I’ve read many articles recently in which historians doubt the existence of the historical Jesus. Here’s one of them.
I tend towards doubting that he did exist, after reading several articles where many unbiased experts point out the lack of evidence that he ever really lived. What it comes down to is that the time when he supposedly lived is extensively documented, but no records of his existence exist. All that we have is the bible, which contains gospels written many years after his alleged life, and a couple of fragments by historians that are generally considered forgeries. But the real question for me is: So what?
It’s perfectly obvious that the faith-based Jesus according to the Christian bible is fictional, and that even if he did exist, events such as the virgin birth, walking on water, turning water to wine, feeding 5 000 people with two loaves of bread and two fish, raising the dead and his own resurrection never happened.
Regarding the gospels, it is well known that the earliest gospel by several decades, is Mark, and that the other gospel writers copied from Mark. (Although the gospel of Mark was also written decades after Jesus’s supposed life and death.) This gospel doesn’t contain anything about a virgin birth, and the original text contains no sightings of Jesus after he was resurrected. Some of the most famous verses of Mark are known to have been added by scribes later. (i.e. Everything after Mark 16:8) In other words, they totally made it up to improve the abrupt ending, but the forgery was popular and accepted by the church. So neither the account of the resurrection nor the virgin birth was even in the original gospel. (Note that the link above is to a Christian author and scholar who accepts that Mark’s gospel contains no sightings of the resurrected Jesus, but believes he was resurrected anyway.)
Even if Jesus the man did live, and became mythicized into the son of god by believers after his death, it wouldn’t matter to me. I mean, Muhammad did exist. And knowing that he existed does not make me want to convert to Islam.
Far from it. The man took a six year old bride named Aisha, and waited until she was nine years old before having sexual intercourse with her. Until then, he practiced the disgusting act called thighing. (I can’t find the original link I had to it on an Islamic site, so the one I supplied will have to suffice.)
I don’t know what other people think, but to me, even though I accept that people married far younger around 1300 years ago, I believe that it was never acceptable for anyone to force themselves onto a prepubescent child. That is paedophilia and rape, and there is never any excuse for such acts.
If anything, knowing about the details of Muhammad’s life makes it more obvious how holy he wasn’t. The same would apply to an historical Jesus. He wouldn’t even need to be a monster as Muhammad was. Just knowing that he was real and human, not divine, would surely be enough for many more people to doubt Christianity. Thus it is advantageous to Christian apologetics that the truth of whether or not he lived remains uncertain, and to carry on believing the fiction written by unnamed authors decades after his alleged life and death.