Was there a historical Jesus?
Below is a copy and paste of something I previously wrote, but some of my newer readers may not have had the chance to read it.
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This question is not whether God impregnated a virgin woman, but whether there was an actual man named Jesus who started Christianity, or inspired others he personally spoke with to start Christianity.
I always assumed the answer was yes. For example, Ghandi, a Hindu, seemed to believe that Jesus was a real person. He said, “The example of Jesus suffering is a factor in the composition of my un-dying faith in non-violence. What then does Jesus mean to me? To me, He was one of the greatest teachers humanity has ever had.” This is the polite thing to believe, but is it true?
Upon doing some research on the internet, I now think it’s most likely that Jesus was a myth made up by early Christians rather than a real historical person. Were Hercules or Dionysus real people? [Or Romulus and Remus?] Today we understand that they are myths, but during the time of the Roman empire, you might get punched in the face for telling someone that Hercules never existed. I mention Hercules and Dionysus because they were both, allegedly, the son of Zeus and a mortal woman. As you see, the idea of a guy being the son of a god but having a human mother was hardly very original. [And the same with Romulus and Remus. Not an original idea at all!] Dionysus was also resurrected, so that part wasn’t original either.
Learning that the Gospels weren’t actually written by people who knew Jesus or by the authors they are attributed to, and knowing the complete implausibility of the events in the Gospels, I am lead to suspect they were acts of creative story-telling rather than based on an account of an actual person’s life. And for all we know, Christianity evolved from a Dionysian mystery religion rather than being created from scratch. They are called “mystery religions” because we know nothing about them.
Some people seem to get pissed off upon hearing that Jesus never existed. Why does it matter?
Here is an extremely detailed explanation for why Jesus was not a real person. It has the aura of truth about it.
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And in case you think I’m just picking on Jesus, there’s good reason to believe that Mohammed is also a myth and not a historical person.
And despite all this, yes, I prefer the religious holiday of Christmas over the secularized orgy of consumerism that we now call the “holiday season.”