A number of biblical scholars have insisted that the historical Jesus narrative makes far more sense as an explanation for the rise of Christianity than the Christ myth alternative.
At the same time one observes that historical Jesus scholars are often preoccupied attempting to explain two central pillars of the historical explanation that they concede sound implausible.
One is: How to explain why a man who did and said nothing but good came to be crucified (while his followers were not) — such an idea does not make sense;
The other is: How to explain why a man crucified as a criminal was subsequently exalted to divine status by Jews and gentiles — this also does not make sense.
Scholars do propose a number of hypotheses to explain these implausibilities. The explanations must necessarily depart from the gospel narratives as we read them, however. Alternative narratives must be proposed to replace what we read in the gospels. Now no doubt many of these are very scholarly reconstructions. And we all know that no conclusive models or single reconstruction has been found for all to embrace.
So the point remains that it is surely inconsistent to sweepingly assert that the historical Jesus model is “more plausible” or the only one that “makes sense” of the evidence.
The historical Jesus model comes ready packed with the twin implausibilities mentioned above, and requires multiple competing scholarly explanations — in place of the Gospel narratives we read — to attempt to make sense of it all.
Now what are the implausibilities inherent in the Christ myth model?
The only ones I can think of are those that come with historicist assumptions — such as “who would make up a false story so soon after the supposed events?” Maybe the stories did not appear ‘so soon after the supposed event’. Maybe the stories were originally understood as symbolic — as I recently showed that some (even historical Jesus) scholars (e.g. Spong) argue.
So when someone says the historical Jesus model makes much more sense of the evidence, I have to wonder how they can say that, given the core implausibilities of the HJ model that leaves scholars divided and that demolishes the historical narrative as we know it.
Latest posts by Neil Godfrey (see all)
- John the Baptist Resources - 2021-01-25 11:12:45 GMT+0000
- Conspiracy theories — true and false and how to tell the difference - 2021-01-22 20:55:19 GMT+0000
- The 1776 Report: History as Political Propaganda - 2021-01-21 12:18:47 GMT+0000
If you enjoyed this post, please consider donating to Vridar. Thanks!