Did Jesus Actually Exist? An Agnostic Historian’s Answer

Someone in a Facebook group I’m a part of posted this. Inflammatory initial scrawl aside, this is fantastic perspective on the reality of Jesus’ existence by a notable scholar that has no vested interest in the conclusion other than a historical one.

I know that this is not an objection held by any real majority (most reasonable atheists and agnostics don’t dispute the existence of Jesus, rather, the dispute is on the truth of His claims and the claims made about Him). However, the view is popular enough that it warranted discussion on this radio show, and so it warrants discussion here.

Listen to Bart Ehrmann give a terrific account about what matters to historians when discussing historical data, and how this relates to the existence of Jesus.

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5 responses to this post.

  1. Thanks for this post. It’s telling that Ehrmann, who certainly is no friend of Christianity, staunchly supports the existence of a historical Jesus.

    I find it interesting that “The Infidel Guy” just assumes an argument is wrong because an apologist makes the argument. Specifically he wants to shrug off the argument that “there’s equally no hard evidence for Julius Caesar.”

    “All we have are ancient records…” goes the argument. This is supposed to somehow undermine the existence of Jesus. What these people don’t recognize is that we don’t have that for just about anyone. This kind of radical skepticism is what atheists must grasp to avoid theism.

    It shows what lengths people will go to in order to avoid truth. Rather than come into the light, they prefer stumbling in the dark.

    Near the end is a beautiful moment. Ehrmann: “I don’t know one [scholar] who doubts that Paul wrote Galatians.” Infidel Guy: “Okay.”

    Reply

  2. Posted by freeze43 on July 26, 2011 at 5:50 AM

    Infidel guy is wrong to quote that apologists use the same argument. He also is too skeptical on Jesus in that he makes demands above and beyond what other evidence is required. This of course has no bearing on what Jesus did during his life, and considering that many other people have been claimed to perform miracles. By and by, sabepashubbo, I eagerly await a reply for our debate on the Kalam cosmological argument.

    Reply

    • My apologies in taking the time to get this up. You’re correct in your assertions here; I just posted this because there is still a large group out there that believes Jesus is a mythical figure, and didn’t actually exist. This constitutes one of the best arguments against that, because you get someone with no bias and no vested interest in whether or not Jesus lived. This isn’t Bill Craig or Alistair McGrath; it’s an agnostic historian, and that makes it that much more potent than someone with a bias (see Infidel Guy).

      I didn’t realize you were waiting for a response on the KCA. My apologies. I’ll respond in due time. Thanks for coming by.

      Reply

  3. Why did you stop blogging? Haven’t seen anything from you since July.

    Reply

    • Sorry, been extremely busy and just haven’t had time to blog. Hopefully I’ll be doing it more in the near future, but for now it’s a bit sparse. Thanks for coming and reading and discussing. Hope you had a great holiday season and are off to a good start in 2012!

      Reply

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