Jesus who?

There is an interesting discussion over at the Stone god’s site addressing the who Jesus was.

There is a comment that we need to address. The author’s words will be indented.

We are inclined to agree with him when he writes

“Prove” is a big word. People who like “proof” should probably avoid ancient history altogether and stick to the hard sciences or to mathematics. Historians don’t “prove” things – they make careful and structured assessments of likelihood, based on analysis of relevant material.

But that as far as our agreement is likely to take us. What Tim write next

It is most likely that a man called Yeshua who came from Nazareth and was executed in Jerusalem by crucifixion is the point of origin of the later stories. This is the most parsimonious reading of the evidence and the one that requires the least number of suppositions.

is in my view not so much a historical position but a faith position. In my village, there is a story of Lwanda Magere whose strength lay in his shadow. To kill him, the enemy tribe gave him a bride who revealed his secret and so one day in the battle field, a spear was aimed at his shadow which killed him and we have stones as proof. That this story is not widespread is not reason enough to dismiss it.

Tim is stretching facts when he writes

The idea that there was no such person when so much of our material points directly to him existing, on the other hand, doesn’t stand up to Occam’s Razor.

The miracles claimed for Jesus are incredible. The material Tim claims must be the bible stories. But these unless he can demonstrate their supernatural nature are inadmissible. The bible is claimed to by others to be in every way the very word of god. Unless this is demonstrated, we can’t take it into evidence. But if for arguments sake we do, then any conflict in matter of fact that we are unable to arbitrate renders the whole record useless.

He continues to say

It requires a convoluted series of suppositions, perhapses, what ifs and maybes, none of which are sustained by any evidence. For example, most versions of the Jesus Myth hypothesis requires that there was an earlier form of proto-Christianity which didn’t believe in a historical Jesus at all but believed in a purely mythic, allegorical or celestial one. It is claimed this earlier form Christianity gave rise to the form that taught about a historical Jesus (even though one didn’t exist) and then vanished from history. Where is the evidence that indicates all this?

It could be the case that such versions exist. I am not aware. But Paul, the foremost character in this narrative doesn’t mention a physical Jesus. And there is no Christianity to speak of before Paul. The gospels if anything are biographies of the supposed Jesus. If Tim has contrary evidence, I am willing to consider it.

He concludes

The historical Jesus idea just fits the evidence better and makes more sense. It’s simply more logical.

Which evidence? The bible? The writings by the church fathers or what evidence?

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