This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.


← Chris Hallquist debunks the resurrection

Sciros's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Sciros

Follow Peter Egan,

I did read through to the end of your post, but not carefully enough! Anyway I still want to address it because while you may be happy to concede that a guy named Yeshua was walking around claiming to be the son of god, I'm really not. I don't see the Bible as being enough evidence of even that, considering how trivial a detail it really is. To elaborate...

There were a lot of self-styled "prophets" in Judea, and Yeshua was not an uncommon name. So you may well be right in your concession; it'd be like if there were a self-styled prophet named Bob around today, along with a bunch of others. Whether anything at all attributed to Jesus in the NT was also true of a crazy guy who happened to be named Jesus who lived in the early first century CE, is probably attributable to total chance. I don't think "a human" was responsible for starting it all -- there were many who wanted and tried to be responsible, so even the myths that eventually became attributed to Jesus alone were likely initially attributed (not saying they were accurate) to different people, real or imagined.

In other words, to say that there "may have" been a false prophet named Yeshua is fair -- there were enough people to meet either criteria that someone may well have met both. But in my opinion that really isn't good enough, because it doesn't mean at all that the character Jesus in the NT was that Jesus, nor that they had anything in common. It's probably just as likely that Jesus was based on a person named any other given name (appropriate to the region/times of course), and I submit more likely that he was based on an amalgamation of several. The name Yeshua could have been picked out of the blue for all it would have mattered, and considering there are no contemporary accounts the concept of a "historical Jesus" is all but meaningless when all it amounts to is the coincidence of a name.

Fri, 12 Feb 2010 23:39:00 UTC | #440986