There’s been a great deal of discussion lately, triggered by the claims of James Cameron that the bones of Jesus have been discovered, about whether Jesus ever actually existed at all.
In the interest of furthering that discussion in a serious, fact-based manner, I issue the following challenge: Prove that Jesus existed.
By proof I mean this:
- Provide evidence that Jesus actually lived, and is not just a legendary character
- Prove Jesus really lived beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that a reason-based argument could not refute your proof, not just that most sensible people would agree with you.
- “Scripture” is not to be considered as evidence. After all, what the word “scripture” means is just something that somebody has written. Some people have written that Santa Claus really exists, and that doesn’t make it so.
- Faith and other forms of subjective experience are not proof.
- Failure to accept alternatives to the existence of Jesus is not proof. For example, saying “Well, I can’t imagine what else could have led people to write the Bible and found Christianity” is not finding proof. It’s only showing that you can’t imagine something.
One more reminder for the discussion: The topic is whether it can be proved that Jesus really existed. The topic is not whether it can be proved that Jesus did not exist. That’s a different question.
So, any takers?