Why You Should Doubt the Historicity of Jesus


I can only conclude that people enjoy religion. Religion is not something people are made to do, it is something they want to do. They ...

I can only conclude that people enjoy religion. Religion is not something people are made to do, it is something they want to do. They like it. I find this strange even though I was once a religious person. Now, it hardly makes sense to me. But it must be true that people enjoy believing in a god.

This enjoyment can explain the continued believe in something that is obviously wrong. Just as adults find a child's belief in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny to be cute, so too will future generation find our belief in God. Everyone wants a gift or chocolate egg, and we wanted it for nothing; this is our basic belief in God. I don't blame anyone for wanting help to get stuff or to solve a personal problem, but that help comes so sporadically and in such an unreliable manner that it should be obvious that no intelligent being is giving it, should it ever come.
At least, so I think.

This desire does explain why belief in a god remains so popular. Life is hard and the harder it gets, the more we hope for outside help to save us from our problems. Sometimes that help comes and sometimes it does not, almost as if the help is random. We don't want to believe it is random though, because we prefer to believe we are special and deserve supernatural help, and when we do not get it we simply blame ourselves for not being good enough. When we do get it, we give praise. Another reason for belief is because if supernatural help is possible, then anything we want or feel we need is a possibility. No wonder belief in god is such a desire, and people believe despite the lack of positive evidence and the abundance of negative evidence.

One reason Christians cling to their belief in a historical Jesus is that they think a Jesus that is not historical undercuts their religion. This is not necessarily so. Most religions are based on non-historical supreme beings. Hinduism is one. The many ancient mystery religions--Christianity was probably, originally a mystery religion--are another example. In fact, the early Christian church may not have believe in a historical Jesus. There was a well-known early debate in the Christian church over the exact nature of Jesus, some saying he was not a real human, others saying he was fully human. This debate was ended by the Roman supported church persecuting those who did not accept that Jesus was human.

That Christianity underwent a transformation in the first century from believing in a Jesus that was just spiritual, to be believing in a Jesus that was physical is well explained in the book, "On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt," by Richard Carrier. This is a well written, readable, but a scholarly book on if we have any evidence that Jesus was a real person. The answer is no. Not only is there no strong historical evidence that Jesus existed, the materials that are most cited as evidence work against the case for a historical Jesus.

This is a big book, but is a very good read. If you're interested in knowing more about the controversy concerning Jesus and his existence, this is the best book you can read. The book is detailed and readable. You will learn about the historicity of Jesus, and about what the Bible really says (Or what Carter believes it says, which sounds right to me). This may very well be the book that destroys Christianity. It'll take time for that to happen, but the reasoning in this book is devastating to Christianity as currently understood by Christians.

However, I should point out a few important things. First, this book is not directed at the idea of god in general, only about the historical Jesus. This is not an attempt to disprove God or religion. Secondly, Christianity does not depend on having a historical Jesus, which will become clear if you read the book. So even though the concept of a real, flash and blood Jesus is now dying a slow death, Christianity will remake itself with a spiritual Jesus and live on for a long time.

Consider This

The being cannot be termed rational or virtuous, who obeys any authority, but that of reason. -Mary Wollstonecraft, reformer and writer (1759-1797)
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The Evolving Monkey : Why You Should Doubt the Historicity of Jesus
Why You Should Doubt the Historicity of Jesus
The Evolving Monkey
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