Did Christ Exist? (2014), by Sean Gabb

More reason to suppose The Daily Mail is written and edited by imbeciles. On the 1st October 2014, the following article was published: Jesus NEVER existed’: Writer finds no mention of Christ in 126 historical texts and says he was a ‘mythical character It reports the following claims:

  • Writer Michael Paulkovich has claimed that there is a little evidence for a person known as Jesus existing in history
  • Jesus is thought to have lived from about 7BC to 33AD in the Roman Empire
  • However Paulkovich says he found little to no mention of the supposed messiah in 126 texts written in the first to third centuries
  • Only one mention of Jesus was present, in a book by Roman historian Josephus Flavius, but he says this was added by later editors
  • He says this is surprising despite the ‘alleged worldwide fame’ of Jesus
  • And this has led him to believe that Jesus was a ‘mythical character’

This is piffling. Though Mr Paulkovich denies it, there are mentions of Christ in Suetonius and Tacitus and Pliny the Younger – all writing about 70 years after the Crucifixion. The Gospels themselves have a ring of truth in their historical particulars. As for the alleged mistranslation of τέκτων, the Greek Fathers seem to have had no doubt regarding Joseph’s occupation.

This is not to say that Jesus was the Son of God. But it does strike me that the evidence for his existence as a real person is established beyond reasonable doubt.

Oh, and here are a couple of the relevant passages this crank says are not there.

Tacitus, Annals 14:44:

Consequently, to get rid of the report, Nero fastened the guilt and inflicted the most exquisite tortures on a class hated for their abominations, called Christians by the populace. Christus, from whom the name had its origin, suffered the extreme penalty during the reign of Tiberius at the hands of one of our procurators, Pontius Pilatus, and a most mischievous superstition, thus checked for the moment, again broke out not only in Judæa, the first source of the evil, but even in Rome, where all things hideous and shameful from every part of the world find their centre and become popular. Accordingly, an arrest was first made of all who pleaded guilty; then, upon their information, an immense multitude was convicted, not so much of the crime of firing the city, as of hatred against mankind.

Suetonius, Claudius 25:

Since the Jews constantly made disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he expelled them from Rome.

These also have a ring of authenticity. If there had been a Stalinesque programme of interpolation into the Latin classics, there would have been protests right through to the end of Antiquity. There should have been more interpolations. They should have been less casual but more devout.

Yes the man is a crank. How did he get into a mainstream newspaper? Or have I already answered this?

© 2014 – 2017, seangabb.

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