#1. Did Jesus ever really exist?
After several years of sharing the Word and developing apologetic arguments it’s almostastonishing that one of the most difficult questions to answer is the question of whether or notJesus Christ ever truly existed. It is a rather extreme position to take, though one might take it outof ignorance, an intellectually honest person would have to reject all evidence out of hand inorder to take it. A non-believing scholar, even an atheist would find this position difficult todefend.
The more extreme categorization of people who deny that Christ ever existed are knownas “mythers,” and range from (at best) the intellectual amateur to the legitimately scholarly butpersonally offended.
This essay shall address the less extreme, those who argue the point out of genuine ignorance.One does not need to approach the topic of
to show that Jesus existed.Historicity in the case of Jesus actually does not regard whether or not Jesus actually existed butwhether the evidence points to the biblical Jesus of Nazareth or some different historicalconstruct upon which Christianity later evolved. To question whether there was a man namedJesus living in Nazareth in the first century is a non-starter. Around that time five percent of thepopulation carried the name “
” or Jesus. In fact scholars believe only about sixteen namesmade up 75% of the population.
Now does that answer the question? Of course not, what the person really wanted toknow is if the
Jesus Christ of Christianity
has a basis in history or not. Why then toss in red
Gary R. Habermas, "A Summary Critique: Questioning the Existence of Jesus,"
Christian Research Journal
22, no. 3 (2000).
Bart D. Ehrman,
Did Jesus Exist? : The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth
, 1st ed. (New York:HarperOne, 2012), 17-19.
Joel Kramer, "The Jesus Tomb Unmasked," in
(Sourceflix Inc., 2009)