Hello Fellow Atheists: So here's a question. It's been bothering me for some time now and I just want to get your perspectives. When I first became a believer I was handed the book "The Case for Christ" by Lee Strobel. I read it and at the time it made sense to me. I didn't question it much at the time. Now that I am an Atheist I'm curious what others think about it. There are only three options given in this book. Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or the true son of God. Of course I know some of you believe that he never existed at all, (I do not). So I want to explore this further. 

Which is it? 

Or

Is it none of the above?

Why? (back yourself up with evidence)...

I hope this discussion can be educational in nature for those of us who are still learning. Thanks!

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Are you kidding? I'm feeling guilty because I appear to be picking on YOU!

I'm really not, I'm simply advising you to learn more.

No Arch, don't feel like you're picking on me. I'm ready to scrap today incase you couldn't tell. Bring it on. But we do have a dilemma it seems....wouldn't you agree?

Belle, a simple game of "Telephone," also known as "Chinese Whispers," utilizing about 20 players, will teach you all you need to know about the reliability of oral tradition.

A whisper once in your ear is hardly a comparison to a story you grow up hearing over....and over....and over....and over....and then telling it over....and over....and over....and over...

and OVER.

Not the same.

Sorry.

And it becomes a little different with every telling --

There is a fair review of the book here.

I must start by saying that as am writing this comment am too lazy to get you all the links to support my claims but I will do so in due course. That out of the way, I think first the options Lee Strobel gives do not capture the whole picture. He needed to have added that he is legend, which is what I think.

Reg has linked a review to Lee Strobel's book that I think you should read. 

In Robert Price' book the christ myth and it's problems he leaves the conclusion open for anyone to make their own.

Thanks, yes it should be Robert Price

Thanks! I'll add these to my book list! There's a lot to consider here for sure.

It's an interesting subject. As an aside, I have come across atheists who have actually been offended at the idea that Jesus may not have existed. Strange!

If the after the fact contradictory-scribblings have any credibility at all, then at best Jesus was a well meaning hippy, and at worst a deluded lunatic. 

A well-meaning hippie: I like that. I think that's my vote, lol

The historicists (people who think the whole mess is actually based on a living human being) tend to think Jesus was a fire-breathing apocalypticist who actually preached that the end was imminent.  (Doesn't sound like a hippie to me.)  You still see more than just traces of it in the gospels, but you also see the theme diminish as you go from Mark (first to be written) through Matthew and Luke (written at about the same time as each other) then finally to John.  You see other aspects of the legend increasing during this progression (i.e., being divine and the literal son of god) but "the world will end before all of you are dead" was becoming embarrassing.  (Which is evidence that him saying that *actually* happened and wasn't part of the bullshit invented later on; no one a century later would have made that shit up because it would have been demonstrably false then.)

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