Was Jesus a Myth or a Historical Figure? Robert Price and I Debate This Very Interesting Question

Bob Price is one of the best-known Mythicists on the planet.

Mythicists believe Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t a historical figure and he was made up by early Christians. Robert has a Ph.D. in New Testament or Early Christian studies, and this topic is his passion.

While experts across the globe pretty much agree Jesus did indeed live, there are those that buck that basic consensus.

So, I set out the best evidence for why it’s virtually certain that there really was a Jesus of Nazareth.

This debate was a little different. Bob and I were each given time for a 30-minute speech and we had not seen each other’s speech in advance. Then we were provided with three 10-minute alternating question periods to drill down our positions and finally we fielded questions from the audience for an hour.

Bob is a good guy and so are the organizers, so I agreed to represent expert opinion in this debate.


The Lecture (Plus Additional Resources While You Watch)

I hope you enjoy this very different debate.

As you watch there may be topics raised you want to explore in greater detail.  So, below the video I am providing timestamps where I discuss some of this information on my blog.


Supplemental information to the main lecture:

Supplements to the Q&A portion of the lecture:

Questions and Answers

Q: Where was this lecture held and how did it come about?

People have asked me to debate a mythicist for YEARS and to be quite frank I wasn’t keen to do so because I thought it would lend credibility to a position that just isn’t credible.  That said, Bob is a nice guy, so I finally gave in.

The debate was part of the “Mythinformation Conference” Buzzed Belief Debate Series presented by Mythicist Milwaukee at Turner Hall in Milwaukee, WI on Friday October 21st 2016.

Q: Why do you think people were so interested in this debate. It has over 1 million views? 

Now that’s a great question. There seems to be some push back against experts these days, which I think is a very important topic. History is particularly susceptible to this sort of prejudice which I find especially interesting because we are so dependent on experts in our daily lives, whether it be for taxes, military expertise or tech.  I was very happy to represent expert opinion in a venue where it’s not necessarily the flavor of the month. History supports my assertion that Jesus of Nazareth did live, and I am thrilled so many people are interested in using their critical thinking skills when entertaining other ideas.

Q: So, you believe expert opinions regarding topics like this are VERY important? 

Hey if you need a root canal would you ask your friend to do it or would you go to an endodontist?  Sure, experts make mistakes, and some are more knowledgeable than others but there’s no denying their great contribution when it comes down to getting to the bottom of tough questions like this.

Q: You place a lot of emphasis on the importance of the role of history when looking critically at the life of Jesus. What do you mean when you said you don’t believe in Jesus as the son of God, but you do believe in history? 

It’s very important to know what actually happened in the past even if it doesn’t jive with what we want. Whatever else you say about Jesus of Nazareth it’s very clear that he existed and to say otherwise flies in the face of what we KNOW historically.

Q: Bart, you said the world would be a much different place without Jesus. Would that be a good thing or a bad thing? 

That’s a tough question and we will never know the answer. I will say however that although I identify as an Agnostic Atheist, I do attempt to implement the best moral teachings of the Christian religion into my life