Did early Christian scribes really completely fake The Josephus Testimonium?

If Jesus was such a big deal, then why isn’t he mentioned by more historians of his time? This is a question that often gets asked by skeptics. The common Christian reply is that he was mentioned by 1st and early 2nd-century historians – namely Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, and Josephus. This is where some critics – particularly the “Jesus-is-a-myth” crowd – cry foul. They’ll argue that Josephus never really mentioned Jesus, and if we’d critically examine the passages for ourselves, we’d admit that this popular Christian apologetic is pretty flimsy. This reply is a bit odd, seeing that even some of the strongest critics of traditional Christianity like Bart Ehrman and JD Crossan think that … Read more

Did Paul believe in a heavenly, visionary Jesus or an embodied, resurrected Jesus?

Every serious historian who studies Christian origins agrees that Paul is our earliest source for the resurrection of Jesus. Even atheistic scholars like Gerd Ludemann admit that the creed Paul quotes in 1 Corinthians 15 is dated within a short time after Jesus’ crucifixion, possibly even within the first year. Here’s the rub: Many critics claim that since Paul is our earliest source, and his experience of Jesus was a visionary experience, that was likely the other apostles’ experience too. The gospels later embellished the story because Paul taught that Jesus rose spiritually, not bodily. Modern-day Christians don’t accept the visionary stories of Joseph Smith or Muhammed. So why believe the Christian story when it’s … Read more

If Jesus really was a miracle-working teacher who rose from the dead, why isn’t He mentioned by more 1st century historians?

Jesus of Nazareth was a highly influential teacher. He allegedly was a prophet with miraculous powers. He cast out demons, healed the sick, and even raised people from the dead. Then there’s the whole matter of his own resurrection. If Jesus was such a big deal, why isn’t he mentioned in the first and early second century beyond a few Christian sources? Wouldn’t Jesus have made more of an impact in his times? This is a common complaint of skeptics, especially from the internet infidel crowd who question whether Jesus ever even existed. On the face of it, these questions appear reasonable, but history just doesn’t work this way. THE ARGUMENT FROM SILENCE IS STILL … Read more