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THE HISTORICAL JESUS
The theory that Jesus did not exist as a historical figure is often referred to as the Jesus Myth. Though dead as a serious academic position, the notion that Jesus did not exist is advanced by skeptics through their various publishing arms and on the internet. Others have argued that though some sort of founding historical figure is possible, the miracles attributed to him must be legendary developments. As a result, one the CADRE's priorities is to educate readers about the overwhelming evidence of Jesus' historicity. On this page are links to articles and books dealing with the question of the historicity of Jesus.
The Historicity of Jesus: Overviews and Defenses
Articles from top scholars and leading internet apologists, historicity of Jesus of Nazareth.
The Value of the Early Christian Sources
Skeptics sometimes argue that most of what we know about Jesus comes from Christian sources. These articles show you why the early Christian sources are more than sufficient to learn about the historical Jesus.
Non-Christian References to Jesus
Articles exploring the non-Christian references to Jesus, including Josephus, and what we can learn from them.
Pagan Parallels: Answers to the Copy-Cat Savior Theory
Although abandoned by more knowledgeable skeptics, some still cling to the notion that Jesus Christ is a myth based on similar pagan characters. Learn the folly of their ways.
The Historicity of the Miracles of Jesus
Some concede that Jesus founded Christianity, but dismiss the miracles attributed to him as legendary developments. Here are articles from top scholars and apologists demonstrating the uniqueness of the miracle claims about Jesus.
Books on the Historicity of Jesus
Books defending the historicity of Jesus by top scholars are not very common because the issue is a settled one among historians, but the Cadre provides a guide and reviews.
- Answering Acharya S
Accomplished apologist Mike Licona contributes two devastating critiques of the theories of Acharya S.
- Answering Elaine Pagels
The apologetics site Answering Infidels offers several persuasive critiques of Elaine Pagelâ€™s theories about earl Christianity and gnosticism.
- Was the New Testament Influenced by Pagan Philosophy
Originally published in the Christian Research Institute Journal, this article responds to the idea that the New Testament borrowed from pagan philosophy, including Platonism, stoicism, and Philo.
- Dealing Down Dionysus: Did the Greek God of Wine Influence Beliefs?
J.P. Holding examines the supposed parallels between Dionysus and Christianity.
- Buddha as Copycat Christ
J.P. Holding examines the far-fetched claim that Jesus was based on Buddha.
- Gnosticism and the Gnostic Jesus
The Christian Research Institute Journal offers another valuable article, this time responding to the idea that Gnosticism was the original driving force behind early Christianity.
- The Gnostic Gospels â€“ Are They Authentic?
The Christian Research Institute Journalâ€™s second installment in responding to the idea that Gnosticism was the original driving force behind early Christianity.
- Methodology in the Study of the Mystery Religions and Early Christianity
Renowned New Testament scholar Bruce M. Metzger lends his considerable expertise to the issue of the relationship between the Mystery Religions and early Christianity.
Mark McFall examines the supposed similarities between Christianity and Mithras, one of the more popular culprits of those who maintain faith in the pagan parallels.
- The Resurrection of Osiris According to Farrell Till
Another good rebuttal by Mark McFall. Here he takes on skeptic Farrell Tillâ€™s copycat savior arguments.
- Oh-Sigh-Ris, The Pagan Origins of the Resurrection Refuted!
Steadfast and patient, Mark McFall continues dismantling the copycat savior arguments of Farrell Till.
- A â€œSighâ€ About Osiris, An Evaluation of the Alleged Parallels Between Osiris and Jesus
Mark McFallâ€™s co-worker, Brian Lawson, continues the assault on Farrell Tillâ€™s copycat savior arguments.
- Mithras: Literary References (Highly Recommended)
CADRE Member Roger Pearse provides an indispensable resource on the literary references to the mystery religion, Mithra. Pearse provides the â€œraw dataâ€ upon which discussions about Mithra should be based.
- Christianity and Paganism
A historian from a leading university addresses the arguments that Christianity is false due to alleged pagan influences.
Ceisiwir Seirth responds to copycat savior arguments based on Mithra.
- Review of Dennis R. MacDonaldâ€™s The Homeric Epics and the Gospel of Mark
Robert J. Raebel of the University of Kentucky evaluates MacDonaldâ€™s argument that Homerâ€™s fictive narratives were a pervasive influence on the Gospel of Mark.
- Acharya S â€“ J.P. Holdingâ€™s Page
The indispensable J.P. Holdingâ€™s page dealing with Acharya S.
- Easter: Myth, History, or Hallucination
Miami Universityâ€™s Edwin Yamauchi responds to claims that the resurrection belief of the early Christians was the result of the influence of pagan dying and rising savior gods, as well as the theory that the resurrection appearances were mere hallucinations.
The Ecole Initiative provides helpful background information on this mystery religion.
- Did Jesus Exist? Resources for Refuting the Jesus Myth
An Amazon Listmania list created by CADRE member Layman. Provides book recommendations and brief descriptions for responding to the various arguments made by Jesus Mythers.
- The Evidence for Jesus (Highly Recommended)
A more contemporary treatment of the issue by leading New Testament scholar R.T. France. Relatively inexpensive and concise. See CADRE member Layman's review.
- The Historicity of Jesus
Subtitled â€œA Criticism of the Contention that Jesus Never Lived, a Statement of the Evidence for his Existence, an Estimate of His Relation to Christianity,â€ this book was written by Shirley Case of the University of Chicago. Professor Case was one of the first academics to be bothered enough by the Jesus Myth to write a book-length response. Fortunately, the full text is available online.
- I Believe in the Historical Jesus
An aged treatment of the issue by leading New Testament scholar I. Howard Marshall. See CADRE member Layman's review.
- Jesus Outside the New Testament
An excellent resource on the non-Christian evidence for Jesus, as well as a chapter devoted to the issue of the Jesus Myth. See CADRE member Layman's review.
- Jesus the Nazarene, Myth or History?
Another online book-length treatment of the Jesus Myth. Published a few years after Professor Caseâ€™s treatment, Professor Maurice Goguel. In our opinion, though dated this is still a worthy refutation of the Jesus Myth .
- A Marginal Jew, Volume 1
By leading New Testament scholar John P. Meier, A Marginal Jew is widely regarded as an indispensable guide to studying the historical Jesus.
- Shattering the Christ Myth
Edited by J.P. Holding, this book includes articles by many leading internet apologists, including CADRE member Layman. It is perhaps the most up-to-date response to the Jesus Myth available in print.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear..." 1 Peter 3:15