel of John. The personality of John’s Jesus is contradictory to the Synoptic Jesus. In John, Jesus is very public about who his dad/himself was. In the Synoptics, Jesus is much more humble and isn’t so quick to name-drop his dad/himself.
Even within the Synoptics, you have Jesus portrayed with different personalities and abilities. In Mark, Jesus could do no miracles in one town because they didn’t have enough faith in him. In Matthew, Jesus chose to not do any miracles because he was mad. These are very different personalities.
You can’t honestly expect people to believe that these are the same person. They were obviously crafted personalities.
5. Jesus Resurrected
Jesus rose from the dead jesus predicted his own death. He also predicted his own resurrection. His enemies attempted to stop his resurrection. They knew that he had said he would rise and they stationed soldiers to keep something from happening and yet and they couldn’t stop that resurrection. The resurrection was the cornerstone event that sparked the growth of the christian religion that spread throughout the world. The resurrection is a historically valid real time event that was presented by jesus and his followers with many, the text says, infallible proofs Jesus rose.
Well, Jesus foretelling his own death and resurrection is a literary device…not history. Only one account has the soldiers at the tomb. No other account states that they were there. It’s unreasonable, even if you accept the Gospels as historical accounts, to expect people to accept that only one account claims there were soldiers. That fact should weigh heavily against it.
Also, it’s incorrect to say that the resurrection is the only explanation that can account for the belief arising. The only thing we can be sure of is that the belief arose. That belief could have arisen in many different ways. Most likely, according to Paul, because some Jews were reading the scriptures for the messianic prophecies. One major component of these prophecies is that he would resurrect and absolve the Jewish people’s sins. They took those prophecies and built a new theology. This is how all religious ideas evolve.
6. Jesus’ Followers Preached His Resurrection
jesus followers preached his resurrection the early apostles saw jesus after he rose they testified that they heard him touched him and had physical evidence of his resurrection this testimony caused them serious problems hey were tortured and persecuted for their teaching about the resurrection yet they continued to preach they continued to talk about his resurrection and ultimately they died for their testimony that jesus christ rose again jesus lived jesus died and he rose again he promised that he is coming back it’s a fact that he came the first time will you be ready when he comes again you
First of all, Paul never indicates anyone as being a disciple. This is important because disciples and apostles were different. Apostles merely saw a vision of Jesus after he resurrected. Disciples would have actually walked with Jesus. Nobody is recorded as having walked with Jesus. Nobody is recorded as having touched the resurrected Jesus. Jesus only communicated through visions after his resurrection. I think they’ll believe this Jesus was resurrected but that hardly means Jesus was resurrected.
Butt is alluding to the idea that they wouldn’t die for a lie but that’s bullshit for a couple of reasons. First, I think that even the first Christians completely believed in Jesus. I seriously doubt they thought it was a lie nor did the originators consider themselves to be lying. Second, the Christians that’s were dying absolutely didn’t think it was a lie. They also completely believed in the story of a resurrected jew. All of this builds up to a case where people sincerely believed a thing. Like I said before, just because the belief that something happened arose doesn’t mean it actually happened.
Christians have been waiting for the end of the world for nearly 2k years. I wonder how much longer they’ll have to wait. I hope the end never comes but Christians regularly pray for the end of all civilization on earth. Yet I’m the bad guy.
All in all, I’m very unimpressed with Kyle Butt’s video. He doesn’t really give us any good reason why we should be Christian. Other than he thinks that Jesus actually existed which he may have. But when Christians speak about believing in Jesus they’re not just talking about believing whether or not he was historical. Christians want you to believe that Jesus resurrected, absolved your sins, and he is the only way to heaven. Whether or not Jesus is historical does not matter when concerned with whether or not you should believe in Jesus. Even if you believe that Jesus actually existed on Earth that doesn’t mean you should believe in the theological nature surrounding Jesus. I don’t think that Kyle made this video for atheists because if he did he wouldn’t focus on something that is verifiably wrong.