I’ve never claimed to be a scholar on topics from the bible. But I do read a lot. I’m interested in what scholars of all stripes, yes, even some apologists, have to say. One of my interests is whether there was in fact an historical Jesus. As atheists, we only ask believers to provide us with just a single, incontrovertible proof that a god exists. To date, no one has been able to provide this evidence. I’m asking for the same with relation to the actual existence of a real Jesus.
I lean towards the side that Jesus, the man, is a complete myth. I have found in my pursuit, no actual evidence that there was an actual living human being known by that name.I claim no exercise in this area, but also refuse the Appeal to Authority argument. Yes, there are many biblical scholars that believe that there was in fact an actual person, Jesus, that Christianity is built upon. The so-called evidence they provide however is thin, at best.
There’s not a single, contemporary mention of Jesus – anywhere – in any surviving documents from the Romans. None. I reject the thesis that has been proffered by some scholars but mostly apologists that the reason for this is that Palestine was nothing more than a backwater province of the Roman Empire. It wasn’t some backwater; in fact, it was a very important province (that included Syria), as a trade route to the East. Why would the major Mediterranean power at the time house thousands of troops in Palestine?
I also hear about the Apostle Paul. His claimed mission was to bring the message of the Lord to others, non-Jewish, that had not heard it. Paul is the most prolific writer of the New Testament. Of the 27 books included, Paul is the writer of 13. But not really.In fact, New Testament scholas are only able to attribute 6 of 13 letters to Paul. The remainder are pesudographic. Paul does mention in one writing to have met Peter, an actual disciple of Jesus. But Paul never mentions, in any of his existing letters, anything about the mission of Jesus.Even after meeting with someone that actually knew Jesus, Paul never quotes a single saying. Never.
I’m not someone that would never be convinced, I would just like to see anything, credible, that may convince me that there was an actual person with the name Jesus. That this religious belief, Christianity, is based on wan actual person’s ministry.
To date, I’ve found no such evidence. We need to be able at some point to place this question to rest. Was there an actual historical Jesus? At this moment, I have to say a qualified no.