Building a case for the historical Jesus

By Stephen J. Bedard

When I wrote my first book (co-authored with Stanley Porter) just over ten years ago, my friends were very excited. The first question was always on what the book was about. When I explained that the book presented the evidence for the historical existence of Jesus, their expressions became confused. Writing a book showing that Jesus actually lived was as relevant as writing a book that the Earth was round. Everyone already knows that.

Except that they don’t. In The Case of the Missing Jesus, we saw that there are growing number of people who claim that Jesus never existed.

Are beliefs Jesus just a matter of faith or is there actually historical evidence that Jesus lived? Here are three reasons why historians (not just Christians) are confident that Jesus existed.

Testimonies of the Gospels

The best evidence that we have for Jesus are the Gospels. What are the Gospels? Scholars have compared them to other contemporary writings and have concluded that they are ancient biographies. This is the genre that authors used to record the words and deeds of historical figures.

Skeptics attempt to dismiss the historical value of the Gospels with three criticisms…

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Building a case for the historical Jesus – ChristianWeek