Endnotes-The Jesus of History

1. The “Christ-myth” idea that originated in the late eighteenth century, has been popularized more recently by conspiracy books as well as the movie, Zeitgeist. But the idea Jesus never existed is primarily promoted by conspiracy enthusiasts and antagonists to Christianity, not leading historians. It has been soundly rejected by leading scholars. New Testament scholar F. F. Bruce writes, “Some writers may toy with the fancy of a ‘Christ-myth’, but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the ‘Christ-myth’ theories.” F. F. Bruce, The New Testament Documents: Are Who Is the Real Jesus? 

they Reliable? (Grand Rapids, MI: InterVarsity, 1997), 119. Atheist historian Michael Grant noted, “To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory. It has ‘again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars….no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary.’”1 Michael Grant, Jesus (London: Rigel, 2004), 200.

2. Quoted in “What Life Means to Einstein: An Interview by George Sylvester Viereck,” The Saturday Evening Post, Oct. 26, 1929, 17.

3. For further evidence on the historical existence of Jesus Christ see, “Was Jesus a Real Person?” at Y-Jesus.com/Evidence.

4. H. G. Wells, The Outline of History (New York: Doubleday, 1949), 528.

5. Gary R. Habermas and Michael R. Licona, The Case for the Resurrection of Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2004), 52-53, 233. [“There are, very clearly, at least nineteen early pagan writers who refer to Jesus Christ as an actual, real-life, historical figure: Tacitus, a great historian of Rome; Suetonius, also a historian; Pliny the Younger, one of the leaders of the Roman Empire; Epictetus; Lucian; Aristides; Galenus; Lampridius; Dio Cassius; Emeritus; Annianus (or Anianus); Marcellinus; Eunapius; and Zosimus. Some wrote entire works about Jesus, such as Lucian, Celsus (the first great antagonist, who wrote a whole book attacking Christianity), Porphyry, Hieracles, and Julian the Apostate. D. James Kennedy, Skeptics Answered (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1997), 73.]

6. C. S. Lewis, God in the Dock (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2000), 160.

7 “Mona Lisa’s Smirk,” Y-Jesus magazine, see Y-Jesus.com/Evidence5.

8. F.F. Bruce, The Books and the Parchments (Old Tappan, NJ: Revell, 1984), 168.

9. Bruce M. Metzger, The Text of the New Testament, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 38–39.

10. Richard Dawkins, A Devil’s Chaplain: Reflections on Hope, Lies, Science, and Love (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2003), 245.

11. Habermas and Licona, 90. The argument that Jesus’ resurrection was copied from pagan religions would require these religions to predate Christianity. Yet, T.N.D. Mettinger, professor at Lund University, writes in his book, The Riddle of Resurrection, “The consensus among modern scholars—nearly universal—is that there were no dying and rising gods that preceded Christianity. They all post-dated the first century.” Quoted in Lee Strobel, The Case for the Real Jesus (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007), 160.

12. Ibid., 91.