If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
WAS JESUS DEBUNKED?
Of course as atheists we know that the New Testament miracles, especially the resurrection of Jesus, have been made up and that the real Jesus was a fraud if he claimed supernatural powers. The miracles are mostly not that marvellous and great so if they have been invented the same may be true of the more mundane stories about Jesus. Once a liar does not mean always a liar so we would have to be agnostic about anything else they say.
Christians deny that Jesus’ life, as it is in the
gospels, and his miracle works were refuted by those who would have known.
ARGUMENT 1. If miracles were made up the New Testament would have been rapidly discredited by those who knew the real story and nobody would be believing them now.
REPLY. All religions use similar arguments, “If X never
happened our religion would not exist now”. They are naïve and simplistic and
And the miracles of Jesus would have been contradicted by
false records and equally false witnesses if need be. These efforts are lost to
us which shows both that the Jews lost a great deal of historical material and
books in the disasters that befell their land after Jesus died and that the
Church may have successfully got rid of the damaging information. We know that
the Church did weed out anything that cast doubt on its version of events.
The Jews accused Jesus of black magic and of deception (Matthew 27:64) and did it among themselves though the gospels portray them as liars. Why would they lie among themselves? And also, they accused Jesus of black magic especially when he cast demons out and he did not give a good reply to their allegation. He just whimpered that Satan can’t cast out Satan. That was weak for Satan could do that to do more harm somewhere else or Satan can pretend to cast out Satan. And who is to say that Satan really has complete control over his demons? There could be stupid demons that possess people that he would only be too happy to cast out.
Jesus’ failure to close them up shows that they had a
point! And black magic is the form of occultism that has the most power simply
because it scares people something stupid so that they cannot see through the
crudest trickery. A totally fake black magician will be the best occultist and
charlatan of all.
Perhaps the Jews were bad debunkers. They should have
been saying that the lad wasn’t possessed at all but sick and that Satan can
heal the sick. Christians today claim that Satan can heal the sick to get their
devotion or for some dark purpose.
In the First Apology of Justin Martyr we read that there
was a Simon from Gitto who was a Samaritan and he did mighty miracles in Rome by
the power of the devils and he ended up with the honour of his idol being
worshiped in Rome and many of the Samaritans believed that he was God.
Christians deny that Simon’s miracles were real despite what Justin says. And
yet they believe Justin when he says Jesus did miracles. This is prejudice at
its worst. If Simon could get away with his fake miracles then so could Jesus.
What makes it more disturbing is that it is a Christian saying that Simon did
these things and Simon worked in the time of Claudius Caesar (41-54 AD) making
his miracles closer to Justin’s time than Jesus’ were so Justin is more
believable when he speaks of the miracles of Simon.
ARGUMENT 2. When you believe in the supernatural and you see the supernatural deeds of a holy man and want to debunk them you have to say they were black magic for it will not do to say they are tricks when they can’t be. So Jesus did miracles. You can still accuse even the greatest wonder-worker today of deception and still get some to believe you so the supernatural nature of Jesus’ wonders must have been irrefutable beyond belief.
REPLY. But then why do the gospels not support their
alleged utter convincing nature? Why did the Jews and Romans not use force to
prevent Jesus making an impression on the people? Was it because they were sure
he was a crank and that anybody could see it? It had to be. If Jesus was
scaringly convincing then why did the Jews not use theology more against him to
make his wonders out to be of diabolical origin? That would not have been
It is possible that when the Jews said that Jesus was
casting demons out by demonic power and doing miracles that they meant the
demons only engage in tricks. To say Jesus was doing magic could have meant that
he was using trickery and demons were using their influence on people to believe
in his crude tricks.
Witnesses to the miracles would have been afraid to come
forward for they would have been smeared and persecuted. The Christians were
free to tell all the lies they wanted.
ARGUMENT 3. There would have been too many who knew the truth for themselves so the truth about Jesus and that he had miracle powers would have been safe.
REPLY. When the Jews and Romans started persecuting
Christians and killing them for their faith (Acts 8) one would expect them to go
straight for anybody who said that Jesus did miracles which would bring converts
to him. The Bible says that all except the apostles were driven out of the land
and many were murdered and cast into prison. If anybody had a magical story
about Jesus they were out of the way enabling Christians in safe places and who
hid their real identities like the gospellers did to exaggerate their stories or
come up with new ones like the multiplication of the loaves and fishes and the
raising of Lazarus.
We conclude that refutation and the truth would not have
stopped the miraculous tales of Christianity from taking off. We find no
evidence against the view that Jesus was genuinely a fraud.
The rabbinic stories about Jesus record that he learned
magic in Egypt and had magic tattoos with spells on his skin and Justin wrote
that the Jews were saying in the second century that Jesus was stolen from the
tomb to generate a resurrection fable. Jesus did his miracles by calling on
demons for help.
As you will see in Jesus the Magician, nothing in the
stories about Jesus from outside the New Testament indicate that his marvels
were stupendous or inexplicable. They could have been tricks while demons did
the work of making people want to believe in them so that they were accepted.
The miracles could have been quite crude and clumsy at times. There is no
unbiased account that Jesus had preternatural powers.
The dreadful Evidence that Demands a Verdict, Volume 1, has no right to dare to say that the Jewish writings after the time of Jesus support his miracles (page 124-125). This drivel has been refuted for centuries and fundamentalist Christians won’t stop resurrecting it.