Jesus as a historical figure

One question I often get asked when discussing religion with Christians is “you do accept Jesus as a historical figure, right?”

The argument goes along the lines of this:

  1. There is evidence that there was a character called Jesus in historical records
  2. Therefore, you have to accept that some of the Bible is true
  3. If you accept the historial parts as true, why not accept the rest of it as well?

But do I accept Jesus as a historical figure? No, I don’t. Actually, more accurately, I don’t accept that the question really makes sense. I mean, what exactly are you asking me?

For example, I do accept that there was someone called Jesus. But that is misleading. I believe there were lots of people called Jesus. It’s a nonsense question. It’s like saying “do you believe in John?” in this day and age. Well, of course I believe there was someone called John, I know lots of Johns, it’s a very common name.

What you need to ask for the question to make sense is, “do you believe in this specific John?” And when it comes to Jesus, if you’re asking me “do you believe in Jesus, the son of God”, the answer is of course, no, I’m an atheist, so I don’t believe in a god and therefore I didn’t believe he had a son.



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This entry was posted on Thursday, December 22nd, 2011 at 12:43 pm and is filed under Religion & Politics, Thoughts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.