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← Chris Hallquist debunks the resurrection

jonjermey's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by jonjermey

I've posted the following comment (minor revisions here):

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"It's unlikely that the story of Jesus was made up whole - for a start, the very earliest Christian writings (those of St Paul) date from a time still too close to the events.."

Perhaps; but I wonder if you are projecting some of our current experience of a highly literate age in which detailed records are kept back into a culture where (outside a very few religious and government officials) almost nobody could read, write or even count very high, and the idea of keeping written records of events was totally alien to most people.

Put it this way: if Jesus had worked in Ancient Athens there would have been dozens of independent accounts of his story and many would have survived to put him in a historical context. The idea that Socrates, for instance, might be a myth is absurd.

But we have almost no contemporary records from Biblical Palestine, and I don't see that we have any basis for asserting that Jesus was not wholly fictional. Are there not records of other prophets who are claimed to have worked miracles and resurrected? Are these also non-fictional?

My view is that the Jesus story was only one of many; it just happened to appeal to the right people (e.g. Paul, Constantine) at the right time. If Paul, say, had died on the way to Damascus, the story of Jesus -- if it survived at all -- would now be regarded as an obscure folk legend like the story of Gilgamesh.
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It seems to me that even non-Christians have trouble avoiding double standards in this area. It's not too surprising -- if there were millions of fervent Arthurians ready to fight for the historical reality of King Arthur, say, then I bet objective researchers would think twice before writing that off as a 'story' too, regardless of the (lack of) evidence.

Fri, 12 Feb 2010 03:00:00 UTC | #440749