Why You cannot prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem

 

Two billion Christians believe Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. They believe this because the Gospels say he was resurrected, and because they believe the existence of these Gospels actually proves Jesus was resurrected. However, the  existence of these Gospels does not actually prove Jesus was resurrected, because their existence can readily be explained without assuming Jesus was resurrected,

The following argument compares two very similar scenarios. The first scenario is the current orthodox scenario advocated by most biblical scholars. The second scenario is an almost identical scenario advocated by yours truly. Both scenarios produce exactly the same final outcome, but the two slight variations I introduce in my scenario have enormous implications.

Orthodox Scenario             

C 30 AD        Jesus resurrected in Jerusalem

C 36 AD         Peter tells Paul about the resurrection [their first meeting]

C 40-65 AD   Paul propagates Peter’s claims [1 Corinthians 15: 3-9]

C 70-90 AD   Gospel authors immortalise Peter’s claims in their gospels

Alternative Scenario          

 C 30 AD        Jesus not resurrected in Jerusalem

C 36 AD          Peter lies to Paul about an alleged resurrection in Jerusalem

C 40-65 AD    Paul unknowingly propagates Peter’s lies

C 70-90 AD    Gospel authors unknowingly immortalise Peter’s lies in their gospels

So either Jesus was resurrected & Peter didn’t lie to Paul [orthodox scenario] or Jesus wasn’t resurrected & Peter did lie to Paul [alternative scenario]. Both scenarios produce exactly the same final outcome, namely Gospels portraying a resurrection in Jerusalem. In the orthodox scenario the resurrection accounts are based on Peter’s original claims, and in the alternative scenario they are based on Peter’s lies.  Because both scenarios produce exactly the same final outcome, and because we have no other information to go on, we cannot now differentiate between these two possible scenarios.

Conclusions                          

To validate the orthodox scenario &/or to reject the alternative scenario you must either prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem or prove Peter didn’t lie to Paul.

Since both scenarios result in exactly the same Gospels, depicting exactly the same resurrection in Jerusalem, the existence of these Gospels does not prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem, nor does the existence of these Gospels prove Peter didn’t lie to Paul.

There is no other reliable evidence available to corroborate Peter’s claims. Nor is there any means of substantiating these claims. Therefore the orthodox scenario cannot be validated and the alternative scenario cannot be rejected.

Therefore you cannot prove Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. QED

So now the million dollar question is “Did Peter tell the truth about the Jerusalem resurrection when he & Paul first met?” Unfortunately, we will never know for certain, because the only evidence available is the so called Gospel evidence, & this Gospel evidence is now called into question. Some Christians try to assert that Paul actually validates the resurrection in 1-Corinthians 15: 3-9, but actually, in this citation, Paul is just reiterating what he learned from Peter.

Personally, I’d like my chosen world view to be based on something a little more substantive, than uncorroborated & unsubstantiated claims made 2000 years ago, by an illiterate peasant fisherman from Galilee. In my opinion, given the two possibilities outlined above, it’s far more likely that Peter just lied to Paul about the resurrection in Jerusalem, & Paul then propagated these lies unknowingly. I can’t prove Peter lied of course, anymore than Christians can prove he didn’t lie, but I can think of very plausible reasons why he probably did lie. These reasons are outlined in  The Christianity Myth, a very short book explaining how Christianity really started. Click here to read this book free of charge.

 

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Was Jesus Resurrected in Jerusalem?

Mythicists like Richard Carrier argue that Jesus probably never even existed. I don’t subscribe to this minority view for two reasons. One, there are now much easier ways to explain what did or didn’t happen in Jerusalem 2000 years ago, and two, Occam’s razor suggests the best explanation is invariably the simplest explanation.

