Very few people think that Jesus never existed but some do. No matter what argument you use it seems like Jesus deniers never even concede an inch of ground. Jesus never exited and anyone who thinks otherwise is wrong. They are obviously a deluded and morally suspect person who is just defending their beliefs. But let’s hear what Bart Ehrman has to say.
If you have never heard of Ehrman, he is a famous guy in the New Testament scholarly world (which is akin to saying he is famous in the stamp collecting world). He is a prolific author and is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina. Ehrman once was an Evangelical Christian who ditched his faith because of a number of reasons. One of the main reasons he ditched his faith was because he didn’t think the Jesus of the Bible was the historical Jesus. Here is a guy who we must say is informed, a scholar and as unbiased on the question “Did Jesus exist?” as anyone else. He has written a book called “Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth,’ and he he wrote a piece for the Huffington Post entitled “Did Jesus Exist?” Here is how that article ends:
“Moreover, the claim that Jesus was simply made up falters on every ground. The alleged parallels between Jesus and the “pagan” savior-gods in most instances reside in the modern imagination: We do not have accounts of others who were born to virgin mothers and who died as an atonement for sin and then were raised from the dead (despite what the sensationalists claim ad nauseum in their propagandized versions).
Moreover, aspects of the Jesus story simply would not have been invented by anyone wanting to make up a new Savior. The earliest followers of Jesus declared that he was a crucified messiah. But prior to Christianity, there were no Jews at all, of any kind whatsoever, who thought that there would be a future crucified messiah. The messiah was to be a figure of grandeur and power who overthrew the enemy. Anyone who wanted to make up a messiah would make him like that. Why did the Christians not do so? Because they believed specifically that Jesus was the Messiah. And they knew full well that he was crucified. The Christians did not invent Jesus. They invented the idea that the messiah had to be crucified.
One may well choose to resonate with the concerns of our modern and post-modern cultural despisers of established religion (or not). But surely the best way to promote any such agenda is not to deny what virtually every sane historian on the planet — Christian, Jewish, Muslim, pagan, agnostic, atheist, what have you — has come to conclude based on a range of compelling historical evidence.
Whether we like it or not, Jesus certainly existed.”
Check out the full article here
If you want to check out some good critiques of Ehrman’s other work by other scholars see http://ehrmanproject.com/
Do you find Ehrman’s arguments in the article persuasive? Why or why not?
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