Mythicists have often gotten upset with me for pointing out that almost no one with any qualifications in the requisite fields of scholarship agrees with them. I can see why that would be upsetting. My sense is that some of them think that I’ve been rubbing their noses in it. But that isn’t really my intent. My intent is to point out to anyone who is interested – for example, someone who just doesn’t know what to think – that those who are qualified to speak knowledgeably on such subjects are virtually unified on one view (there was a historical Jesus of Nazareth) and opposed to the other (he is a complete myth). — Bart Ehrman
So it seems the establishment of the historical existence of an ancient figure requires a level of expertise comparable to physicists who tells us that such things as quarks really do exist. If you’re not a physicist you just have to take the word of the scientists for it.
History and historical evidence was never that complicated when I was at school or doing undergrad studies in ancient, medieval and modern history. And I don’t know of a single figure historians say can only be confirmed by esoteric skills of those trained for many years in the required specialist fields — apart from Jesus.
Now Jesus may have been a historical figure, of course. But to claim academic privilege as the key to being able to prove it strikes me as . . . . well, . . . . [you fill in the blank for yourself].
That the only scholars who supposedly are emphatically and wholeheartedly agreed that Jesus existed happen to be those who are religiously devoted to Jesus or who have been closely associated with an interest in that figure of worship (e.g. ex believers) does not strike me as a strong point in favour of the grounds for Bart Ehrman’s confidence.
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