I suppose it should come as no shock to regular readers, but I have some major issues with the idea that Jesus of the bible was an actual person. Various scholars have at many points in history tried to authenticate that the Jesus of the bible was a physical person who really existed and thus could possibly have been the son of God and thus lending credibility to the bible. The problem with that, though, is that these scholars have yet to produce anything conclusive. You could pick five Christian scholars and each of them would come back to you with five different people who they claim were the real Jesus. I have my doubts, and they rest on two premises.
1. The missing years. There is a period of about 18 years in the New Testament where Jesus literally falls off the map. Presumably he was off doing normal guy stuff? Who knows, it’s not explicitly documented. Which I find completely incredible and utterly baffling. So this child is born of a virgin birth and is heralded as the son of god. Everyone watches him grow up for 12 years and then…people lose interest? I don’t know, it seems awfully bizarre to me that people would just kind of ignore the Messiah for the better part of two decades. Essentially, you have everyone abuzz with the knowledge that the son of God and literal savior of humanity has been born…then people go through a period of not giving a shit for 18 years for some reason…then suddenly they’re interested in Jesus again when he hits 30. If the Jesus of the bible really was an actual person his life and mere existence would have had staggering implications for mankind–you’d think someone would have been assigned to document his whole life. But you don’t see that. You don’t see anything remotely resembling the biography of literally the most important man to have ever lived. Call me a skeptic, but something about that seems a tad off to me. Just the idea that people would stop caring about a man who performed miracles and was born unto a virgin seems incomprehensible. Maybe some people would have been dubious or not given a shit…but surely SOME people would have. Which leads me to…
2. Why didn’t anyone else write about Jesus? This is something else that I find troubling and puzzling. If the Jesus of the bible was a real person and he really was the son of God, why isn’t there any record of his miracles and deeds beyond the bible and the church? Seems only natural that if someone came into town and walked on water, turned it into wine, and then cured a bunch of lepers that the townspeople would have had their minds blown. Think of the equivalent of that today. If someone came to my town and performed a bunch of miracles, you could bet that people would be blogging and tweeting and Facebooking the ever-loving crap out of that shit. And yes, these social media obviously weren’t available in the time of Jesus. But we haven’t found the journal or diary of oooooone single person? Not one single instance of some merchant in some town writing,
Guess what?! Today some dude called Jesus came to town and magically cured all the lepers! And then he turned the water to wine! And when he was all done, he left town by WALKING OVER THE RIVER! Totes cray cray. Time to herd some goats.”
I just find it almost totally inconceivable that the multitudes of everyday people who allegedly witnessed these miracles had absolutely no desire to record them. It makes no sense whatsoever to me. All of the people who wrote about “Jesus” did so centuries after his death, meaning they never could have met an actual, historical Jesus.
It’s all just an awful lot to swallow. Of course, there’s a much more likely explanation. Perhaps Jesus really did exist but there was nothing at all divine about him. Perhaps he was just a philosopher. And maybe that’s why nobody really showed much interest while he was alive. It was only after his death that the founders of Christianity decided to use him as the central figure of their religion. It would certainly explain the missing years. Under this assumption, the only important parts about the life of Jesus are his birth and his death, because that’s central to the mythology. It also explains why normal people didn’t record his existence or meeting him–because he was just a regular dude walking down the street or some guy on the street corner begging people to love their neighbor. No miracles, no virgin birth. Just a street corner philosopher.