James McGrath of Butler University joins us once again to explain how scholars deal with the figure of Jesus. Is there a vast international conspiracy to convince you that Jesus was a real person? Well, not really. It’s a game of probabilities. Scholars say that, given the evidence we have, it’s more likely than not that there was an actual dude named Jesus walking around in the desert 2000 years ago. Of course, you are free to draw your own conclusions, and a belief in Gnosticism certainly does not need to include a belief in a historical Jesus.
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2 thoughts on “Jesus Facepalmed”
Professor McGrath, isn’t it true that if there were no crucifixion there could have been no resurrection, and the central Christian argument that our sins are forgiven by Jesus’ death and resurrection? If someone was inventing this scenario, wouldn’t they need a crucifixion? And isn’t the crucifixion essential to discredit Judaism and Rome?
The resurrection was *way* later in Christian theology. The apostles and disciples had absolutely no expectation of Jesus dying, let alone resurrecting. This is something the early Christian communities made up to justify an embarrassing event that had already happened.