I listened to an interview today with Bart Ehrman on the "Infidel Guy Show"; was a little miffed to hear Bart pull out lines such as "no serious scholar doubts that Jesus existed" and "there is more evidence for Jesus Christ than any other figure in history."

 

I think whether or not Jesus existed (in some capacity), it can be shown pretty easily that the majority of the New Testament is refurbished pagan literature... something that is completely swept aside under the protection of New Testament scholars who unanimously agree that "Jesus existed" (whatever that means).

 

I put a post up about it, linking to the interview.

http://www.holyblasphemy.net/bart-ehrman-did-jesus-exist-is-there-e...

 

The main thing is that the evidence scholars do cite is used to gloss over all of the astonishing external evidence that undermines the historical Jesus (such as the early Church controversy over whether or not Jesus came "in the flesh", and the pre-Pauline communities who taught that Jesus was born, lived and died "in the semblance" of a man).

 

In my view, the issue is complex, misunderstood, and widely marginalized by biblical scholars, who usually automatically discount/refuse any "non-historical" Jesus as an impossibility.

 

What do you think? Your favorite evidence for/against Jesus as a historical person?

Tags: Jesus, christ, christian, historical, history, myth, mythology, pagan, paganism

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From everything I've read, I really don't believe there was an historical Jesus.  Just my opinion.

An ancient historian will evaluate evidence and sources to understand what has occurred in history. Modern historians often have plenty of evidence and sources while the ancient historian has very little. Ancient historians work on facts and are distinguishable from theologians who are students of the supernatural.

The historicity of Jesus is not disputed by relevant academics and that only means that the man Jesus existed at around that time. Of course, he didn't have supernatural powers because that is impossible. The lack of contemporary evidence and sources means Jesus is not really knowable and we have the myth of Jesus Christ instead.

Jesus Christ might really have been a good man. He left a big impression on the world.

It's hard to say if a real person our mythological character of Jesus was based on existed. I have the same question about Gilgamesh. If not a forery, the Buddhist manuscript "The Life of Issa Best of the Sons of Men" is fairly convincing. It is about a man from Jerusalem who travels to India to become a Buddhist lama, has some clashes with them over the caste system, returns home in his early thirties, is crucified but survives, and then returns to Kashmir to live out the rest of his life. It is the Jesus story without the divinity and is actually a really human and interesting story. A tomb for Issa is in India and one for Mary on the spice route in Pakistan. There's no saying this story's true, or even if it's the same guy if it is, but it certainly makes more sense than the Biblical account!
Well, Jesus was said to have visited the Americas, too. That guy really got around! smile,hat,stripes
Ha, that's right. Although it would be easier to travel if he was just a spirit than if he were a exhumed corpse.
This is true. He could just fly around like a wind-blown kite! Must be pretty neat to be able to float through walls.
There is some circumstantial evidence that some Jewish man named Yeshua existed in the 1st century and probably got killed by the Romans. Supernatural elements were added later to appeal to pagan converts. I still personally have not decided if this is enough evidence to constitute a historical Jesus or not. I prefer to study the evolution of the Christianity movement as a whole, which is probably far more important to history than if there is a real Jesus or not.
This really is the most we can say about the possibility of a real man behind the myth. There were probably hundreds of guys named Yeshua/Joshua/José/whatever the correct spelling was. There were also loads of itinerant preachers yammering about salvation and the end of the world. I doubt strongly that a single one of them has anything to do with the Jesus myth of the Bible--it's more like me writing a story about a politician named Bob who had magic powers. Just because there are  politicians named Bob doesn't mean any of them can do magic!

From the various studies that I have seen, the evidence for existence of a Jesus who is the Jesus of the bible is controversial and slim.  No contemporary reports, although some in a generation or two after his supposed life.  Even evidence for Nazareth does not seem convincing.  Without Nazareth there would not be a Jesus of Nazareth.  So if he was really a Jesus of Cleveland and people remade him into Jesus of Nazareth, would that matter?  I don't know.

 

I think there's a fair amount of evidence for Julius Ceasar, Marc Anthony, Socrates, Alexander the Great, a variety of Pharoahs, Cleopatra, Atilla the Hun, a variety of Chinese emperors, a variety of Japanese emperors, and probably a lot of other characters before and after the Jesus character's supposed life.  Stating that the evidence for him is the most, seems hyperbolic and disingenuous.  I think he's more in the Sasquatch category.  Or maybe like Robin Hood, and King Arthur, who are also supposedly based on real characters.

 

I don't think it matters much if there was a human character(s) who the Jesus legend was built on - the legend took on a life of its own, other legends were grafted onto his, and morphed into whatever various people and groups wanted it to morph into.

 

You can't ever "prove" a negative.  But the proof "for" Jesus is not convincing, and I think it takes a pair of Jesus glasses to believe it.

I agree - but that's what made me wonder about Ehrman; he doesn't have Jesus glasses, he's not a believer, but he still defends the historical Jesus. My only guess is that, like all academics, they build their career saying one thing and its almost impossible to make them come out and refute their earlier writing (very few have been brave enough to do so). One someone's beliefs are set, it seems like all evidence can be whittled away or assimilated.

I echo your entire post.  So far as I have read, there is no archealogicle evidence for the  settlement of Nazareth, ergo, if the place where he supposedly lived didn't exist........!

 

   Please excuse my spelling.

Hi Richard,

 

So far as I have read, there is no archealogicle evidence for the  settlement of Nazareth, ergo, if the place where he supposedly lived didn't exist........!

 

That's strange, because I don't know of a single archaelogist who's been digging in that area who doesn't think that Nazareth existed. So why is the archaelogical evidence that's convincing them, not convincing you?

 

I sure hope piano teacher Rene Salm doesn't have anything to do with that...

 

Kind regards,

 

Matt

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