Did Jesus exist as a real historical figure?

“Yes, after all…
  • AD 30-175 sources report on Jesus
  • Justifiable facts about Jesus entail Jesus's existence

      In addition to reports explicitly on Jesus's existence, there are several justifiable facts about the historical Jesus which entail that he is a real historical figure.1

      We can discuss two examples here, namely…
      • …that Jesus was crucified
      • …that Jesus body went missing after death
      • …[Many more forthcoming]
      This is relevant because if we know things about an historical Jesus, then there must be an historical Jesus.

      1. [Forthcoming]
        Mark Allen Powell (NT professor at Trinity Lutheran, a founding editor of the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus): “Jesus did more than just exist. He said and did a great many things that most historians are reasonably certain we can know about today.” [Jesus as a Figure in History (Westminster, 1998), 168.]
  • [Early sources show no sign of doubt/debate]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming.”

  • [The AD 30 Jerusalem church believed Jesus existed]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming.”

  • [The AD 30 Jerusalem Jews believed Jesus existed]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming.”

  • “No, after all…
  • [Miracle-workers aren't real historical figures]

      Miracles-workers aren't real historical figures.

      We can discuss 1 evidence for this, namely…
      • …naturalism is true (there are no miracles) [Forthcoming]
      This is relevant because if Jesus existed, Jesus was a miracle worker.

      • …miracles can occur in history if God exists (especially if God has plausible reasons for performing said miracle).

      • …even if Jesus did not perform miracles, Jesus could still be a real historical figure. (The same goes for Alexander the Great, Muhammad, and other historical figures who had miracles attributed to them.)

  • [1st century historians are silent on Jesus]

      [Brackets] mean “forthcoming.”

  • Jesus matches prior mythic deities

      Details about Jesus match the details of prior mythic deities or mythical figures.

      We can discuss 1 example here:
      • …Horus is just like Jesus.
      This is relevant because to the degree that Jesus resembles pre-existing mythical deities, to that degree we have reason to suspect Jesus is a copy of these deities (and therefore himself mythical).