Catherine Murphy, PHd writes on the webpage, Historical Contriversies about Jesus:

  • The degree of detail in the gospels and the surprising variation between them argues for rather than against Jesus's existence. In other words, if you're trying to perpetrate a fraud, you'd make sure to get your story straight first instead of shooting yourself in the foot with stories that contradict and confuse.
  • In addition to the insider accounts, Jewish and Roman records are available that mention this man, and they all date to the first century after Jesus's death. What records. The ones I am familiar with such as Pliny the elder and others are not from teh same time period and therefore often dismissed as heresay. - Italics Mine)
  • It's tough to explain the rise of Christianity and the willingness of those first followers to die for a story they had cooked up.  (Explain Mormonism - Italics mine)

At the end of the day, more evidence points to Jesus's existence than away from it.


I am curious about the veracity of her arguments. Readers of my blog will recall that I don't have issue with the possiblity of the existance of a historical man or men on which the myth of Jesus is based on. It's the lack of evidence, as I see it, that is the problem. It seems that the evidence as I understand it is primarily indirect or hearsay.


How would you respond to Dr. Murphy's argument's above as proof that far more existence exists than doesn't for Jesus existence? I am looking forward to everyone's ideas and thoughts



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These arguments are invalid. It does not follow from either high fidelity copying of a source text or making some stuff up in the process that the main character of the text was historical or not historical. Neither does it follow that if the main character did not exist in physical form that therefore the authors were frauds. Gospels are not history books and Gospel-writers aren't historians.

They didn't intend to end up in a Bible hundreds of years later and much later still to be critically compared against one and other, these Gospels are books were meant as defining scripture within certain Christian sects, without competition. The competition was between the sects.

Besides you'd have to include the Apocryphal texts in the variation synthesis, maybe some 17 others.

The "Jewish" (only Josephus) and "Roman accounts" fall apart under scrutiny. There isn't any non-Christian evidence at all.

The third argument seems to presuppose that in order for people to sacrifice themselves for a belief, the things they believe in have to be real. Again fail. Is Catherine Murphy at all familiar with Middle Eastern history?

In my experience the Dummies series are usually very good. If the quality standard is to be upheld it might be worth considering to remove this one.

The third argument seems to presuppose that in order for people to sacrifice themselves for a belief, the things they believe in have to be real. Again fail. Is Catherine Murphy at all familiar with Middle Eastern history?


I would say she most likely is not or at least is ignoring it. It also doesn't account for the Mormons, David Koresh and Jim Jones (to name a few) who totally sacrificed themselves for lies.

None of this holds up, and it seems to me that she's just using her doctorate to lend credibility to a false belief.

I totally agree. It seems the same tired old arguments. As to her statement of extra biblical accounts from the Romans I am unaware of any such records that were from the 0-33 CE period from when tradition claims Jesus existed. The records I am aware of such as Pliny the Elder, Titus, Josephus and others came much later and suffer from the same problem of hearsay as do the gospel accounts.


Just because somebody says (or writes) something, doesn't make it true.


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