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Chris Riser
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Hey, Greta. I'm a theist, but I promise, I'm not a pissy one and I won't be rude. I truly enjoy genuine inquiry into the verities of existence. Though admittedly still emergent, the idea that Jesus is purely myth doesn't hold up very well by standards of historiography of the classical period. Your citation of the "Ebon Musings" fails repeatedly to take this into account. The earliest known references to other classical figures are much more distant from the lives of their subjects than the material suorrunding Jesus. The mentions of Jesus in such close proximity to the alleged period of his life are unparalleled in antiquity. I do not know of a single scholar who would disagree with that statement. Regardless of the accuracy of details in Paul's writings, the proximity of his earliest letters (as little as 20 years) to the life of Jesus, means that there would be many, many individuals alive at the time of Jesus who could disprove the major natural facts Paul asserts: Jesus lived, and he was killed by authorities in Israel. That would be like everyone in your hometown saying, let's say 10 years from now, that you had a sibling who died at 30, but who never actually existed. It would be easily disputed by those who knew your family and lived in your neighborhood. It also must be taken into account that Jesus is only "important" (as the "Ebon Musings" article states), in retrospect. He was not wealthy, he was not the ruler of an empire like Alexander, and he died (according to what we do have) as a common theif. Thus it is quite conceivable that he could be overlooked as inconsequential by contemporary historians. It is only after his supposed following continues to spread throughout the empire that mention becomes necessary. Do we find mentions of Paul or the other apostles in Pliny the Elder? Yet surely their existence and influence is much less the subject of debate, miracles aside. While I don't pretend to persuade you to believe what I believe, I hope you consider refining your argument in light of the above. Cheers.
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Dec 5, 2009