by James Bishop
Introduction: The atheist that this blog article is briefly referring to is the fundamentalist head-in-the-sand, fingers-in-their-ears type, which contrary to atheism makes up the majority of religion hating New Atheists. My last point, point 11, addresses Stephen Hawking but I want to make it clear that I do not view him as a fundamentalist atheist like Richard Dawkins, or Sam Harris would be. Although I, alongside many, disagree with Hawking and his conclusions, I don’t take anything away from his brilliant intellect, or his skillset. By head-in-the-sand atheist I mean the ones that prove irrational, close-minded, and hyper critical by demanding ridiculous evidential experiences (such as God writing his name on the moon or in the clouds, and then having him appear to them in their bedrooms to convince them, for instance).
This article also by no means suggests that all atheists are this irrational, I think atheists have good arguments, and I think the studious atheists are intelligent people, I just think the theistic arguments are better, that’s all. Nevertheless, in future blog articles I will address more silly things some atheists say, but these 11 will suffice for now.
1) That Jesus never existed.
The evidence for Jesus’ existence as a 1st century person is very convincing, if you are willing to view this evidence I have detailed it here, and here. I also outline 41 reasons why scholars know for certain that Jesus existed (here). In fact, we can know quote a lot about Jesus, and in this article I establish 23 historically certain things we can know about him. As Paul Maier, former Professor of Ancient History, remarks: “The total evidence is so overpowering, so absolute that only the shallowest of intellects would dare to deny Jesus’ existence.”
Are these atheists being the “shallowest of intellects”? They seem to be. Bart Ehrman, perhaps the leading sceptical scholar of our time compares those who deny Jesus ever existing to six-day creationists:
“These views are so extreme (that Jesus did not exist) and so unconvincing to 99.99 percent of the real experts that anyone holding them is as likely to get a teaching job in an established department of religion as a six-day creationist is likely to land on in a bona fide department of biology.”
The most direct opinion comes from the non-Christian scholar Maurice Casey, a former prominent New Testament historian before his recent death. He hits the nail on the head when he says:
“This view [that Jesus didn’t exist] is demonstrably false. It is fuelled by a regrettable form of atheist prejudice, which holds all the main primary sources, and Christian people, in contempt. …. Most of its proponents are also extraordinarily incompetent.”
Yes, indeed these atheists are “prejudice(ed)”, the “shallowest of intellects”, “unconvincing”, and “extraordinary incompetent.” In fact I will end this point on a quote from an atheist historian…
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