Was Jesus a Myth?

Video: Was Jesus a Myth?
Participants: Dan Barker (atheist) vs. James White (Christian)
http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php?itemid=3520

On the technical side, it’s not a good recording. You can’t see the faces, and sometimes the microphones are not working. But of course, you can see the gestures, and Dan Barker has a lot of those. He’s good at preaching, gotta give him that.

The topic of this debate is somewhat narrow compared to most other debates. However, Dan Barker tends to go in different, somewhat irrelevant directions during the long cross-examinations. He gets caught up in details concerning the first humans, Creation and the age of the earth. He also ignores procedure and even boasts that he’s proud to break the rules at one point. While these things shouldn’t convince us one way or the other concerning the credibility of the gospels, this kind of behaviour certainly does not benefit Barker.

So, was Jesus a myth? Dan Barker’s first speech is quite persuasive, but James White makes a nice rebuttal by giving examples of how atheists have twisted myths (and semantics) in order to make them look like the gospels and invent parallels that are not really there. I especially found the discussion concerning “common virgin births” quite interesting.

To me, it’s a very important question to ask “why would the first Christians tell these stories if they didn’t believe them?” People die in the name of false religions and for the sake of myths, indeed. This is a well-known fact. But the early Christians are different in that they rely on a purely historical event: The resurrection of Christ. If the story of Christianity is a human invention, the early Christians would know so in a way that “Jihad terrorists” could not possibly know their beliefs to be false. It really comes down to the physical nature of the Christian beliefs. Their claims could be tested at the time because it did not come down to individual visions or things like that.  Think about it: People may die for false beliefs and spiritual experiences, but nobody dies to defend lies.

”For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain.” (2 Peter 1:16-18)

The idea that the disciples made up a Pagan-like story and stuck with it until death just doesn’t fit with anything. The disciples were much smarter than that. Their writings prove it.

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