Sunday, 30 October 2016

Index to my posts on the historical Jesus

An introductory message: these posts are part of my discussions with people who are hyper-sceptical about the historical Jesus. This is not like those apologetics websites we’ve all come across, with their off the peg answers, which often won’t do at all. This is much more about going where the problems are difficult. I am a historian, qualified to Masters level in early church history. I also have a classics degree (Latin - so I’m familiar with Roman historians and other Latin gems), as well as reading New Testament Greek (I attended a year’s training in the Greek). My motto for this  blog is ‘getting to the truth of things’ and I stick to that. Enough about me.

The point is, if you have been part of conversations that tend towards hyper-scepticism, then you want to write history properly, and read good history: you want proper attention to gathering data (a lot of these posts are evidence gathering); you want historical reconstructions to be made only on reasonable inferences, not flights of fancy; you want to be self-critical. Secular evidence-analysis skills have to play their part.

And the point of these posts is simple: to see what a secular historian applying secular methods can glean about the historical Jesus. This is not about Jesus being ‘the son of God’ or a miracle worker or anything like that. It is just about there being a Jewish man in the first century with the name Jesus who had an impact on Jewish people and religion in his day. These are not posts based on faith. These are based on gathering data, looking at it in the round.

Click on the sub-headings. They are all links to posts. 

Some basics: who, when and what?

What did Tacitus really say about Christ and Christians?

Our earliest data: 50-60AD

The gospels: real evidence of Jesus?

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