The Reason Rally and the Jesus Allergy

by Nick Peters

Jesus allergyWhy is it so many have a problem with simply the existence of Jesus? Let’s talk about it in today’s Deeper Waters blog.

With the Reason Rally coming, many atheists have come to this blog to share their…um…wisdom. What has been remarkable to see is the antagonism to the idea of Jesus. No. Not really the Jesus as the Son of God and the Messiah. No. This is to the acceptance of any existence of Jesus whatsoever.

In reality, a claim like this is akin to going to a geological convention and claiming that the Earth is flat. Most historians writing about Jesus will reduce the idea of the Christ myth to a footnote if even that. Still, this doesn’t stop the rants of atheists thinking they’re making powerful arguments.

We are told that there is no contemporary evidence of Jesus. To begin with, this would not fit with the Pauline epistles that scholars across the board hold to be authentic. For those who don’t know, these are Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. In the world of NT studies, to think that Paul did not write these is ludicrous.

Furthermore, there are several creedal statements in these epistles themselves and these would have been part of an oral tradition that predates the epistles. In these traditions, we also have testimony to the existence of Jesus. Most notable is the creed that is in 1 Cor. 15.

IF we went a little bit further, we have the gospels. Even if we place them 60-70 years after the Jesus events are reported to have happened, this is a much shorter time distance than most historians would have written about in the ancient world. This does not mean one has to accept everything in the gospels as historical, but one can realize they are built around a historical figure.

Go still not much further and we have the beginning of the Early Church with the apologists and other fathers. Notably, none of their opponents were trying to make the claim that Jesus never existed. In fact, a number of them even agreed that Jesus did things that were considered to be miracles.

If we use the line that there is no contemporary evidence, then we have to throw out the huge majority of ancient history…

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The Reason Rally and the Jesus Allergy « Deeper Waters

 

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