Most biblical scholars, including many who are not Christian apologists, now accept that the following facts are almost certainly true:

C 30 AD                  Jesus crucified in Jerusalem

C 33 AD                  Paul converted on the road to Damascus

C 36 AD                  Paul learns of the resurrection in Jerusalem

C 50 AD                  Paul meets Peter in Jerusalem for the second time

C 54 AD                  Paul writes 1-Corinthians

C 70-90 AD            Gospel authors write gospels

The current Christian argument supporting Christian claims that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem is presented very succinctly by Gary Habermas in a U-Tube video called The Resurrection Evidence that Changed Current Scholarship. In this fairly long video, which is just one of many similar videos, Gary Habermas argues that the resurrection accounts found in the gospels, all of which appeared within 40-60 years of the actual resurrection, can truly be trusted, because they are all based on very reliable eye witness evidence that was relayed to the gospel authors by a very reliable intermediary.

It is claimed that the resurrection accounts in the gospels are reliable because they are all based on information provided by Paul in 1-Corinthians 15: 3-9. It is further claimed that this information in 1-Corinthians is itself reliable, because it is based on what Paul was told c 36 AD, when he first met Peter in Jerusalem. In other words, the resurrection accounts in the gospels are all based on eye witness accounts provided by Peter at that first meeting. You could even say the gospel authors just immortalised Peter’s claims in their gospels.

On the surface, this Christian argument appears very powerful, but it does have a very small, but very significant flaw. This flaw is the subject of this short blog.

We know this first meeting in Jerusalem took place c 36 AD, because in Galatians 1: 18, Paul tells us that this meeting occurred about three years after his conversion experience on the road to Damascus. We can also infer with some confidence, that this meeting was when Paul first learned of the resurrection in Jerusalem. However, because there’s no independent evidence to verify the veracity of what Paul was told, we cannot know for certain, that Paul was told the truth about the Jerusalem resurrection. In the above Christian argument, it is just tacitly assumed that Paul was told the truth about the Jerusalem resurrection. Now although this seems to be a perfectly rational thing to do, albeit unconsciously, I can think of at least one very plausible scenario that could have resulted in Paul being told a cock & bull story about a resurrection that never happened, but you’ll have see The Christianity Myth for more details.

This ignored uncertainty about the veracity of what Paul was told at that first meeting c 36 AD raises an interesting dilemma for Christians. If Paul was lied to about the resurrection in Jerusalem, Paul would not know he had been lied to. He would simply propagate the lies unknowingly, and the gospel authors would then immortalise these lies unknowingly. The final outcome would still be exactly the same, but there would now be two possibilities to consider. If Paul was told the truth at this first meeting, the gospels would portray a resurrection that did actually happen, but if Paul was not told the truth, then the gospels would actually portray a resurrection that never happened. How do we differentiate between these two possibilities? Quite simply, we don’t, because we can’t. Those who actually knew the truth about this Jerusalem resurrection are long dead, and there is now no way we can verify the veracity of the resurrection claims made at that first meeting in Jerusalem. You either make a tacit assumption to believe Paul was told the truth, or you simply accept there’s no absolute proof this resurrection ever happened.

So was Jesus resurrected in Jerusalem as Christians claim? Paul obviously thought so, and so did the gospel authors, but was their belief based on fact, or was it based on bogus allegations? We’ll never know because even today, the resurrection allegations made at that first meeting in Jerusalem remain both unverified and unverifiable. Therefore, we can never say with any certainty that Jesus was in fact resurrected in Jerusalem. However, looking on the bright side, we can now use this uncertainty to topple the last remaining bastion of Christian support for this Jerusalem resurrection. We can now deny this resurrection ever happened and still explain the existence of the gospels, a feat thought impossible until now.

So, the Christian belief that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem is indeed a simple matter of faith. A faith based entirely on a simple tacit assumption that Paul was told the truth at that first meeting in Jerusalem. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again now. This simple tacit assumption is Christianity’s unspoken and unacknowledged Achilles heel and all fellow atheists should strive to point this out to Christians whenever the opportunity arises.

Personally, I’d like my world view to be based on something a little more substantial than unverified allegations made 2000 years ago in Jerusalem.

