This is a follow-up to my recent post in which I argued, against the mythicists who maintain that Jesus was not a real person but was invented by his earliest followers who had learned of a cosmic Christ who was crucified by demons in outer space, that it does not make sense, in my judgment, that first century Jews would make up the idea of a human messiah who got crucified. I received a number of responses to that post, most of which were very positive. But every now and then I got a response that said something like this: “I would say inventing a God/man who was crucified *does* make sense in a 1st century context.”
It’s an important objection and I want to take it very seriously. First, recall my argument, the precise nature of which is important. I am not arguing in a vague way that no one would make up someone who was crucified, or that no one would make up an important person who was crucified, or that no one would make up a spectacularly significant person who was crucified. And I’m not arguing that no one would make up a God/man who was crucified. I mean, I doubt anyone would, but that is decidedly not my point. My point is that no one would make up a messiah who was crucified.
The key point to remember: the term messiah …
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