Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Not-So-Great Debate

There was an article on some site today, I've forgotten which, questioning the existence of Jesus as an historical figure. I commented briefly that the vast majority of historians acknowledge the existence of Jesus, whether they be religious or secular historians. Well, a certain man had a problem with this. He replied, insisting that there is no support whatsoever for the notion of an historical Jesus. I offered the observation that he was very much at odds with the remainder of the historical community and attached a fairly concise article from the Bibllical Archeology Review which briefly details the extra-Biblical, non-Christian sources acknowledging the existence of Jesus. He didn't like this either. "That's a Christian site!" he said, although I'm not sure how this, in his mind, could amount to a falsification of records that are, after all, only quotes from the historical sources. He demanded next that I name ONE historian who states that Jesus existed. So, I sent him another concise sort of article from Wikipedia which stated, as I had done to begin with, that most historians acknowledge the historical existence of Jesus. "Wikipedia!" he fumed. "You must be an idiot, sending me something from Wikipedia!" I explained next that it had struck me that brevity and accessibility might be most suitable for him, but that I would take the time to send a very, very long and thorough study from Quara which examines the historical debate in great depth, as well as analyses of the sources, the discipline of authentication, supposition, conclusion and etcetera. I mentioned that this would take time and patience and wished him luck. Within ten minutes he was back. "Quara!" he said. "Quara" is a religious publication! It doesn't mean anything!" Well, no. Quara is simply the name of a website that collects all kinds of stuff on all kinds of subjects and makes it available in one place. But, aside from that ... um, my dear sir ... the Quara article was authored by an atheist historian. :)) Sigh. I don't know why I waste my time. I could have had a V8.

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