Last Updated on 2020-07-25 by Joop Beris
Saying that Jesus maybe never existed, doesn’t go over well with most Christians. Many cling to the idea that the stories of the Gospels are true, eyewitness accounts of historical events. In scholarly circles, this view is fortunately much less accepted.
How strong is the case for a historical Jesus really? Is he man or myth? Or perhaps a little of both? This article delves in to how little we actually know about the life and death of Jesus.
Before the European Enlightenment, virtually all New Testament experts assumed that handed-down stories about Jesus were first recorded by eye witnesses and were largely biographical. That is no longer the case. Assuming that the Jesus stories had their beginnings in one single person rather than a composite of several—or even in mythology itself—he probably was a wandering Jewish teacher in Roman-occupied Judea who offended the authorities and was executed. Beyond that, any knowledge about the figure…