Difference between revisions of "Is Christianity based on myth?"

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(Did Jesus exist?)
(Did the resurrection take place?)
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=Did the resurrection take place?=
=Did the resurrection take place?=
==Jesus died by crucifixion==
[[John P. Meier]] views the crucifixion of Jesus as historical fact and states that, based on the ''[[criterion of embarrassment]]'', Christians would not have invented the painful death of their leader.<ref name=JMeier126/> Meier states that a number of other criteria — the criterion of ''[[multiple attestation]]'' (i.e., confirmation by more than one source), the ''criterion of coherence'' (i.e., that it fits with other historical elements) and the ''criterion of rejection'' (i.e., that it is not disputed by ancient sources) — help establish the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical event.<ref name=JMeier126/> Eddy and Boyd state that it is now firmly established that there is non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus – referring to the mentions in [[Josephus on Jesus|Josephus]] and [[Tacitus on Christ|Tacitus]].<ref name=EddyB127>{{cite book|author1=Eddy|author2=Boyd|date=2007 |title=The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition|publisher= Baker Academic|isbn=978-0-8010-3114-4| page=127}}</ref>
Most scholars in the third [[quest for the historical Jesus]] consider the crucifixion indisputable,<ref name="autogenerated145"/><ref name=JMeier126>John P. Meier "How do we decide what comes from Jesus" in ''The Historical Jesus in Recent Research'' by James D. G. Dunn and Scot McKnight 2006 {{ISBN|1-57506-100-7}} pp. 126–128, 132–136</ref><ref name=Craig211>''Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey'' by Craig L. Blomberg 2009 {{ISBN|0-8054-4482-3}} pp. 211–214</ref><ref name="autogenerated136">''A Brief Introduction to the New Testament'' by Bart D. Ehrman 2008 {{ISBN|0-19-536934-3}} p. 136</ref> as do [[Bart Ehrman]],<ref name="autogenerated136"/> [[John Dominic Crossan]]<ref name="autogenerated145"/> and [[James Dunn (theologian)|James Dunn]].<ref name="JDunn339" /> Although scholars agree on the historicity of the crucifixion, they differ on the reason and context for it, e.g. both [[E. P. Sanders]] and [[Paula Fredriksen]] support the historicity of the crucifixion, but contend that Jesus did not foretell his own crucifixion, and that [[Son of Man#Predicting His Death and Resurrection|his prediction of the crucifixion]] is a Christian story.<ref name=Ernest125/> [[Geza Vermes]] also views the crucifixion as a historical event but believes this was due to Jesus’ challenging of Roman authority.<ref name=Ernest125>''A Century of Theological and Religious Studies in Britain, 1902–2002'' by [[Ernest Nicholson]] 2004 {{ISBN|0-19-726305-4}} pp. 125–126</ref>
* Appearances of Jesus were documented - Gospels, Paul - some died for this belief - Gert Ludeman
* Sceptics converted - Paul and James
* Empty tomb - Knew where the tomb was - Joseph of Arimethea. Women’s testimony worthless.

Revision as of 20:45, 4 December 2019

Some people who leave the message (or another Christian cult) move on to reject any concept of God. They are opposed to the very concept of Christianity as a result of their prior bad experiences and become atheists or agnostics. This is quite understandable given the deception, lies and spiritual abuse they experienced while in the message.

The purpose of this series of articles is to present a reasoned response to some of the questions relating to Christianity and God that former ex-message followers have presented to us. We certainly understand their pain and how this has led them to doubt the existence of God and the good news that Jesus Christ brought to the world.

Click on the link below to go to the specific topic. You are currently in the article that is in bold.

Questions raised:

Some ex-message followers come to the conclusion (in our view, incorrectly) that, since William Branham has been largely shown to have been a fraud,n the same conclusion can be made about Jesus - the New Testament is not factual but simply a collection of legends regarding Jesus.

Did Jesus exist?

We have had ex-message followers tell us that they do not believe Jesus even existed.

So let's start with the historical question: Did Jesus exist?

People who deny the existence of Jesus are referred to as "mythicists." But it is interesting to note that no reputable scholars believe that the mythicists are correct.

Cornelius Tacitus was a Roman historian who lived approximately between AD 56 and 120. Historian Robert Van Voorst says Tacitus “is generally considered the greatest Roman historian” and his Annals is his “finest work and generally acknowledged by modern historians as our best source of information about this period.” His Annals dates back to the time of Augustus through Nero.

The writings of Tacitus confirm the New Testament accounts that Jesus’ crucifixion happened when Tiberius was emperor and Pilate was his appointed leader in Judea. Tacitus also confirms the spread of Christianity after Christ’s death and points to the continued growth of Christianity in the years shortly after Jesus died as reported in the New Testament book of Acts. [1]

Flavius Josephus was a Jewish politician, soldier, and historian who lived around AD 37–100. He is considered the single most important Jewish historian of the ancient world. Antiquities of the Jews was written by Josephus to explain the Jewish people and their beliefs to Romans in an effort to reduce anti-Jewish bigotry. His writing is so influential that historians agree that all discussions regarding the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Qumran community must take Josephus into account.

Among other things in his writings, Josephus verifies that a man named James was put to death, that he was Jesus’ brother, and that this Jesus was called the Christ. He also attests that Jesus was the founder of the Christian movement and that he had been condemned by the ruling priests and crucified by the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.[2]

According to Bart Ehrman, an agnostic scholar who wrote a book entitled "Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth", there are so many independent attestations of Jesus' existence, that it is actually "astounding for an ancient figure of any kind". Ehrman dismisses the idea that the story of Jesus was an invention based on pagan myths of dying-and-rising gods, maintaining that the early Christians were primarily influenced by Jewish ideas, not Greek or Roman ones. Ehrman repeatedly insists that the idea that there was never such a person as Jesus is not seriously considered by historians or experts in the field at all.[3]

Did the resurrection take place?


  1. Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017).
  2. Josh McDowell and Sean McDowell, Evidence That Demands a Verdict: Life-Changing Truth for a Skeptical World (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2017).
  3. Ehrman, Bart D. (2012). Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth.