Lately, I’ve been seeing a small flurry of attention to a crank who argues that “Jesus” is a fictional character invented by the Romans.
So it seems appropriate to call attention, again, to a column that I wrote some time back about a prominent agnostic — Bart Ehrman, a real New Testament scholar, in this case — who argues against the notion that Jesus never existed:
This is an old idea, but I can’t think of a single reputable New Testament scholar who takes it seriously.
Some critics, will, of course, compare this to Mormon claims about the Book of Mormon, etc., which receive little serious attention from mainstream scholarship. But this is apples and oranges. Mormonism is a small movement that is still rather easy to ignore. Jesus, however, is a very big matter; even this crank is getting international attention. But only in the media.
Real historians and scholars, overwhelmingly, just brush the Jesus-as-fiction stuff off with a weary sigh. Frankly, I was surprised and pleased that Bart Ehrman was willing to take the time to respond to it.
Posted from Keokuk, Iowa