Bart Ehrman Points out that Jesus Existed

I will not hide my pleasure at Bart Ehrman’s having written a book aimed at debunking the Christ Mythers.

This is excellent news because I believe that Bart was, up until this point, someone who was trusted (and used in arguments) by Internet Atheists. Thus, they will not be able to ignore him and they will probably at least read his book.

Why am I concerned about the Christ Myth? Do I have a stake in this? Surely I’m not pleased about Jesus existing…

Look. It obviously helps Christians out more if Jesus existed, than if he didn’t exist. But atheists denying that Jesus existed helps Christians out far more than that.

Denying Jesus’ existence feeds Christian apologists. They get to point to scholarly consensus, they get to believe (and I guess it’s true) that even atheists can suffer from confirmation bias and mass denial of the evidence, they get to believe that the story of Jesus is so powerful that the only way to disbelieve is to deny Jesus altogether… and so on. This kind of behaviour fits snugly into a Christian worldview and laces it with a wonderful truthy-feeling zest.

So I’ll say again to any atheist or agnostic readers who may be passing through here: Please. Cut. It. Out.

Please read the excellent little interview about the book here.

By the way, mythers–ask yourself this. If there were no Christians around today (and I think it is pretty certain that one day Christianity will disappear, because they will not wait forever for Jesus to come back), would you have cause to reject Jesus’ historicity? If you and I were sitting in a space pod discussing the history of Earth, and we came upon the subject of an ancient Greek* teacher who ended up being deified, and who spawned a whole religion after him… would you go to great lengths to disprove his existence? No. You go to these lengths because you are surrounded by Christians.

* I am not calling Jesus a Greek teacher. I am making the analogy as distant as possible so you can imagine, just for one minute, how you might feel about an analogous example.

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2 Responses to “Bart Ehrman Points out that Jesus Existed”

  1. vinnyjh57 Says:

    If the Greek teacher went unnoticed during his life and only came to the world’s attention through supernatural revelations after he was dead, I might question whether historians could confirm that a real person had existed independent of the revelation, but you are correct that the question would probably never come up.

  2. True. That’s a valid distinction. I’m not sure the analogy does justice to the case under discussion.

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