 

Why I Can Never Be a Christian

As I understand it, all you have to do to become a Christian, is believe Jesus is the Son of God, and then accept him as your lord & saviour. You also have to believe Jesus was resurrected by God after his crucifixion in Jerusalem. Those able to buy into all this, automatically qualify for several intangible benefits. For example, in times of trouble & strife, Christians can wrap themselves up in the Christianity comfort blanket and wait for things to improve. Christians can also readily rid themselves of all feelings of guilt & helplessness by saying a few simple prayers for those less fortunate than themselves. Christians can even allay fears of their own eventual demise by contemplating the usual promises of eternal salvation. However, to access all these benefits, Christians have to stick their heads in the sand and ignore a few awkward details.

Christians have to ignore the growing mountain of medical evidence that suggests Paul just hallucinated on the road to Damascus. Paul’s recorded symptoms during his conversion experience are fully compatible with the symptoms of temporal lobe epilepsy and many similar religious conversion experiences are well documented in the medical literature.

Christians have to ignore the fact that there are no independent historical records whatsoever to back up Christian claims that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. Josephus confirms the crucifixion of Jesus in Jerusalem, but the only evidence for the resurrection of Jesus is that found in New Testament itself, and you can be forgiven for thinking “well. It would say that wouldn’t it?”

Christians have to ignore the fact that we still have little idea who actually wrote the Gospels, and ignore the fact that we only have estimates of when they did so. Christian apologists would have us believe the Gospels are historically accurate eye witness accounts, but many other scholars maintain the Gospels were written by unknown authors well after the death of all concerned. The Gospels could therefore be nothing more than second-hand hearsay accounts.

Christians have to ignore the distinct probability that the veracity of Jesus’ resurrection in Jerusalem depends entirely on the veracity of what Peter told Paul when they first met, some three years after Paul’s conversion experience on the road to Damascus. Christians now readily accept that Peter told Paul all about the Jerusalem resurrection when they first met. But Christians then just tacitly assume that Peter told the truth.

And finally, Christians have to ignore all the Gospel inconsistencies & contradictions that make a mockery of any suggestion that the Bible is the inerrant word of God.

Well, that’s it. Rant over. So what’s your excuse?

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Why the Deafening Silence?

How did Christianity really start? Was in the result of a virgin birth in Bethlehem, a supernatural resurrection in Jerusalem and a divine revelation on the road to Damascus? Or is Christianity just the logical end product that was produced when a simple hallucination on the road to Damascus was reinforced with a simple lie told in Jerusalem?

A few weeks ago, I posted what I thought was a very provocative 3-part series suggesting how I think Christianity actually started. I fully expected it to stir up a bit of a hornet’s nest. Instead, I’m now deafened by the silence. Not a single comment from the Jesus is a myth fraternity and, even more surprising, no reaction whatsoever from Christians. Why this deafening silence? I’m basically claiming that all you really need to explain Christianity and the New Testament is a simple hallucination on the road to Damascus and a simple lie told in Jerusalem. Put these two simple ideas together, and voila, Christianity without any need for a resurrection in Jerusalem.

I fully accept that I can’t prove Paul hallucinated on the road to Damascus. Likewise, I accept that I can’t prove Peter lied to Paul about the Jerusalem resurrection. But then again, Christians have to accept that they can’t prove Paul didn’t hallucinate on the road to Damascus and they also have to accept that they can’t prove Peter didn’t lie to Paul.

We, therefore, now have two explanations of how Christianity started. One is the 2000 year old orthodox explanation, with all the super naturalistic explanations you would expect from an ancient pantheistic culture. The other is a simpler, more pragmatic, 21st century reinterpretation of the same basic facts. If my version of first century events seems far too simple, just remember Occam’s razor which states:“When you have two competing theories that make exactly the same predictions, the simpler one is the better.”

