I know I just wrote an article about this, but this happens to be an ongoing debate and I find it absolutely hysterical how it’s going down. I argued that we don’t have any actual evidence for the existence of Jesus and watched the Christians come out of the woodwork screaming that there was.
Oh yeah? Present it. Let’s see this evidence. And the most common thing that came up was that there was a consensus of historians that Jesus was real. Other than appealing to authority, that doesn’t actually tell us why these historians hold that position. It doesn’t actually present the evidence. This is something I’ve seen time and time again. In fact, all of the people who claim there is evidence can do no more than link to other people who claim there is evidence. Nobody actually gets around to presenting the actual evidence they claim to have! Someone believing that there is evidence is not evidence in and of itself.
Jerry Coyne had an article recently over on his blog on this very thing, that Peter Nothnagle has argued that not only is there no actual evidence, there’s no reason to take people who argue that there is evidence seriously.
So my challenge is this: come up with a single piece of contemporary, demonstrably eyewitness evidence, a single account of a real historical Jesus, not the mythic creation that appears in the Bible. Just one. That’s all I’m asking. Of course, I already know none exists, but watching Christians try to twist and contort their way into this imaginary evidence is amusing. I really have no horse in this race because I have no problem thinking that there may have been one or more people upon whom the myth of Jesus was posthumously draped, but thinking it’s likely isn’t evidence either. I just love watching the delusional squirm. And squirm they do.