Did Jesus Exist?

Did Jesus Exist?

The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth

Book - 2012
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In Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts the question, "Did Jesus exist at all?" Ehrman vigorously defends the historical Jesus, identifies the most historically reliable sources for best understanding Jesus' mission and message, and offers a compelling portrait of the person at the heart of the Christian tradition.

Known as a master explainer with deep knowledge of the field, Bart Ehrman methodically demolishes both the scholarly and popular "mythicist" arguments against the existence of Jesus. Marshaling evidence from within the Bible and the wider historical record of the ancient world, Ehrman tackles the key issues that surround the mythologies associated with Jesus and the early Christian movement.

In Did Jesus Exist?: The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth, Ehrman establishes the criterion for any genuine historical investigation and provides a robust defense of the methods required to discover the Jesus of history.

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperOne, 2012.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062204608
Branch Call Number: 232.908 EHRMAN B
Characteristics: vi, 361 pages ; 24 cm.


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Mar 15, 2018

I will cheerfully admit that I adored this book. After reading some of the books written by atheists about Jesus, even I get grumpy - and I don't think there was anything unique about him except that his fan club got the upper hand. (Not unlike Star Wars vs. Babylon 5, there.) Atheists who subscribe to the mythicist school - the one that argues there was no historical Jesus - tend to be the smuggest and most annoying of all in tone, but until recently I didn't have any tools to refute them.

Now I do. Ehrman, who is himself agnostic, takes on the mythicist school of thought directly in this volume and mounts multiple convincing arguments against the mythicists. He divides the book into sections: first addressing the evidence that there was a historical Jesus, second debunking the arguments against it, and then going on into whether it matters.

If you've read others of Ehrman's books, a lot of his citations will be familiar. Again, this is because there is a limited amount of early days' data available on the topic. There are only so many early manuscripts, although they are still eagerly sought. There are only so many people who were even capable of producing these documents, and honestly the amount of information we have is fairly important in and of itself - we don't have much more for many important figures.

Don't let the familiarity of the documentation and arguments bore you. Ehrman is making a case that is being presented by mythicists as impossible to make, and showing where they are missing information, arguing from special cases, or even just ignorant - he does point out a few incredibly specious arguments. I am convinced that Jesus was a historical figure by his points. It's worth reading to discover if you are, too. Four of five stars.

Jan 25, 2017


Your comment is not a particularly strong one. What exactly in Ehrman's book is "not particularly good" according to you? Blanket statements like that serve no purpose other than obfuscate the lack of any logical arguments that could shed light on the author's thesis. Can you give an example of "lies" you found in it? What problems of logic did you find?

Please, next time you write a comment ask yourself what does it contribute to the reader's knowledge.

Dec 27, 2015

Not a particularly good book. Full of lies and faulty logic. Shame on Ehrman for writing this junk

Oct 19, 2013

This is a tremendous book. Ehrman is an historian who takes a professional and balanced look at the evidence surrounding the controversy of whether or not a man (Jesus) actually physically existed. This book is well written and interesting. It provides an extensive bibliography both pro and con about Jesus' existence. A great starting point for those with limited background on the subject. Well worth the read.


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