You can find out why Paul hallucinated on the road to Damascus by clicking here, but you’ll have to read The Christianity Myth if you want to know why Peter lied to Paul about the Jerusalem resurrection, and why Peter’s lies were later immortalized in the Gospels .

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But Where’s The Proof?

Four people called Matthew, Mark, Luke & John turn up at a police station claiming some guy called Jesus had been murdered. They were all interviewed in separate rooms. Each was asked if they actually witnessed the murder. Each said “Well no, not exactly. A guy called Paul told me about it, but don’t worry Paul is a trustworthy guy. He wouldn’t lie about a thing like that”.

So Paul was taken in for questioning. He was also interviewed in a separate room, and when asked if he actually witnessed the murder he said “Well no, not exactly. A guy called Peter told me all about it. But don’t worry, I trust Peter implicitly. He wouldn’t lie about something as serious as this”.

So Peter was taken in for questioning. He was also interviewed in a separate room, and when asked if he actually witnessed the murder he said “Yes, of course I witnessed the murder. I was there and saw it all happen. So did a lot of others. Ask my mate Paul. I told him all about it when we last met.”

“OK” said the interviewer, “you claim a guy called Jesus was murdered, and you say you saw it all happen. Fine, but I can’t just take your word for it. I need evidence that this Jesus guy was murdered. So if there’s been a murder, where’s your proof?”

“Well that’s the awkward bit” said Peter. “We all saw Jesus murdered, but unfortunately, just after the murder, his body disappeared without trace. I’m guessing Paul has already told you the names of the others who  witnessed this murder. Anyway, don’t worry, the guy who lives in the Vatican will vouch for my integrity, as will 2 billion other Christians  out there”.

If the penny hasn’t already dropped, try reading this piece again, substituting the word resurrection for the word murder.

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Part 3: Christianity’s Achilles Heel

The Christian claim that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem is one of the central tenets of Christianity. If you ask a Christian why they believe Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem they will usually tell you because it says so in the Bible. Ask them why it says so in the Bible, and they will usually tell you because he was resurrected in Jerusalem. Most Christians fail to see the fallacy of this simple circular argument. They also fail to appreciate that the only evidence supporting this Christian claim is that found in the New Testament itself. This New Testament evidence consists of four independent Gospels, all of which claim Jesus was resurrected after his crucifixion in Jerusalem.

But who wrote these Gospels, and when, and why is this momentous event portrayed in these Gospels as a near invisible event noticed only by a handful of Jews? In short, was Jesus really resurrected in Jerusalem? Can these Gospel accounts be believed? Christian scholars claim these Gospels can be believed, because they are historically accurate eye witness accounts. But are they really eye witness accounts that can be trusted? There is still great uncertainty around this issue, because scholars still contest both the authorship of the Gospels and the actual dating of these Gospels. Mark, the earliest of the four Gospels is generally thought to be dated c 65-75 AD, Matthew & Luke c 75-85 AD and John is thought to be dated c 90-95 AD. Many scholars therefore suggest the Gospels are second-hand hearsay accounts written by unknown authors well after the death of all concerned.

Obviously, nobody can be absolutely certain about any of this, including the dating of these Gospels, and Christian apologists often exploit this uncertainty. A classic example can be found on page 165 of Jim Wallace’s book Cold Case Christianity. Here, Wallace tries to prove that Luke’s Gospel is a very early eye witness account. He does so by first comparing two almost identical accounts of the Eucharist [Lord’s Supper], one in Luke’s Gospel, the other in 1-Corinthians, and then he claims that Paul must have copied an earlier Luke, thus implying that Luke was written quite soon after the crucifixion. Wallace totally ignores mainstream opinion that Paul had died well before Luke was written, and thus Luke must have copied Paul. Apologists get away with this sort of thing all the time because their readers don’t recognize when they are being duped.

