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Who is Jesus?

The Historical Jesus

Postby Vestibule » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:53 pm

Does it matter to you whether Jesus was a historical figure or not?
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Re: The Historical Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:54 pm

It matters very much. It is an essential belief of Christianity. As /u/mwatwe01 said, our entire faith hangs on the historicity of his resurrection. If Christ was not historical, there's no reality behind the nice sounding words of his preaching—it's all made up. We become not humanistic speakers but evil liars, claiming that people can be forgiven from their sins and have eternal life if they just believe. Without a historical Jesus, this is the pinnacle of deceit. Francis Schaeffer says, "Christianity is not romantic; it is realistic because it says that if there is no truth, there is also no hope; and there can be no truth if there is no adequate base. It is prepared to face the consequences of being proved false and say with Paul, 'If Christ didn't rise from the dead, this is all for nothing' (1 Cor. 15.13-14, 32). Christianity leaves no room for a romantic answer. Christianity has a diagnosis and then a solid foundation for an answer." Without a historical Christ, all of the hope, life, strength, and meaning we preach is just wishful thinking with no ties to reality. We are not only deluded, we are evil.
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Re: The Historical Jesus

Postby Hopeful » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:55 pm

Why would you be evil just because you're mistaken?

Why would you be liars just because you're mistaken?

The best "mythicist" position that I know of is the one that is advanced in Richard Carrier's 2014 OHJ, but to my knowledge he never says that there is any deception/lying going on.

He does talk about how early Christians wanted to historicize Jesus in order to fill the pews and delegitimize other Christian sects, but to my knowledge the claim is that these Christians all genuinely believed that Jesus had really existed and died for our sins and everything in the lower heavens...

It's frustrating that nobody reads OHJ. It's a much more serious challenge to historicity than some simplistic conspiracy-theory that you read online. It's the book that you want to engage with if you want to defend historicity; it presents the best mythicist position out there.

See here where Carrier explains that Paul (at least) did believe Jesus was real but that he believed that Jesus existed in the lower heavens: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58dG-wWBPBI&t=1200.
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Re: The Historical Jesus

Postby jimwalton » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:56 pm

> Why would you be evil just because you're mistaken? Why would you be liars just because you're mistaken?

Oh, we wouldn't be evil just because we're mistaken but because, if we knew it was all false, we are deceiving people into giving their lives for a false cause, giving them false hopes, taking their money, and asking them to focus on a non-existent eternity.

> Richard Carrier

I'm sorry, but I have listened to Carrier many times, and I have close to zero respect for his scholarship. What he says is so far away from reality that I just can't watch or listen any more. It's not a serious scholarly challenge to anything. Maybe he presents the best mythicist position out there, but if that is the case, the mythicist position is just a myth itself. I'm sorry; I'm not trying to be rude. I just can't stomach any more of Carrier's false scholarship.

I'll be glad to talk to you, but Carrier's positions are beyond outlandish.
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