addressalign-toparrow-leftarrow-rightbackbellblockcalendarcameraccwchatcheckchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-small-downchevron-small-leftchevron-small-rightchevron-small-upchevron-upcircle-with-checkcircle-with-crosscircle-with-pluscrosseditemptyheartfacebookfolderfullheartglobegmailgoogleimagesinstagramlinklocation-pinmagnifying-glassmailminusmoremuplabelShape 3 + Rectangle 1outlookpersonplusprice-ribbonImported LayersImported LayersImported Layersshieldstartickettrashtriangle-downtriangle-uptwitteruseryahoo

Mark Thomas presents on "Did Jesus Exist?" + Gift Exchange

Merry Mythmas everyone!

Our very own Mark Thomas will present some of the evidence against the idea of an historical Jesus. Most people think that Jesus actually existed, even though he may not have been divine. Mark will explore whether there is reliable evidence for his actual existence.

We will also have a White Elephant gift exchange at the end of the night. If you want to participate, please bring a wrapped gift valued at $20 or less to the meeting tonight. I will explain all the rules before we start the gift exchange.

Join or login to comment.

  • Veronica P.

    One last thought...

    Many theologians and biblical scholars of the Jesus Seminar are of the opinion that the man, Jesus, existed. He was completely human and not a God or Son of God. However, compared to other Messiahs before and after him he was a completely different type of Messiah. From that distinction, early Christian leaders began to transition Jesus from man to deity. I think of him as a revolutionary.

    To learn about the times that the man called Jesus lived and how he conducted his ministry is inspirational. If we are at all concerned about what is happening to our earth and our species and why it is happening, we can receive instruction from our study of him and the period to guide us, inspire us as revolutionaries against the global corporations and their political allies.

    We don't have to believe in God or that Jesus was the Son of God to get something valuable from his life. Studying the period he lived is probably more valuable to understand our own time.

    1 · December 23, 2013

    • Rick

      Personally, I follow the maxim "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence". If somebody wants to claim Jesus was something out of the ordinary, they should provide some pretty good evidence for it.

      December 30, 2013

    • Veronica P.

      Yes, I agree. "Extrordinary claims" do require "Extraordinary Evidence". What I'm saying is: If you, (or I), were a Roman historian of 2,000 years ago, this man Jesus was nothing, like dozens of other rabble-rousers in the period.

      January 6, 2014

  • Tim

    Wow! I can't even see this horse's hooves poking up out of the ground any more.Lol...

    3 · December 30, 2013

  • Tim

    I think the thing to learn from the story of Jesus and his followers is to not idolize people to the point that you loose your perspective. No matter how charismatic or smart a leader is, they and we are all just a bunch of high-brow apes.

    In the words of Brian of Judea: "Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't need to follow me. You don't need to follow anybody! You've got to think for yourselves! You're all individuals!".

    To which the people replied: "How should we think for ourselves Lord? Tell us!"

    3 · December 24, 2013

  • Larry G.

    Okay, okay, the meetups are too good to miss, even if the venue is the Chicken Coop. This meeting with Mark Thomas was excellent. I really enjoyed his presentation, as apparently everyone else did as well. The Q&A was one of the best we've had.

    1 · December 20, 2013

  • Rick

    This is one of the reasons why I always get confused by the question Did Jesus Exist: It depends who you ask. http://www.apenotmonkey.com/2013/12/23/gospel-off/

    1 · December 23, 2013

  • Veronica P.

    Thanks Mark for taking on such a controversial subject. As I mentioned at the meeting there are other sources of opinion that do not agree with your source's conclusions. Having said that, we can agree the Gospels were not written by men that bear their names and were written at different times and for different audiences and purposes.

    Concerning Paul's vision of the Christ; My parents, neither of whom suffer from Epilepsy have had a vision of Jesus, the Christ, as many other "normal" people. Paul's life is a discussion all on its own. There can be no doubt however, that there would be no Chritianity without Paul.

    The source of my own views are from the "Jesus Seminar" in Santa Cruz, a large group of religeous academics and scholars and not all of one opinion or interpretation of Jesus or everything that has been written about him. It could very well be that your sources are also members of the Jesus Seminar holding minority views.

    I, for one, was not convinced by your presentation.

    December 19, 2013

    • Kennita

      E.g., see http://www.bidstrup.c...­­ -- "Experiencing God: The Neurology of the Spiritual Experience".

      December 20, 2013

    • Susan M.

      Excellent links, Kennita. I've read "Why God Won't Go Away," by Newberg and D'Aquili, and was delighted with the explanations.

      December 20, 2013

  • Tim

    This is one of my favorite topics as I'm sure it is for many atheists. Mark did a pretty good job of covering the controversy from a historical (non-biblical) angle as well as the biblical inconstancy side. It is probably one of the most difficult questions to tackle, so much respect to Mark for taking it on. Especially in front of a bunch of know-it-all atheists like us.

    7 · December 19, 2013

    • Invisible Pink U.

      Did you ever ask your grandma if she had taken a photo of what she thought to be Jesus and showed it to you - what you would have seen in the photo?

      1 · December 20, 2013

    • Dana N.

      No, she would have said no. And of course, I know, nothing was there.

      December 20, 2013

  • Tom H.

    Interesting presentation and discussion. I basically reaffirmed my feeling, for myself, that I seriously don't care whether or not Jesus existed. An actual person existing as a source of the myth or not, it doesn't really matter. It is still mostly myth and if he did exist, he doesn't seem to have been any better than any of us. Good most of the time, occasionally gets pissed off at things and people. Visions, epileptic or not, can be experienced by anyone given the right conditions. Your brain lies to you all the time.

