Another great piece by Rosa Rubicondor, about the historical evidence, or rather lack thereof, of Jesus Christ. Good stuff to know when sparring with a “learned” believer. At least I think so…
Most Christian apologists and most preachers will usually be able to quote a list of names of ancient ‘historians’ or other writers who mentioned Jesus and will confidently assure us that these prove beyond reasonable doubt that the biblical Jesus existed and that the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John are accurate biographies (in spite of the conflicting, contradictory and obviously anecdotal and/or invented details). It’s almost as though Jesus was being regularly referred to in contemporary accounts and written about by all manner of historians of his day. No doubt at all that the Bible is real history and can be verified by independent eye-witness accounts.
Or that’s the impression apologists want to give you – and some of them may actually believe it. But, as so often, the historical facts were very different to the claims of Christian apologists.
In his book, “Godless: How An Evangelical Preacher Became One Of America’s Leading Atheists“, Dan Barker tells how, when he became a free-thinker he realised how shallow had been his study of the documentary evidence for Jesus during his four years of religious study at Azusa Pacific College (now University).
Not that it was a bad class, but it seemed so unnecessary. It provided an answer to a question nobody was asking…
The class did not delve deeply into the ancient documents. We recited the roster of early historians and read some of the church fathers, and then promptly forgot them all. I figured that Christian scholars had already done the homework and that our faith rested on a firm historical foundation, and that if I ever needed to look it up I could turn to some book somewhere for the facts. I just never needed to look it up.p. 251. Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.
The usual list of ‘historical documents’ which ‘prove’ the historicity of Jesus, and which is routinely trotted out by Christian apologists, is usually a copy and paste from a Christian apologists on-line source. It will normally include: