Not that long ago, I (like most people) thought that there was once a guy named Jesus, who was a 1st century cult leader and faith healing charlatan, and that his story was heavily embellished and exaggerated, blown out of all proportion -to become the legendary character on which all the various and conflicting denominations of Christianity are based; Unitarians, Binatarians, Triniatarians, Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, all of them.
We have no historical evidence of this Jesus, and no contemporary eyewitness testimony either. Everything purporting to report on his historic existence are intercontradictory hearsay with lots of evident interpolations and revisions and even some definite forgeries. All of it is of questionable origin. We know for example that the gospels are NOT eyewitness accounts, because they were each written decades after each of the named authors must have died, and they were written in the wrong language. The only places in the Bible which I thought implied that Jesus might have ever been a real guy are the very places which show that he could not have been a god; nor could he have been the human manifestation of God, nor could he have had the mind of God. He said or believed silly things that made it impossible for him to be an avatar of God in the same way that Lord Krishna was, for example.
I know that a lot of historians too shared the same opinion I did. They believed that Jesus probably existed, because that’s what they’d always been told, and they simply never questioned that. Maybe they only studied history and not so much mythology. From my perspective, why would God make his son to be a sequel of a human idea that had already been repeated so many times? Either Dionsysus could turn water into wine, or Jesus couldn’t really do it either. For some reason, I never wondered whether there was a real historic Krishna, Dionysus, or Prometheus. Those were all obviously imaginary beings, but somehow I really did believe there once was a Jesus.
However, since then I have interviewed Prof. Frank Zindler, D.M. Murdock, David Fitzgerald, Dr. Robert Price, and Dr. Richard Carrier; all of them are mythicists, experts in comparative religions and scriptural history. who each have their own different but compelling reasons why they don’t believe that there was ever any one person whom any time traveler might recognize as being THAT Jesus, the one Christianity was based on. Their arguments are that Jesus was never any more real than Prometheus, or Hercules, or Odin or Horus. This seems reasonable given that we have much stronger arguments to prove that there was never any Moses or Noah or Adam & Eve either; that all of it is completely made up.
I have a friend who identifies as Christian, but who says he doesn’t believe in Jesus. At least he doesn’t believe Jesus was divine or infallible, but for whatever reason he still calls himself a Christian. He said, “I’m a Christian because I like to believe that; not ‘cuz I think it’s true.” In fact I’ve met a lot of self-professed Christians who don’t believe in the divinity or infallibility of Jesus. The idea that he was an imperfect prophet is good enough for them. The same goes for my friend. Somehow he’s perfectly comfortable with being a Christian and believing that Jesus was just some schmuck. But he got angry when I tried to explain that he might never have existed at all. He said, “I want to believe there was schmuck!”, by which he meant, some element of truth behind it all. Sorry man. I don’t know what to tell you. There evidently wasn’t. Sometimes even popular legends have no element of truth to them at all.
I’ve shared a stage with Dr. Richard Carrier a few times, and on most of those occasions, his presentations were the ones that had the most meat on them, as far as what I heard that resonated with me. The curious thing is that he never recorded his own presentations. So I am always at a loss trying to tell others what he said, or what his references were. So when I saw him at Zetiticon in North Dakota, I put a mic on him and recorded him for my channel. If he won’t do it, I will!
Last weekend at PAStAHcon in Pennsylvania, I recorded him again.
Given the information that he and the other mythicists provide, I have to wonder how the hell does anyone believe in Jesus after having read the fables, much less if they’ve ever done any extra-Biblical research after that.