[ExI] The existence of Jesus

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com
Wed Feb 8 03:50:44 UTC 2012


2012/2/6 Dan <dan_ust at yahoo.com>:
> On Monday, February 6, 2012 1:17 PM Giovanni Santostasi
> <gsantostasi at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I'm convinced Jesus is a myth. One of the best scholars to have
>> discussed this in depth is Robert Price, Deconstructing Jesus. See
>> also the documentary the God that was not there.
>
> There's a vast literature aside from Price (and someone else mentioned Bart
> Ehrman, who I also recommend along with Dennis R. MacDonald) that calls into
> question the existence of a single individual who all these tales relate
> back too -- even if one removes the miraculous context. One could spend
> decades studying the arguments pro and con, but there's no knockdown
> argument for his existence as an actual historical figure. Of course, most
> people back then lived and died without leaving a trace in the historical,
> literary, religious, or archaeological record. But the strange thing about
> Jesus is many of the stories attributed to him seem to have been around
> before he was supposedly alive.

You make a lot of good points here. I, for one, wouldn't expect
knockdown evidence. It is difficult to say anything for sure about an
obscure occurrence in an obscure corner of the world 2000 years ago.

Certainly Jesus was not the first person to teach many of the things
he taught. If that's what you are referring to... though I don't see
that as proof of anything except that perhaps Jesus was a bit of a
plagiarist. The anti-plagiarist sentiment is a rather new thing on the
ethical scene, so it's hard to fault him for that. Most religious
teachers are plagiarists, and unapologetically so. If you are teaching
the "truth", and you repeat the truth as you heard it from someone
else, that's not a bad thing, in the eyes of those who believe that
truth.

If you are referring to stories about Jesus, as opposed to stories
Jesus told, I'd be interested in hearing more about that.

I'm not dogmatic on this topic. I just see no convincing reason to
doubt that he existed. What would be the reason for making it up? Why
would the story be made up so rapidly? (as opposed to Arthur who's
story evolved over a period of many centuries) And solidify so
quickly? Most individuals who's existence is now doubted had their
story evolve over a longer period of time than Jesus.

-Kelly


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