In a recent series that I wrote entitled, The Atheist Delusion – Why I don’t agree with Richard Dawkins in 10 parts, by far the most popular post was Part 5: The Historical Jesus. I don’t feel that I did this post sufficient justice. So… I’m now providing a follow up series that provides more detail pertaining to the Historical Jesus.
In this series, I will be using a book by one of Dawkins’ contemporaries as my starting point:
Michel Onfray, in his recently published book, In Defense of Atheism, attempts to discredit religious worldviews through a systemic critique of modern faith traditions. In the section of his book entitled “The Construction of Jesus” [Onfray, In Defense of Atheism, 115-129.], Onfray suggests that the historical Jesus is a mythological figure who is revealed within a flawed set of documents. After closer inspection of Onfray’s claims, it becomes apparent that his perspectives on the historical Jesus are both uninformed and speculative and his argumentation collapses.
Here are the topics that I will be discussing, in order of their appearance:
- Historical Jesus Part 1: The Source Documents Are Forgeries
- Historical Jesus Part 2: Jesus as Fantasy
- Historical Jesus Part 3: Politics of the New Testament Canon
- Historical Jesus Part 4: Contradictions and Improbabilities
- Historical Jesus Part 5: Bibliography
Stick around and enjoy the ride. For those that criticized my last foray into this topic to be too light or not sufficient in its level of detail, this paper should be right up your alley. In this paper, I use many of the expected academic techniques to examine the evidence.
Note: I will be providing brief bibliographical information throughout the paper [in brackets] and I will provide a complete bibliography on the last day of this series. I’m just mentioning this up front in case anyone is wondering about specific sources.
And please do provide comments and feedback. I welcome the opportunity to discuss this topic further.