10 Reasons Why There Really Was a Historical Jesus
by Stephen Bedard
Was there really a historical Jesus? Was there a religious teacher that started a new movement in the first century? I’m not even talking about whether he was the Christ or the Son of God. I’m just talking about his existence as a historical figure. Or was Jesus just a myth? Was he just something created by the early Christians? I would like to share ten reasons why I believe that Jesus really existed.
1. The Gospels are good historical sources. Aside from any doctrines of inspiration or infallibility, the Gospels are very good historical sources. It is not enough to just dismiss them based on religious reasons. Compared to other first century texts, they are very reliable.
2. Paul believed in a historical Jesus. People make a big deal about Paul not mentioning a historical Jesus in his letters. That is simply not true. It is correct that Paul’s emphasis is on the resurrected Christ, but he recounts events and cites sayings of the historical Jesus.
3. We have records of Jesus’ brother. James, the half-brother of Jesus, is mentioned numerous times in the New Testament and other early church writings. It is difficult to imagine how someone could have a myth as a brother.
4. Josephus testifies to the existence of Jesus. It is true that some early Christian did exaggerate Josephus’ testimony about Jesus, but scholars are able to reconstruct with a high degree of confidence what the original statement was. Josephus did say something about Jesus.
5. The early church unanimously accepted Jesus as historical. Even Origen, who was overly fond of allegory, accepted that the Gospels were based on a real historical figure named Jesus…
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