The consensus view of the Gospel’s dates suggests the Gospel accounts of the resurrection in Jerusalem are second-hand hearsay accounts rather than first-hand eye witness accounts. We thus need to ascertain the origin of these resurrection accounts. This is not as difficult as it may seem. The Gospel authors obviously learned about the Jerusalem resurrection from Paul [1-Corinthians 15: 3-9] and Paul in turn obviously learned about the Jerusalem resurrection from Peter, when they first met in Jerusalem some three years after Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. Thus Peter simply told Paul all about the resurrection when they first met in Jerusalem. Paul then simply passed on this good news to his early Christian communities, and hence to the Gospel authors. The Gospel authors then immortalized in their Gospels what Peter had told Paul about the resurrection .

This chain of events implies the resurrection accounts found in the Gospel are second-hand hearsay accounts, rather than first-hand eye witness accounts. “So what?” I hear Christians say. “Peter actually witnessed the resurrection, and both his and Paul’s credentials are impeccable. So effectively, the Gospel accounts of the Jerusalem resurrection are as close to being eye witness accounts as makes no difference”.

This is essentially the argument used by Habermas, a noted Christian scholar & apologist. In the video below, Habermas claims that we can believe the resurrection claims in the gospels because they are based on claims made by a very reliable eye witness [Peter] that are then relayed to the gospel authors via a very reliable intermediary [Paul].

Given the actual dating of the gospels, the chain of events suggested by Habermas is probably true, but what Habermas never addresses is the veracity of Peter’s original claims.  Because he believes the resurrection happened, Habermas tacitly assumes Peter told the truth. He has no choice because there is no other independent evidence available to verify the veracity of Peter’s claims. Peter’s claims are in fact both unsubstantiated claims & unverifiable claims.

So what if the resurrection  never happened? What if Peter simply lied to Paul about this Jerusalem resurrection? All Christian claims that the Gospels really are eye witness accounts, are thus based entirely on two tacit assumptions, the tacit assumption that the resurrection actually happened, and the tacit assumption that Peter told Paul the truth.  These tacit assumptions are Christianity’s unacknowledged Achilles heel. If there was no Jerusalem resurrection, and Peter simply lied to Paul when they first met, then Paul would never know Peter lied. Paul would, unknowingly, simply propagate Peter’s lies, and the Gospel authors would then,unknowingly, simply immortalize Peter’s lies in the ensuing Gospels.

So, simply by making two reasonable assumptions, one that the Gospels were written after the death of all concerned , and the other that Peter lied to Paul about the Jerusalem resurrection, it is possible to deny the resurrection and still explain the Gospel claims that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. All the other basic facts remain unchanged. Paul is still converted on the road to Damascus. Paul still visits Peter three years after this experience. Paul still leaves Jerusalem believing that Jesus is the son of God, and with his belief now turbo-charged by Peter’s news that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. Paul still passes on the good news to his early Christian communities. The unknown Gospel authors still propagate the good news in the ensuing Gospels and we still end up with Christianity and a New Testament. However,in this scenario, there is no need for any resurrection in Jerusalem.

Of course this is all pure speculation on my part, because we can never know for certain if Peter lied to Paul about the Jerusalem resurrection. However, this scenario  does better explain the known facts, and it does so without affecting the final outcome. My scenario not only explains the total lack of independent corroboration of this resurrection. It also explains the need to forge an entry in Josephus’ Antiquities of the Jews. It also explains what Christians always fail to explain, namely why the alleged resurrection is portrayed in the Gospels as a near invisible event noticed only by a handful of Jews, despite the fact the resurrection allegedly occurred in a Jerusalem teeming with Jews. This is because the Gospel authors could only propagate in the Gospels what Paul told them when he established his early Christian communities. Paul summarizes this in 1-Corinthians 15: 3-9.

517IsBb0cZL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Thus, the proper answer to the second question posed at the beginning of this post is

“Because Peter said Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem”

Christians tacitly assume Peter told the truth about the Jerusalem resurrection, but in The Christianity Myth, I assume Peter lied . If you want to know why Peter lied, you’ll have to read the book.

