I have had some more discussions with some atheists and skeptics around the net and one of the issues that I have tried to hammer home is the fact that Jesus was a real human being. He really lived and died and rose again. The funny thing is that some people who consider themselves intelligent and may actually be smart about a great many things can be so foolish when it comes to the historicity of Jesus Christ. For that reason, I wanted to offer a great article I came across a week or two ago regarding the historical Jesus. I can’t remember how I first linked to it, but the article is great. Here is a snippet of it, but you can read the whole thing by following the above link:
Even though this article is about the theory that Jesus never existed, I have begun with this digression on Shakespeare to illustrate that there is nothing unique about any conspiracy theory. They are all made up of similar elements and thrive in the same environments. All three of the reasons Jonathan Bate suggested in his book for the popularity of conspiracies about Shakespeare are present in the Christ Myth. For instance, there is no direct contemporary evidence for Jesus and we do not possess the original manuscripts of any of the Gospels. Christ Myth theorists are amateurs to whom professional scholars pay little attention. And finally, Jesus is worshipped as God. But the problem is the same as with Shakespeare – how could a religion be started by a Galilean peasant whose message spread around the world. There must, say the conspiracy theorists, be another explanation.
The similarities do not end there. The nature of the evidence brought forward by conspiracy theories is much the same whatever the subject. There is a false belief that we have relatively little contemporary evidence for the life of Shakespeare or Jesus. In fact, we know far more about both of them than almost any other personage of their times, barring military heroes and royalty. Likewise, the theorists tend to present contrived readings of the relevant texts, claiming they provide clues that simply do not stack up to careful analysis. Furthermore, the perfectly good testimony we do have for the orthodox view is rejected by the conspiracy theorist for bogus reasons. For Shakespeare we are told that all his fellow actors were in on the deception. While with Jesus, we are told we cannot trust any Christian text. In other words, the people most interested in both Jesus and Shakespeare, their followers and colleagues respectively, should be debarred from giving evidence.
I don’t think many athiests realize how silly it is for them to call the existence of Christ into question, but I offer this humble submission for their benefit and knowledge. The other reason for offering this is because it is on Jesus that the knowledge of God rests. People want to know how they can know which religion is true or what is true; Jesus said that He is the way the truth and the life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6). It starts with knowing about Jesus and understanding that He is who He claimed to be: God’s Son. Being able to understand the evidence supporting Christ’s resurrection, starts with acknowledging that He actually walked the earth. Jesus is the Real Deal.