Nicholas Covington has posted a worth-reading article on Skepticink: The Dying Messiah: A Problem for Jesus Myth Theory? Nicholas is responding to a regular argument of Professor McGrath’s for the existence of a historical Jesus. McGrath, as many of us know, and as Nicholas sums up, argues as follows:
(1) There is no evidence of a belief in a dying messiah prior to Christianity, therefore
(2) Before Christianity emerged, no one believed in a dying messiah.
(3) Out of all the possible explanations we might offer for this apparent innovation of the early Christians, the best explanation is that Christians came up with the idea as a response to the unexpected pre-mature death of Jesus, because a belief in a dying messiah looks like an ad-hoc rationalization (no one had expected a dying messiah previously and it otherwise seems precluded by Jewish beliefs).
Therefore, Jesus existed.
Nicholas Covington’s response:
In this post, I will demonstrate that there are credible, recent, non-mythicist scholars who believe McGrath’s first premise is false. I will follow this with some other considerations that render McGrath’s argument doubtful in other respects.