 

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Part 2: Is Christianity Just a Simple Misunderstanding?

A central tenet of Christianity is the Christian claim that Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem 2000 years ago. The only evidence supporting this claim is the evidence found in the New Testament itself. Many people have questioned the veracity of this evidence, and from time to time, various theories have been forwarded by disbelievers attempting to offer more rational explanations. At the very least, any credible alternative explanation had to account for the existence of four independent Gospels, each of which proclaimed Jesus was resurrected in Jerusalem. It also had to account for the Gospel claims that various people then saw this resurrected Jesus.

In 1950, Professor Sir Norman Andersen published “The Evidence for the Resurrection”. Even today this book is still one of the most definitive books ever published in defense of the Jerusalem resurrection. Andersen systematically examines each of the alternative theories offer by disbelievers and, after pointing out their various weaknesses, he systematically rejects them, leaving the orthodox Christian version of events as the one and only legitimate explanation. Andersen also states in this book that “Easter is not primarily a comfort, but a challenge. Its message is either the supreme fact in history or else a gigantic hoax”. But Anderson’s book fails to consider a third far more plausible alternative, namely that everything stems from an honest to goodness mistake, made 2000 years ago by a man on the road to Damascus.

Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus is portrayed in the New Testament as a divine revelation which leaves Paul believing he had met with the resurrected Jesus. Paul’s interpretation of his experience is not surprising, because 2000 years ago, Paul lived in a pantheistic pagan world, and miracles and super-naturalism were part and parcel of his everyday life. It was therefore perfectly natural for Paul to rationalize his experience on the road to Damascus as best he could, in terms that were then culturally acceptable.

But Paul’s world was oblivious of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy or TLE for short. In more recent years, many have pointed out that Paul’s symptoms, as described in the New Testament, are very similar to the symptoms of TLE, and some have even suggested that Paul may have just hallucinated on the road to Damascus following an attack of TLE. This fairly common form of epilepsy is caused by localised seizures in the temporal lobe region of the brain, and today’s scientific literature contains many reports of experiences similar to Paul experience on the road to Damascus. Even today, those experiencing these temporal lobe aberrations are always totally convinced that their hallucinations are real.

This hallucination idea therefore offers us a very plausible, alternative explanation of what happened to Paul on the road to Damascus, but expecting Christians to educate themselves about TLE is a bit like expecting turkeys to vote for Christmas. The scientific evidence, however, is pretty conclusive, and in my opinion, it suggests that Christianity is just a simple by-product that was produced because Paul misinterpreted a simple hallucination as a divine revelation. If a simple TLE induced hallucination hadn’t converted Paul on the road to Damascus, then he would never have visited Peter in Jerusalem and Christianity would never have seen the light of day.

After dismissing all existing alternative theories as non-viable, Andersen outlined the requirements needed for any alternative theory to be both plausible and viable. He conceded that “when trying to refute this resurrection, the only rationalistic interpretations of any weight, are those that admit the sincerity of the records, but try to explain them without recourse to the miraculous”. This is precisely what The Christianity Myth now does. It refutes the resurrection and it offers a more rational interpretation of events that admits the sincerity of the records and explains the records in a very sympathetic manner without recourse to the miraculous. And, for the first time ever, The Christianity Myth explains why we have four Gospels proclaiming a Jerusalem resurrection that never actually happened.

517IsBb0cZL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_If you want to know more you’ll have to read my book.

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Part 1: Will the Real Jesus Please Stand Up!

Who was this Jesus of Nazareth? Was he really the son of God as Christians claim? Or was he nothing more than a myth, as many others claim? Or was he just an ordinary mortal Jew from Galilee, as I and many others claim.

