Did Jesus Exist?

To quote a liberal scholar who does not believe in Jesus from a religious perspective as Savior and Lord:

“To be sure, they are doing their theology in order to oppose traditional religion. But the opposition is driven not by historical concerns but by religious ones.

“But why would mythicists be so violently opposed to traditional religion? My sense is that it is because they believe that historic Christianity…has done and continues to do more harm than good in the world…

“I have to admit that I have a good deal of sympathy with these concerns. But I am also a historian who thinks that it is important not to promote revisionist versions of the past for ideological reasons rooted in nonhistorical agendas. The writing of history should be done by following strict historical protocols. It is not simply a means of promoting a set of personal likes and dislikes.

“I should say that even though I happen to share some of the biases of many of the mythicists when it comes to harm that has been done over the years in the name of Christ…I also see that a tremendous amount of good has been done in his name, and continues to be done…

“But neither issue – the good done in the name of Christ or the evil – is of any relevance to me as a historian when I try to reconstruct what actually happened in the past. I refuse to sacrifice the past in order to promote the worthy cause of my own social and political agendas. No one else should either. Jesus did exists, where we like it or not.” – Bart D. Ehrman, “Did Jesus Exists?” pp. 338-339.

 

This seems to be a warning by a liberal scholar to his peers against revisionist history, which is happening in many university settings.  My challenge to you is to read as many good books with an opposing view of your perspective as you read good books that agree with your perspective.  By doing this you will be trained to think through issues and not just take the liberal professor’s or the pastor’s word for it.  But make sure they are good books.  If you simply go to Barnes & Noble to the Jesus or Christian section and try to select a book to read based on the title or cover without knowing the author’s bent and bias, you will likely buy a book with convincing but poor scholarship (avoid ALL books by Rob Bell – he is a convincing communicator and a bad scholar).  If you choose to read Bart Ehrman’s book, I recommend you also read “Breaking the DaVinci Code” by Dr. Darrell Bock or “Jesus and the Gospels” by Dr. Craig Blomberg or “The Rise of Christianity” by Dr. Rodney Stark or “Evangelism in the Early Church” by Dr. Michael Green.  Start with Bock or Stark, the other two mentioned are more scholarly.

GODSPEED

 

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