The << Also, has anyone ever seen “The God Who Wasn’t There” a documentary attacking the Faith? In it it talks about: >>
Got it, memorized it. Your best response was written by evangelical Mike Licona, which I re-edited for my site since their site www.AnsweringInfidels.com is (in my opinion) poorly formatted. Mike’s devastating article I put here and beefed it up with some links:
Review and Critique of “The God Who Wasn’t There” DVD
Your best single book on this topic is now:
The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition (2007) by Greg Boyd / Paul Eddy
If you buy one book, that’s the one to get. Very thorough. It addresses the arguments of G.A. Wells, Earl Doherty, Robert M. Price, etc.
Plenty of other books are also good rebuttals:
The Historical Reliability of the Gospels by Craig Blomberg (Intervarsity, 1987)
Jesus Under Fire: Modern Scholarship Reinvents the Historical Jesus edited by Wilkins / Moreland (Zondervan, 1995)
The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels by Luke Timothy Johnson (HarperSanFrancisco, 1996)
The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ by Gary Habermas (College Press, 1996)
Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence by Robert van Voorst (Eerdmans, 2000)
Fabricating Jesus: How Modern Scholars Distort the Gospels by Craig Evans (Intervarsity, 2006)
Can We Trust the Gospels? by Mark D. Roberts (Crossway Books, 2007)
And some more advanced books on the biography genre of the Gospels and historical Jesus:
What are the Gospels? A Comparison with Graeco-Roman Biography by Richard Burridge (Cambridge / Eerdmans, 1992, 2004)
Jesus and the Eyewitnesses: The Gospels as Eyewitness Testimony by Richard Bauckham (Eerdmans, 2006)
A Marginal Jew: Rethinking the Historical Jesus (volume 1) by John P. Meier (Anchor / Doubleday, 1991)
The latter covers Josephus in some depth. His two passages are both considered authentic references to Jesus, although the first one probably went through some Christian interpolation with a core statement on Jesus.
The << Robert M. Price, Jesus Seminar fellow and author of The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man. >>
On Robert M. Price, I find him funny, but his scholarship in my opinion is very sloppy. Some evangelicals have taken him seriously such as Greg Boyd who has debated him at least four times. Their fourth debate is available on my site:
Greg Boyd vs. Robert M. Price debate (MP3)
The << and ESPECIALLY: “The Scholar.” This track delves deep into the Jesus Myth hypothesis with pioneering scholar Earl Doherty (The Jesus Puzzle). >>
Got the Doherty book, don’t think it stands up at all. His whole case revolves around St. Paul supposedly preaching a “heavenly Christ” with no reference to his earthly ministry. He dismisses the Gospels, dismisses Josephus, Tacitus, etc. Rebutted in full by any of the books above.
The << If you are intrigued by the possibility that Jesus Christ did not exist at all, you will find this audio track fascinating. Doherty has been studying for decades the evidence that mainstream academics are only beginning to discover. Prepare to be astounded. >>
I wasn’t astounded, since I put the whole interview on my site.
Doherty hasn’t presented anything new since G.A. Wells, basically a re-hash of all his “Jesus myth” arguments. Even Wells now believes Jesus lived based on the (hypothetical) “Q” document. See The Jesus Legend by Boyd/Eddy for your best response.
Jeffery Jay Lowder of Internet Infidels: “There is simply nothing intrinsically improbable about a historical Jesus; the New Testament alone (or at least portions of it) are reliable enough to provide evidence of a historical Jesus. On this point, it is important to note that even G.A. Wells, who until recently was the champion of the christ-myth hypothesis, now accepts the historicity of Jesus on the basis of ‘Q’.” (“Josh McDowell’s ‘Evidence’ for Jesus,” also Wells The Jesus Myth [Open Court, 1999])
Secular historian Will Durant: “The Christian evidence for Christ begins with the letters ascribed to Saint Paul…No one has questioned the existence of Paul, or his repeated meetings with Peter, James, and John; and Paul enviously admits that these men had known Christ in his flesh. The accepted epistles frequently refer to the Last Supper and the Crucifixion…in essentials the synoptic gospels agree remarkably well, and form a consistent portrait of Christ…no one reading these scenes can doubt the reality of the figure behind them. That a few simple men should in one generation have invented so powerful and appealing a personality, so loft an ethic and so inspiring a vision of human brotherhood, would be a miracle far more incredible than any recorded in the Gospel.” (Ceasar and Christ, volume 3 of Story of Civilization)
Graham Stanton of Cambridge: “Today, nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed and that the gospels contain plenty of valuable evidence which has to be weighed and assessed critically. There is general agreement that, with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher.” (The Gospels and Jesus)
Robert Van Voorst: “Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their * arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely…The theory of Jesus’ nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question…Biblical scholars and classical historians now regard it as effectively refuted.” (Jesus Outside the New Testament, 6, 14, 16)
Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright: “It is quite difficult to know where to start, because actually the evidence for Jesus is so massive that, as a historian, I want to say we have got almost as much good evidence for Jesus as for anyone in the ancient world…the evidence fits so well with what we know of the Judaism of the period…that I think there are hardly any historians today, in fact I don’t know of any historians today [aside from G.A. Wells, etc], who doubt the existence of Jesus…No Jewish, Christian, atheist, or agnostic scholars have ever taken that [proposition] seriously since. It is quite clear that in fact Jesus is a very, very well documented character of real history. So I think that question can be put to rest.” (“The Self-Revelation of God in Human History” from There Is A God by Antony Flew and Roy Abraham Varghese [HarperOne, 2007])