Only Christians actually believe Jesus was the son of God, and they point to their New Testament evidence to justify their belief that he was resurrected in Jerusalem after his crucifixion. However, Christians conveniently ignore the fact that, outside of their New Testament, there is very little evidence to suggest that Jesus ever existed, and no evidence whatsoever to corroborate their claims that he was resurrected after his crucifixion. Christians therefore have to rely entirely on the evidence in their Gospels to sustain their claim that Jesus was the son of God. I will address the reliability of these Gospels in Christianity’s Achilles Heel, the 3rd and final part of this series.

Many non Christians claim that Jesus never actually existed. Those belonging to the  Jesus Myth Fraternity argue that, had Jesus ever existed, he would certainly have been noticed by contemporaneous historians. But on many separate occasions, numerous scholars have trawled through all the existing contemporaneous historical documents, and failed to find any reference, whatsoever, to a character called Jesus. They therefore conclude that Jesus never existed, that he is, in fact, nothing more than an ancient myth. However, their argument is a flawed argument based on a flawed premise, namely the tacit assumption, that had Jesus ever existed, then he had to be the son of God, the character portrayed in the Gospels, the character that was crucified in Jerusalem and then resurrected from the dead. This was the Jesus they searched for in contemporaneous records, and this was the Jesus they failed to find.

However, the Jesus Myth Fraternity ignores totally, the possibility that Jesus was not this Gospel Jesus character portrayed in the New Testament. They ignore totally the possibility that Jesus may have been just an ordinary Galilean Jew, a mere mortal preacher whose popularity eventually threatened the fragile status quo. Would you expect to find traces of this mere mortal Jesus in “contemporaneous dispatches”? I think not, anymore than you would expect to find traces of any of the other tens of thousands of ordinary Jews who were around at this time. However, applying the flawed logic used by the Jesus Myth Fraternity, you would have to conclude that these thousands of people never existed. But even today, you could trawl through all the newspaper reports, and all the news broadcasts, issued over the last 30 years, and find no traces whatsoever of billions of people living on this planet. That doesn’t imply these people don’t exist. It just means these people never did anything and never said anything worth recording for posterity.

So, who was Jesus really? Was he the son of God as Christians claim? Was he just a 2000 year old myth as many others claim? Or was he just an ordinary, relatively insignificant, Galilean Jew? Both the argument that Jesus is the son of God, and the argument that Jesus is just a myth, leave much to be desired. Therefore, on balance, I believe the evidence strongly favors the notion that Jesus was just a very popular Jewish preacher from Galilee, who was later immortalized in Gospel stories written well after his death.

517IsBb0cZL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_

If you want to know why a mere mortal Jesus was immortalised in these Gospel stories, you’ll have to read my book.

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Christianity Myth Book Trailer

517IsBb0cZL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_The Christianity Myth examines first-century Christianity and concludes that there are two ways of explaining how Christianity started. The traditional way, with divine intervention, and Thackerey’s way, without divine intervention. Thackerey’s way is both novel and intriguing, and his provocative ideas are destined to ruffle a few feathers. Both Christians and non-Christians alike will find it a very interesting read.

 

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The Christianity Myth Polarizes Opinion

517IsBb0cZL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Amazon reviews of The Christianity Myth are very polarized. Click here to see reviews

Some like the book and others hate it. No prizes for guessing which particular mindset hates the book. Personally, I don’t blame Christians for hating the book. If I was a Christian I’d probably hate it too, because it takes Christians way outside of their comfort zone, and offers them a stark reality devoid of their Christianity comfort blanket.

I still remember the first time it finally dawned on me that I’d never again be able to wrap myself in this Christianity comfort blanket. Initially, it was a very unsettling thought, but intellectual satisfaction eventually prevailed, and today I can look my own mortality directly in the eye and not blink. Today I am perfectly comfortable knowing that I will eventually die to make room for future generations. Death is just the price we pay for that brief glimpse of reality preceding an eternity of oblivion. Such is the nature of the beast.

I therefore fully understand why Christians feel a pressing need to denigrate this book. Will you be one of them? Will my book challenge your beliefs and be a bridge too far? Or will it open your eyes to a stark new reality?

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