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Multiple Attestation for Jesus

I had an interesting email from a reader the other day, in which he pointed out that the “multiple attestation” for the existence of Jesus is virtually matched by the “multiple attestation” for the resurrection of Jesus. At first I thought his point was the Christian apologetic one, that therefore since the resurrection is just as well (not quite, but still pretty well) attested as the very existence of Jesus, doesn’t that show that Jesus was probably raised from the dead? When I responded to that question, it turned out that he was actually saying the opposite: since we (meaning he and I) don’t believe that Jesus was raised from the dead, but *that’s* well attested, doesn’t that call into question the very existence of Jesus, which has comparable attestation. Multiple attestation can’t “show” it, in this view. As I think about it now, my response to *both* points (the Christian apologetic and the non-christian mythicist) is probably the same, that when dealing with the two phenomena – 1. the existence of Jesus and 2. [...]

2020-04-03T17:44:18-04:00November 12th, 2013|Historical Jesus, Reader’s Questions|

Q & A with Ben Witherington: Part 4

CONTINUATION!   Ben Witherington, a conservative evangelical Christian New Testament scholar, has asked me to respond to a number of questions about my book Did Jesus Exist, especially in light of criticism I have received for it (not, for the most part, from committed Christians!).   His blog is widely read by conservative evangelicals, and he has agreed to post the questions and my answers without editing, to give his readers a sense of why I wrote the book, what I hoped to accomplish by it, and what I would like them to know about it.  He has graciously agreed to allow me to post my responses here on my blog, which, if I’m not mistaken, has a very different readership (although there is undoubtedly some overlap).   It’s a rather long set of questions and answers – over 10,000 words.   So I will post them in bits and pieces so as not to overwhelm anyone.  The Q’s are obviously his, the A’s mine. Some of Ben Witherington’s most popular books are The Jesus Quest, and The Problem with [...]

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