Was there a Historic Jesus?

historic jesus This was originally postd on Linda’s blog back on Nov 12th and has generated quite a lot of discussion.

Genesis paints a nice little story of God creating the world in 6 days where man is created in His image. How much of the creation story, though, is simply anthropomorphic metaphor?The Christian gospels tell a nice little story of a human Jesus (who was the son of God) preaching to 12 disciples. Then after the crucifixion, the disciples went out and spread Jesus’s message of salvation and the new covenant.

There are problems, though. The earliest Christian writings, according to some scholars (like Earl Doherty’s book The Jesus Puzzle, website), did not explicitly refer to Jesus as a historical person. The historical references only occurred later at the time the gospels were written. The early Christian writers (like Paul) seemed to view the Christ only as a supernatural entity in a higher plane… not as a human being here on earth.

Could it be that our conventional view of Christianity really started with the gospel authors and not a historic person named Jesus? Could it be that the whole Jesus story was merely a way to make the divine Christ more accessible to the gentiles of the late 1st and 2nd century? And could it be that the alternative Christian viewpoints (like by Paul) simply died out?

What do people think? And what, if any, are the consequences for the modern Christian?

For example, is it really important that Christ walked the earth?


Was there a Historic Jesus? — 2 Comments

  1. That’s an awesome theory. Of course, not to those people still taking the Bible literally. An excellent point– if the Bible is a metaphor, then why can’t all of it be a metaphor?

    I think, really, that because religion is constantly seeking validation (hence faith, believing in the unproven, regardless of human nature’s characteristic doubt), so maybe Jesus in a human sense was a way to feed Christianity to the uneducated masses. Maybe the physicality of Jesus isn’t important now, but was back when the sect was new.

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