as proof that Jesus existed?
Numerous secular scholars have presented their own versions of the so-called “Historical Jesus” – and most of them are, as biblical scholar J.D. Crossan puts it, “an academic embarrassment”.
And this is the point of the article, Weighing up the evidence for the ‘Historical Jesus’ appearing in Heritage Daily:
From Crossan’s view of Jesus as the wise sage, to Robert Eisenman’s Jesus the revolutionary, and Bart Ehrman’s apocalyptic prophet, about the only thing New Testament scholars seem to agree on is Jesus’ historical existence. But can even that be questioned?
The first problem we encounter when trying to discover more about the Historical Jesus is the lack of early sources. The earliest sources only reference the clearly fictional Christ of Faith.
These early sources, compiled decades after the alleged events, all stem from Christian authors eager to promote Christianity – which gives us reason to question them. The authors of the Gospels fail to name themselves, describe their qualifications, or show any criticism with their foundational sources – which they also fail to identify.
We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.
- And what should appear but a reader comment:
. . . We also have the Shroud of Turin, which for 30 years now has had a very active website where scholars have reported and other scholars have questioned its authenticity. While its authenticity may never be verified scientifically, there is enough evidence to convince any court of law, were a case to be brought.
And a response to the comment, of course:
. . . The shroud of Turin is confidently dated 1260 to 1390 AD. It’s not the only shroud attributed to Jesus’ resurrection and it can’t even convincingly be said to be that of Jesus.
There is nowhere near enough valid evidence to convince a court of law of it’s authenticity. In the first place, there’s no body, the forensic evidence shows otherwise, it’s history smacks of fakery, and it’s not unique. It would be thrown out as frivolous.
It never works to invoke the Turin Shroud to try to convince a skeptic until you can first prove the shroud is authentic, not just claim it is.
BTW: In 2002, Crossan said in a Beliefnet Forum:
My best understanding is that the Shroud of Turin is a medieval relic-forgery. I wonder whether it was done from a crucified dead body or from a crucified living body. That is the rather horrible question once you accept it as a forgery.