Popular News Site Claims Jesus Never Existed

did jesus exist

An article titled 5 Reasons to Suspect that Jesus Never Existed was posted yesterday at Salon.com and was featured in the Yahoo news feed. The article itself does not contain anything groundbreaking to anyone who follows this debate, but it presents the most common objections.

Below are five reasons author Valerie Tarico gives, and how to answer them.

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Responding to “Spiritual but Not Religious” Christians

spiritual but not religious

Over the last several years I have encountered a fair number of Christians who claim they are “spiritual but not religious.” In other words, they do not identify with a particular Christian denomination, using the Bible alone to guide their faith. It’s an ideology that says religious institutions are outdated and unnecessary.

People may reach this conclusion for a multitude of reasons. Some are disillusioned by what they perceive to be corruption and hypocrisy in religious institutions. Others may feel like they are not being “fed.” Others yet may feel that these intuitions teach something contrary to their beliefs regarding political and social issues.

Whatever the reason may be, we must reach out to these people and take their concerns seriously.

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Responding to Critics of my Blog on Josephus

strange notions

At the website StrangeNotions.com, a blog post I had written about the Testimonium Flavianum (a mention of Jesus in the writings of the ancient Jewish historian, Jospehus) was re-posted there. It originally appeared on Catholic.com, and then later on my personal blog. In the comment section under the blog, several people there questioned the reliability of my post based on my credentials.

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Why the ‘Gospel of Barnabas’ is a Medieval Fake

gospel of barnabas

In a previous blog post (Islam and the Crucifixion) I mentioned a book called The Gospel of Barnabas and how some Muslim apologists have used it to defend the Islamic view of Jesus. I pointed out that this so-called “gospel” is fraught with anachronisms, and there is virtually no evidence for its existence prior to medieval times. Since the publication of that post, I have received several emails asking me to elaborate on the subject.

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On the Indoctrination of Children

indoctrination

Most of my friends are atheists and agnostics. Many of them are of a variety quite different from the “new atheists,” in that they are content in their disbelief, not feeling a need to berate those of us who believe in God. But I do have several friends who are antagonistic to religious belief.

One topic that comes up regularly in conversations with them is raising children. My atheist friends often tell me that they teach their children to think for themselves. Christians, in their opinion, are indoctrinating their children by teaching them the Faith. Even when I was an atheist, this double-standard seemed obvious to me.

Indoctrination or Education?

Indoctrination, in the classic religious understanding of the word, means to pass on doctrine in an authoritative way. The difference between education and the modern understanding of indoctrination is that the indoctrinated are not encouraged to critically examine the things they have been taught.

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