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

      This article analyzes two evidences,...
      • …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.

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

      So?
      • …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.”

      In response, however,...
      • Modern historians are surprise at how much Jesus is mentioned, given his lack of official recognition.1

      1. Craig Blomberg: “When we realize that ancient historians focused almost entirely on the exploits of political and military leaders or officially recognized religious and philosophical spokespersons, one should not be surprised that Jesus gets so little attention in ancient historiography. Indeed, one might be surprised that he and the Baptist get as much press as they do. For example, Apollonius of Tyana (in what today is central Turkey) was a late first-century teacher and wonder-worker with several striking parallels in his message and deeds to the life of Jesus. Yet we know about his life almost exclusively from the third-century Greek biographer Philostratus. The passing reference made to him in Dio Cassius' Roman History (68:17) is briefer than Josephus' accounts of Jesus.9 2” [Jesus Under Fire, eds. Wilkins & Moreland (Zondervan, 1996), 40.]
  • Jesus matches prior mythic deities

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

      This article analyzes one evidence,...
      • …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).

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