I just finished writing some comments on another blog about the issue of the historicity of the person Jesus Christ – was he real? Or was he person made up and written by the gospel writers and letter writers? I have heard these claims a lot and it made me wonder, would this destroy my faith? I resound with an absolute ‘yes’.
The claims of this faith are that Jesus was the Christ, lived amongst us as a human being, suffered the death of the cross, then resurrected and was seen by people. Can any one of prove that with 100% certainty…well…no…we weren’t there (or witnessed any of these events). So yeah, there is reason to believe he could be imaginery – none of us saw this happen (why couldn’t they have media or video recorders in that day?). But what we do have are some things called gospels, letters, and the early church writings – again we cannot even verify who wrote them as we were not there while they were penned. So, strike two against the faith.
But the gospels and letters were written and they are the only sources to explain that period of time, nothing else exists…this is either strike 3 or we just might get on base here. You see some see this as a strike-out – no outside proof from historians so this has to be false. Problem there is not many historians are concerned about recording these issues – unless they get bloody well violent (this movement did not). But the fact there is something recorded means that someone had a reason to write it – and since this is the only account of the life of Jesus or the disciples (for that matter) – then by nature they are all we can go by. Either they hold some legitimacy or they are an internal community making stuff up – to build a religion of their own apparently.
If they made it up, what was the motive for such writings? One would have to say, a new religion – a fulfillment of the messianic prophecies – since that’s what comes out their writings. But why a new religion and why depart from traditions your family has held so dear, for so long? For a made up ‘Jesus’ person, a figment of the imagination, a supposed messiah, etc. I think most people don’t realize how tough it would of been for these disciples to leave their long established faith (Israel) – it was their hope, their promise, their connection to God – it was basically their whole life (Torah and law).
But 12 people want a new religion and they come up with an elaborate story (betray one of their own – Judas) where Jesus lives, teaches, does miracles, dies, and resurrects to the benefit of the Gentiles & Jews – not a single member being a Gentile but they had concern for them too (including Romans and Samaritans). Such weird writings where they make themselves into, well idiots – Peter comes off as brash and a denier of this faith, John and James are young and zealous – wanna kill people at one point, Matthew is a ‘tax collecter’ (not very admirable), Judas kills himself, etc. They paint themselves down and make Jesus look, well ‘great’. I get it, I really do. They made up a fake person so they could make up a fake religion – what I don’t get is the motive? Why? Was Judaism really that horrible to them? Did they think this idea would free the Jewish people from Roman oppression? Was their fame in it for some of them? I mean what makes a normal bunch of people leave their God, nation, and lifestyle?
You see if it is fake then all promises are null n void and these gospels and letters have no authority whatsoever – and whoever follows them is doing it for recreation alone. Some of the promises being eternal life and a close understanding of who God is or ‘was’. Basically, there would be as much truth in there as in Greek mythologies about Zeus – they would be on an even keel and either can be worshipped as God (as far as I am concerned).
The other big problem is Paul and his letters. These pieces of literature point to the same ideas – Jesus lived, died, and resurrected – same claims as the gospels. Paul seems to tell quite the tale about himself and his turn to Christ – being a former high person in Jewish ranks. He then turns only to have himself nearly killed a few times, hated by his own people (both Romans and Jewish), takes quite the beating in a lot of places he ventures too – and in the end for what – to push a myth on other nations of peoples? He also verifies the fact Peter, James, and John all backed his ministry and were his pals – even though he was a later addition. I mean maybe Paul was all lies too – who knows – we never watched him pen the letters. But what is his motive? It can’t be fame or prestige – he has that. Money – he has that. Religion – he has that. He’s sado-masichistic and just needs to take the beats to ‘get off’? What exactly? He sure seems to love pain is all I know.
I look at that pile of trash and I think – no historicity in the gospels and letters in and of themselves – ‘give me a break’ Nell Carter. The fact they exist means a whole hell of a lot and to think otherwise means you either have never considered the times of the disciples nor have you considered motive of the suspects. No one seems to gain a damn thing of these early disciples of Christ – fact is – all of them die with nothing or under persecution (for their own beliefs). They are rejected of their own faith (Judaism), persecuted by their own faith (Judaism), risk family, friends, and livelihood (means of survival), and are then killed for that – and for what, a name? There’s no logic in that or who is that stupid? Unless, they had some truth to what they were writing.
What do you think? Is this all a big hoax or does the bible in and of itself contain some historicity?