Re: historicity of Christ

From: george murphy (
Date: Mon Jun 11 2001 - 17:17:10 EDT

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    Charles Carrigan wrote:

    > All,This is probably not the most appropriate forum for this question,
    > but I can't think of a better place. So here goes......A very good
    > friend of mine has recently rejected his Christian faith. He has done
    > this, so he says (and I have no reason to doubt him), because after
    > researching the historicity of Christ and the gospels and Paul, he can
    > no longer believe that the person of Jesus Christ as proclaimed by
    > traditional Christianity was an historical figure. Instead, he now
    > believes that Christianity has its roots in pagan and mythical
    > cultures, combined with neo-Platonism and Judaism of the time. I'm
    > not an apologist, nor am I a scholar of biblical literature or history
    > or whatever else that might be appropriate. He has given me a laundry
    > list of literature on the subject, which I have neither the time nor
    > the energy to pursue. (He has mentioned writings by Robert M. Price,
    > Charles Templeton, and many others). So I'm looking for someone who
    > has seriously researched these issues and can perhaps provide some
    > information for me to pass along.

            It's hard to tell from this brief description of your friend's
    views but there may be some conflation of issues here. I think that
    nowadays few scholars who have made a serious study of the relevant
    history & literature, including radical members of the Jesus Seminar,
    would claim that Jesus of Nazareth never lived. Moreover, most would
    agree that he was executed by crucifixion.
            Whether Jesus rose from the dead, performed miracles, was the
    Messiah, &/or Son of God, &c - i.e., all the theological claims which
    Christians have made about Jesus - is another matter. These are the
    beliefs that many people in various ways have attributed to hellenistic
    mystery cults and so forth.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Dialogue"

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