Guest post: Did Jesus Exist? from Galen Watson

Galen Watson became a friend of mine after he provided a review copy of his novel, The Psalter. It’s a five-star thriller, reviewed here so don’t miss it!

Galen recently posted a bit of his research about where scholarship stands on the issue of whether Jesus existed as a flesh-and-blood person. I often find people attracted to the shock value of mythicists claiming that Jesus is a complete fabrication, so I thought I would share Galen’s post, just to let you all know where scholarship on the topic really stands.

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“Virtually all modern scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed.” –Wikipedia on The Historicity of Jesus. That’s simply a fact, undisputed by reputable scholars. Argue what you may with opinions, anecdotes or undistinguished sources, but it is a fact that virtually all reputable scholars and historians (atheist and Christian) agree that the person of Jesus existed.

“Today nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed”. –Professor Graham Stanton, King’s College London and Cambridge University

“He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees”. –Bart Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

“There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church’s imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that anymore.” Richard A. Burridge, Dean of King’s College London and Professor of Biblical Interpretation.

Theories of non-existence of Jesus are “a thoroughly dead thesis” –James GD Dunn, Lightfoot Professor of Divinity in the Department of Theology at the University of Durham.

“In recent years, ‘no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus’ or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.” in Jesus: An Historian’s Review of the Gospels by Michael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200

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