    4 · December 19, 2013

  • Dana N.

    Sounds like I missed a great talk. Brian recorded it yeah?

    December 19, 2013

    • Brian B.

      I am so far behind in uploading the videos :( Maybe when I get back from Xmas

      December 19, 2013

  • Kennita

    Lost control of discussion - bell? Needed more time to get slides right. Annoyed that thr players didn't get to open all the presents.

    December 18, 2013

    • Jason G.

      But you got one of the best presents! Well IMO anyway, hope you wear it with pride :)

      December 19, 2013

  • Invisible Pink U.

    Here is the website Mark was talking about http://www.godlessgeeks.com/

    December 19, 2013

  • Susan M.

    Great! I love this group! These meetings recharge my energy and optimism every time.

    1 · December 19, 2013

  • Invisible Pink U.

    Mark's talk helped remind me of why the fiction sections at our local bookstores are so large. Humans love to make up stories. And his talk couldn't help but remind me of the Robert Strong/Adam Gazzaley Magic & Neuroscience presentation at Stanford. The human mind can be easily manipulated into believing things that aren't true. In light of this, I strongly recommend reading Think: Why You Should Question Everything by Guy P. Harrison or checking out http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/about-thinking/201311/confronting-the-world-s-great-unrecognized-crisis

    1 · December 18, 2013

  • Dana N.

    I hate to miss this tonight, but I'm still coughing just enough to be annoying to everyone else. Hoping Brian records this talk!

    December 18, 2013

    • Susan M.

      Hope you feel better soon, Dana. Get some rest!

      December 18, 2013

  • Jason

    sorry must miss this one. feel like i might have caught something at work. sleep is in my immediate future.

    December 18, 2013

    • Jason G.

      See you next time!

      December 18, 2013

    • Susan M.

      Hope you feel better soon!

      December 18, 2013

  • Rick

    Where the we?

    December 18, 2013

  • Brian B.

    Mark gave a great and concise presentation, I hope he will do it again!

    2 · December 18, 2013

  • Brian B.

    For those arriving late we had to move into the small meeting room at the top o the staircase We have the door closed but come on in

    December 18, 2013

  • Brian B.

    Fair warning for tomorrow night everyone - this is going to be another busy night of Xmas parties at the restaurant so sit closer to the front of the presentation area. We may even have another group right on top of ours, so they too will be learning about the Jesus myth :)
    The patronage will lessen when we return in January as the holidays will be over, but please bear with us this time around. We are also looking into more options for rooms to rent. Although it has been nice to have a free room, we just can't fit everyone in a Round Table and the big restaurants are getting too loud for us to conduct the meetings. I know the content is something you all enjoy. Hang in there as we find the best place.

    December 17, 2013

    • Susan M.

      I think it's great that you keep us all informed about things like that. It's always nice to know what's up. You're super, Brian!

      December 17, 2013

  • Erin U.

    Sorry to miss it. I'll be on the road.

    December 12, 2013

  • Invisible Pink U.

    December 8, 2013

  • Tim

    Can we just watch The God Who Wasn't There or any interviews with Robert M. Price or Richard Carrier on the subject? If anyone can put this myth to bed it's one of them.

    December 6, 2013

    • Kennita

      i thought of that, but concluded that Case 4 was equivalent to Case 1 because in a truth table, (0 AND X) = 0 for all values of X, translating to that there is no attribute possessed by an entity that doesn't exist, independent of the plausibility of the attribute. Have we overloaded on pedantry yet?

      1 · December 7, 2013

    • Invisible Pink U.

      Initially you would start out by breaking it down to two categories: 1) A man with supernatural powers existed; 2) No man with supernatural powers existed. We can break down #1 into sub categories: 1.1) A man named Jesus had supernatural powers and existed; 1.2) A man with supernatural powers existed, but was not named Jesus. We can also break down #2 into sub categories: 2.1) The stories about supernatural powers which appear in the Bible are based on a man whose name was Jesus; 2.2) The stories about supernatural powers which appear in the Bible are NOT based on a man whose name was Jesus. We can then break down 2.2 into sub categories: 2.2.1) The stories about supernatural powers which appear in the Bible are based on a real human being NOT named Jesus 2.2.2) The stories about supernatural powers which appear in the Bible are NOT based on a real human being.

      December 8, 2013

  • Tim

    Brian, I'm well aware of the shortcomings of TGWWT. At least I didn't recommend Zeitgeist. Anyway, looking forward to Mark's presentation.

    December 6, 2013

  • Brian G.

    I also would like to hear Mark. Documentaries or videos are things done easily at home.

    December 6, 2013

    • Kennita

      True, but I like having people around to discuss them with. Also, I only have a laptop to watch on. Note that live in 3D is the best interface of all (if we can do something about the background noise!).

      December 6, 2013

  • Tim

    No offence to Mark, as I'm sure he'll do a wonderful job of it as well.

    December 6, 2013

  • Invisible Pink U.

    If Jesus is based on another person named Jesus, did he exist any more than if Jesus is based on another person who carried a name other than Jesus?

    December 3, 2013

  • Noreen

    I wish I could go, but I'll be enjoying a white xmas in ND with my family. It's already snowing there.

    December 2, 2013

  • Kennita

    White elephant exchange sounds like fun; one man's trash is another man's treasure :-) .

    December 2, 2013

30 went

People in this
Meetup are also in:

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy