Christ myth theory
|Christ myth theory|
The Resurrection of Christ by Noel Coypel (1700).
Some myth theorists see this as a case of a dying-and-rising god.
|Description||Jesus Christ never existed as a physical historical figure, but is a myth or incorporeal character created by the early Christian community.|
|Early proponents||Charles François Dupuis (1742–1809)
Constantin-François Volney (1757–1820)
David Strauss (1808–1874)
Bruno Bauer (1809–1882)
Edwin Johnson (1842-1901)
Dutch Radical School (1880-1950)
Albert Kalthoff (1850–1906)
W. B. Smith (1850–1934)
J. M. Robertson (1856–1933)
Thomas Whittaker (1856-1935)
Arthur Drews (1865–1935)
Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879-1959)
|Modern proponents||G. A. Wells, Michael Martin, Alvar Ellegård, Thomas L. Thompson, Thomas L. Brodie, Robert M. Price, Richard Carrier, Earl Doherty, D.M. Murdock|
|Subjects||Historical Jesus, Early Christianity, Ancient history|
The Christ myth theory (also known as Jesus myth theory or Jesus mythicism) is a range of arguments that question the existence of Jesus of Nazareth or the entirety of his life story as described in the Christian gospels. The most sweeping version of the myth theories contends that there was no real historical figure Jesus and that he was invented by early Christians. Another variant holds that there was a person called Jesus, but almost all teachings and miracles attributed to him were either invented or symbolic references. Yet another version suggests that the Jesus portrayed in the New Testament is a composite character constructed from multiple people over a period of time.
Most myth theories use arguments based on variants of three main components: first that the New Testament accounts have no historical value, secondly an argument from silence based on the absence of references to Jesus in contemporary non-Christian sources, and finally that Christianity had relied on syncretism from the very beginning and combined various myths to build the gospel accounts. Myth theorists have also drawn a number of parallels between the life of Jesus in Christian sources and various other religious or mythical domains, at times involving dying-and-rising gods. Modern scholarship has generally dismissed these analogies as without formal basis, and a form of parallelomania laden with historical errors.
Among the variants of the Jesus myth theory, the hypothesis that a historical Jesus figure never existed is supported only by a very small minority of modern scholars. Bart Ehrman has stated that now virtually all scholars of antiquity agree that Jesus existed, and Robert M. Price agrees that this denial perspective runs against the views of the majority of scholars. Myth theorist G. A. Wells has also softened his stance on the non-existence issue. Van Voorst and separately Michael Grant state that biblical scholars and classical historians now regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted.
The origins of the theory go back to 18th century France, following friction in Europe between the church establishment and some theologians with the growth of rationalism, but its first formal presentation was made in the 19th century by David Strauss, who did not deny the existence of Jesus, but considered accounts of miraculous events to be "mythical". The writings of Bruno Bauer and Arthur Drews in Germany developed the concept further. The range of theories grew and in the 1970s myth theorists such as G. A. Wells, Alvar Ellegård, and Robert M. Price had formalized and grouped their objections to the Christian accounts of the life of Jesus, with the writings of Wells eventually emerging as the most comprehensive overview of the positions advanced by myth theorists. In 2012 biblical scholar Thomas L. Brodie, former director of the Dominican Biblical Institute, published a book in which he argued Jesus is mythical, and the gospels are essentially a rewriting of the stories of Elijah and Elisha when viewed as a unified account in the Books of Kings.
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Context and background 
From its origins as a small, first century religious movement in Galilee, by the end of the 4th century Christianity had grown to become the official religion of the Roman Empire, and its expansion and theological development continued throughout Europe; making belief in the Jesus of the gospels the norm by the 17th century.
In the early 18th century England, friction between the church establishment and some theologians, coupled with the growing emphasis on rationalism, resulted in discord between the deists and the church, and John Toland, Anthony Collins and Thomas Woolston planted the seeds of discontent. Towards the end of the 18th century, the beginnings of the formal denial of the existence of Jesus began with the works of Constantin-Volney and Charles Dupuis in France.
The methodical writings of David Strauss caused an uproar in Europe in 1835, and Strauss became known as the founder of Christ myth theory. Strauss did not deny the existence of Jesus, but believed that very few facts could be known about him and characterized the miraculous accounts in the gospels as "mythical". At about the same time in Berlin, Bruno Bauer supported somewhat similar ideas. By the beginning of the 20th century, Arthur Drews, W. B. Smith and J. M. Robertson became the most recognized proponents of the Christ myth theory.
Karl Marx was a student of Bauer and was significantly influenced by him, as well as Hegel and Strauss, setting the stage for the denial of Jesus within communism. When Marxist–Leninist atheism became part of the state ideals in communist Russia in 1922, the theories of Arthur Drew gained prominence there. The communist state not only supported the Christ myth theory but embellished it with scientific colloquialisms, and school textbooks began to teach that Jesus never existed, making Russia a bastion of Jesus denial.
Myths and quests 
While myth theory was taking shape, somewhat related developments had started late in the 18th century by biblical scholars for the study of the historical Jesus, almost entirely based on biblical criticism, and by the end of the nineteenth century hundreds of books on the "life of Jesus" had been produced. This initial phase of activities (usually called the first quest) effectively came to an end when in his book The Quest of the Historical Jesus first published in 1906, Albert Schweitzer criticized the results, and pointed out that the authors generally constructed portraits of Jesus as they wanted to see him, and not based on historical methods.
In 1953 a new (i.e. second) quest for the historical Jesus started based on arguments that although the gospels may be interpreted for theological purposes, they still contain historical memories which can yield information about Jesus. The second quest reached a plateau in the 1970s and by the 1980s a third quest had started and gained a formal following. In the meantime new developments in the study of the historical Jesus were taking place: not only did new methods of research (e.g. the criterion of embarassment) emerge, but the sudden discovery of as yet unseen ancient documents changed the landscape. These documents range from the Dead Sea Scrolls which shed light on the social and cultural background of Judea, to the Arabic and Syriac versions of Josephus texts discovered by Shlomo Pines in the 1970s which help the interpretation of existing ancient sources.
In parallel to the quests, during the 1970s and 1980s, myth theorists such as G. A. Wells, Alvar Ellegård, and Robert M. Price better formalized and grouped their objections to the Christian accounts of the life of Jesus. However, academic resistance to the extreme versions of myth theory grew, e.g. John Allegro was dismissed from his university position for writing a book that took extreme positions on the issue and it took Thomas L. Thompson well over a decade to find an academic position. However, popular books on the topic continued to appear by authors such as D. M. Murdock, Earl Doherty and Timothy Freke, among others.
The writing of myth theorists did not encompass a single theory, but varied on the scopes of their denial of the historicity of Jesus' life and the reasons that supported their arguments, e.g. with G. A. Wells disagreeing with elements of the approach of Robert M. Price. By the 1990s, the writings of G. A. Wells had emerged as the most comprehensive overview of the positions advanced by myth theorists.
Dialogue and convergence 
By the end of the 20th century, a significant number of new methods for the study of the historical Jesus had been developed and an informal dialogue between the more established myth theorists and those involved in the quest for historical Jesus had started to take place, e.g. in two books both named The Evidence of Jesus the ideas of G. A. Wells on myth theory were directly challenged by James Dunn and R. T. France.  In turn, G. A. Wells began to address the criticism of Dunn in his 2003 book Can We Trust the New Testament?. Early in the 21st century, Stanley Porter wrote a book to directly challenge the work of Tom Harpur.
By this time, among the variants of the Jesus myth theory, the notion that Jesus never existed received the highest level of academic criticism with Van Voorst saying that biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted. Classicist Michael Grant echoed the same sentiment. Bart Ehrman's books on the topic addressed a number of the issues and stated that now virtually all scholars of the antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agree that Jesus existed. At the same time, some myth theory proponents such as G. A. Wells began to soften their stance; with G. A. Wells accepting that the Q source refers to "a preacher who existed", while still maintaining that the New Testament accounts of the preacher's life are mostly fiction.
In the same time frame, the third quest for the historical Jesus had entered a new phase, and although a new emphasis on historical Jesus research has emerged, Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter stated that by early 21st century due to the fragmentation of the portraits of Jesus no unified picture of Jesus could be attained at all. Echoing the same scenario, Ben Witherington states that "there are now as many portraits of the historical Jesus as there are scholarly painters". Thus while the non-existence of Jesus and mythological parallels have been firmly rejected by modern scholarship, agreement on the portraits of his life based on New Testament accounts have been scarce. Amy-Jill Levine summarizes the situation by stating that although "no single picture of Jesus has convinced all, or even most scholars" and all portraits of Jesus are subject to criticism by some group of scholars, "there is a consensus of sorts on the basic outline of Jesus' life" in that most scholars agree that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, debated Jewish authorities on the subject of God, performed some healings, gathered followers, and was crucified by Roman prefect Pontius Pilate.
Myth theories and responses 
Variations on a theme 
The term "Christ myth theory" is an umbrella term that applies to a range of arguments that in one way or another question the authenticity of the existence of Jesus or the essential elements of his life as described in the Christian gospels. One viewpoint is that there was no real historical figure Jesus and that he was invented by Christians. Another viewpoint is that there was a person called Jesus, but much of the teachings and miracles attributed to him were either invented or symbolic references. Yet another view holds that the Jesus portrayed in the gospels is a composite character constructed from multiple people over a period of time.
- Jesus never existed: The gospels describe a virtually, and perhaps entirely, fictitious person. There are no grounds for supposing that any aspect of the Jesus narrative is rooted in history.
- Jesus existed but little is known about him: There is enough historical evidence to conclude that Jesus existed, but the reports are so unreliable that very little can be said about his life and teachings with confidence.
- Jesus existed and we can know about him: Historical research can reveal a core of historical facts about Jesus, but he is often different from the portrayals in the New Testament. Many of the sayings and miracles attributed to him are likely to be myths.
- The gospels present a mostly historical Jesus: When the New Testament accounts are compared with other sources they provide a by and large reliable historical portrait of Jesus, and critical historiography should not rule out the possibility of supernatural occurrences.
Among the variants of the Jesus myth theory, the first position, i.e. that Jesus never existed has the least amount of scholarly support, and although some modern scholars adhere to it, they remain a distinct minority. This first view (which does not include a single theory of the actual origins of Christianity) was promoted to varying degrees by Bruno Bauer, Arthur Drews, and to a lesser extent by Robert M. Price.
The second view is represented by theologians such as Rudolf Bultmann and Burton Mack. G. A. Wells used to formally support the first view, but has since changed his position and agrees that a preacher on whom the gospel accounts are based may have existed. Supporters of the third view include John Dominic Crossan, Paula Fredriksen and Amy-Jill Levine. However, the supporters of the third position often differ on the portraits that can be constructed, some seeing him as an apocalyptic preacher, others as a Cynic philosopher or an advocate of social change. The fourth view is represented by John P. Meier and N. T. Wright.
Elements of the theories 
Supporters of the various Christ myth theories generally point to the lack of any known written references to Jesus during his lifetime and the relative scarcity of non-Christian references to him in the 1st century, and dispute the veracity of the existing accounts about him. Van Voorst states that starting with Bruno Bauer, the arguments presented by most myth theorists have had three distinct components, although later authors do not always acknowledge Bauer or agree with his specific positions:
- The New Testament (and Christian accounts in general) have no historical value and can not be relied upon.
- The argument from silence that the scarcity of references to Jesus in non-Christian sources that date to the first century indicate that he did not exist.
- Christianity relied on syncretism from the very beginning and combined a number of myths to build the gospel accounts.
On the other hand, Robert M. Price, who argues it is quite likely there never was a historical Jesus, sees the three pillars of the myth theories as the following:
- There is no mention of a miracle-working Jesus in secular sources.
- The Pauline epistles, earlier than the gospels, do not provide evidence of a recent historical Jesus.
- The story of Jesus shows strong parallels to myths of dying and rising gods.
However, since changing his position on the historicity of Jesus, myth theorist G. A. Wells specifically rejects Price's dying and rising gods issue and states that the personage mentioned in the Q source is not all mythical and is "not to be identified with the dying and rising Christ of the early epistles".
Mainstream objections 
Regarding the use of the gospels, almost all scholars in the quest for the historical Jesus agree that although the New Testament was written as a collection of theological documents rather than historical chronicles, these still contain historical memories which when analyzed and contrasted with each other and other historical elements can yield information about Jesus.
Regarding the scarcity of non-Christian first century sources, Van Voorst has stated that Jesus was not a prominent issue for the Jews during the first century, and Jewish scholars only paid attention to Christians as the frictions with them grew in later years. Craig A. Evans states that if Christianity had not survived beyond the first century, Jews would not have even bothered to mention it in the Midrash. Regarding Roman sources, Van Voorst states that in antiquity historical writings were not based on "instant analysis" and often followed events decades later. He adds that Romans only began to pay attentions to Christians at the turn of the first century when they came to be seen as a possible threat to Rome, and before then most Romans had very little idea who the Christians were, and generally viewed Christians as an insignificant "superstition" not worthy of much attention.
Regarding the Pauline epistles, mainstream scholars have presented multiple arguments to refute the hypothesis that Paul considered Jesus as living long before himself, or that Paul saw Jesus as a cosmic creature, given that Galatians 4:4 states that he was "born of a woman", in Galatians 1:19 Paul refers to the "Lord's brother" who was alive at the time of Paul; and in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 Paul refers to the Jews "who both killed the Lord Jesus" and "drove out us" as the same people, indicating that the death of Jesus was within the same time frame as the persecution of Paul.
Regarding the dying and rising gods, Eddy and Boyd state that there are at least three separate problems with this analogy: First, that most modern scholars question that there is even a category called "dying and rising gods". Second, even if the category is accepted, there is no scholarly evidence that Jesus fits that profile. Third, most scholars agree that any such historical influence is "entirely implausible" given that first century monotheistic Galilean Jews would not have been open to pagan myths, and except for Osiris, all written accounts of the myths of dying and rising gods date to after the birth of Christianity; and Osiris represents a repeating vegetation system distinct from Jesus' characterization. Gerald O'Collins has stated that this type of surface-level application of analogous symbolism is a case of parallelomania which exaggerate the importance of trifling resemblances, long abandoned by mainstream scholars.
Arguments from silence and ignorance 
Silence of contemporary sources 
Proponents of the Christ myth theory at times rely on arguments from silence (i.e., reasoning based on what sources do not say) and contend that if the Gospel accounts were historically reliable then there should be contemporary non-Christian sources that corroborate the events of Jesus' life. In a general historical context, arguments from silence rely on judgements about the level of interest an author would have had in the subject, the intended breadth of the author's coverage within the document in question, and how that information may have been relevant to the item excluded.
Some arguments from silence relate to the silence of Philo of Alexandria and the lack of a reference to Jesus in his Embassy to Gaius written around 40 CE when he visited Rome (as in Ant of the Jews XVIII.8) to appear before Gaius Caligula to represent the Alexandrian Jews following their mistreatment by the Roman prefect Flaccus. Van Voorst points out that although Philo criticized the brutality of Pontius Pilate in Embassy to Gaius he did not name Jesus as an example of Pilate's cruelty. However, he adds that a possible explanation is that Philo never mentions Christians at all, so he had no need to mention their founder. Biblical scholar Bernard Green states that Philo was deliberately silent on some comparative aspects of the Jewish communities in Rome and Alexandria (e.g. levels of autonomy and turbulence), given the conciliatory nature of his mission to Gauis. Philo was also silent on the reaction of the Jewish Zealots to the death of Gaius, perhaps because the theme of Embassy to Gaius was providence for Israel. According to Eusebius (Hist Eccl II.17) it was said that during the 41–54 CE reign of Claudius (the successor to Gaius), Philo may have met Apostle Peter on a subsequent visit to Rome and as a result have become familiar with Christian practices. Jerome also reports (De viris Ill.5) that Philo met Peter on a subsequent visit to Rome and E. Mary Smallwood states that this may have been because Gaius died before he could conclude the matter and Philo had to go back to Rome to see Claudius. However, Rainer Riesner suggests that the meeting may not be historical, although it fits in with other historical details.
Classicist Timothy Barnes notes that the low level of interest in and awareness of Christians within the Roman Empire at the turn of the first century resulted in the lack of any discernible mention of them by Roman authors such as Martial and Juvenal, although Christians had been present in Rome since the reign of Claudius (41–54 AD) and both authors referred to Judaism. Louis Feldman states that one of the reasons Josephus refers to Jesus in the Antiquities of the Jews (written c. 93 CE) and not the Jewish Wars (written c. 75 CE) is that in the twenty-year gap between the two works Christians had become more important and were hence given attention in the Antiquities.
Myth theorist G. A. Wells agrees with Timothy Barnes that first century Roman authors had little or no interest in Christianity, and uses that point to argue that as a result what the Romans later wrote about Christianity was only second hand information based on what they had learned from the early Christians, and hence can not be relied upon to construct a historical portrait of Jesus. In his book Can We Trust the New Testament Wells no longer denies the existence of Jesus, but uses arguments from silence to dispute the details of his life as presented in the gospels. Wells states that the continued silence of early sources about the details of the life of Jesus can not be simply assigned to the "personal idiosyncrasy" in Paul's writings, but may indicate that the details of the ministry, parables and miracles of Jesus may be later inventions.
Another example of the silence of a contemporary source is that of Jewish historian Justus of Tiberias who lived in the second half of the first century and although his own works are lost, references to his work include no mention of Jesus. Although in Dialogue with Trypho, the second century Christian writer Justin Martyr wrote of a discussion about "Christ" with Trypho, most scholars agree that Trypho is a fictional character invented by Justin for his literary apologetic goals. Van Voorst states that the scarcity of Jewish references to Jesus is not surprising, given that Jesus was not a prominent issue for the Jews during the first century, and after the devastation caused by the Siege of Jerusalem in the year 70, Jewish scholars were focusing on preserving Judaism itself, rather than paying much attention to Christianity, and only addressed Christian issues as the frictions with them grew in later years.
The possible references to Jesus in the Mishnah (c. 200) reflect the early Jewish traditions of discrediting Jesus by portraying him as a sorcerer or magician. Arguments from silence thus also apply in the other direction, in that in antiquity, the existence of Jesus was never denied by those who opposed Christianity; who instead focused on discrediting him and were silent on the denial of existence. Eddy and Boyd state that the significance of the Talmud to historical Jesus research is that it never denies the existence of Jesus, but accuses him of sorcery, thus indirectly confirming his existence.
Absence of contemporary evidence 
Biblical scholars L. Michael White and separately Gerald O'Collins state that as far as we know, Jesus did not leave behind any written documents, and there is no archeological evidence of his existence; no contemporaneous accounts of his life or death. The earliest writings that survive are the letters of Paul, generally estimated as written 20–30 years after the death of Jesus. White writes that Paul was not a companion of Jesus and does not claim to have seen Jesus before his death; and the gospels themselves come from later times, though they may contain earlier sources or oral traditions.
The absence of contemporary evidence has been one of the reasons offered by myth theorists for the lack of historical basis for Jesus. On the other hand, Bart Ehrman contends that arguments based on the lack of physical or archeological evidence for Jesus nor any writings from him are "not very good arguments, even though they sound good" as there is no such evidence of "nearly anyone who lived in the first century". Ehrman states that these arguments at times assume that Jesus had an immense impact on the society of his day, and hence one might have expected contemporary accounts of his deeds; but this view is not even close to correct and although Jesus had a large impact on future generations, his impact on the society of his time was "practically nil".
Teresa Okure states that in a global cultural context the existence and general life stories of historical figures such as Plato or Socrates are established by the analysis of references to them in later documents rather than by specific relics and remnants attributed to them. In the broad historical context, a number of scholars caution against the use of arguments from ignorance and consider them generally inconclusive or fallacious, given that they rely on "negative evidence"—and the ignorance of an item should not lead to any conclusion about it. Douglas Walton states that arguments from ignorance can only lead to sound conclusions in cases where we can assume that our "knowledge-base is complete".
Although recent archaeological studies have taken place in areas such as Capernaum, Sepphoris and surrounding areas, their impact has not been on the discovery of Jesus related artifact but understanding the socioeconomic structure of that area during the first century, or items that relate to possibly associated events, e.g. the 1961 discovery of the Pilate Stone, which mentions the Roman prefect Pontius Pilate.
Ancient sources 
Pauline epistles 
The Pauline epistles are generally dated to 50–60 CE (i.e. approximately twenty to thirty years after the generally accepted time period for the death of Jesus, around 30–36 CE), and are the earliest surviving Christian texts that may include information about Jesus. The Pauline letters at times refer to creeds, or confessions of faith, that predate their writings. For instance, 1 Corinthians 15:11 refers to others before Paul who preached the creed. These Pre-Pauline creeds date to within a few years of Jesus' death, and developed within the Christian community in Jerusalem. Scholars generally view these as indications that the existence and death of Jesus was part of Christian tradition a few years after his death and over a decade before the writing of the Pauline epistles. James Dunn states that 1 Corinthians 15:3 indicates that in the 30s Paul was taught about the death of Jesus a few years earlier.
Although Paul had met Apostle Peter and stayed with him for 15 days (Galatians 1:18), Paul had not met Jesus in person and only claims to have known him as the "risen Christ". Most scholars view the Pauline letters as essential elements in the study of the historical Jesus. Myth theorists generally reject the usefulness of these letters. Two elements in the Pauline letters that pertain to the existence of Jesus and his being a Jew include Galatians 4:4 which states that he was "born of a woman" and Romans 1:3 that he was "born under the law".
Myth theorist G. A. Wells has criticized the infrequency of the reference to Jesus in the Pauline letters. When Wells was still denying the existence of Jesus as a person, he criticized the Pauline epistles for not mentioning items such as John the Baptist or Judas or the trial of Jesus and used that argument to conclude that Jesus was not a historical figure. James D. G. Dunn addressed Wells' statement and stated that he knew of no other scholar that shared that view, and most other scholars had other and more plausible explanations for the fact that Paul did not include a narrative of the life of Jesus in his letters, which were primarily written as religious documents rather than historical chronicles at a time when the life story of Jesus could have been well known within the early Church. Dunn states that despite Wells' arguments, the theories of the non-existence of Jesus are a "thoroughly dead thesis". After Wells changed his position and stopped denying the existence of Jesus, he responded to Dunn, stating that his arguments from silence not only apply to Paul but all early Christian authors, and that he still has a low opinion of early Christian texts, maintaining that for Paul Jesus may have existed many decades, if not centuries, before. Eddy and Boyd present multiple arguments to refute the hypothesis that Paul considered Jesus as living long before himself, one being that in Galatians 1:19 Paul refers to the "Lord's brother" who was alive at the time of Paul; another that 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 refers to those who had interacted with Jesus as Paul's contemporaries; and in 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 Paul refers to the Jews "who both killed the Lord Jesus" and "drove out us" as the same people, indicating that the death of Jesus was within the same time frame as the persecution of Paul.
Non-Christian sources 
A number of non-Christian sources are used in the quest for the historical Jesus. These include Josephus and Tacitus as key sources and Suetonius and Mara Bar-Serapion as possible indicators, among others. Christ Myth theory supporters such as G. A. Wells contend that these sources were written decades after the supposed events, include no independent traditions that relate to Jesus and hence can provide no confirmation of historical facts about him. On the other hand, scholars such as R. T. France have criticized Wells' approach as based on the weaving of cherry picked historical elements that suit his position.
The writings of the 1st century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity. Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to Jesus in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 and Book 20, Chapter 9, 1. Of the two passages the "James passage" in Book 20 is used by scholars to support the existence of Jesus, the "Testimonium Flavianum" in Book 18 his crucifixion.
Modern scholarship has almost universally acknowledged the authenticity of the reference in Book 20, Chapter 9, 1 of the Antiquities to "the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James"  and considers it as having the highest level of authenticity among the references of Josephus to Christianity.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, myth theorists have argued against the Josephus references, with John Remsburg's in 1909 book being highly critical of them. In 1912 Arthur Drews also criticized the Josephus references and stated that there was no mention of Jesus at all in Josephus before the time of Eusebius in the 4th century. More recently, myth theorist G. A. Wells has argued against the authenticity of the Josephus James references and stated that the fact that the third century writer Origen seems to have read something different about the death of James in Josephus than what there is now, suggests some tampering with the James passage seen by Origen. Wells suggests that the interpolation seen by Origen may not have survived in the extant Josephus manuscripts, but that it opens the possibility that there may have been other interpolations in Josephus' writings. Wells further states that differences between the Josephus account and those of Hegesippus and Clement of Alexandria may point to interpolations in the James passage.
Unlike G. A. Wells, most scholars view the variations between the Josephan and the Christian accounts of the death of James as indications that the Josephus passages are not interpolations, for a Christian interpolator would have made them correspond to the Christian traditions, not differ from them. Louis Feldman states that the James passage, above others, indicates that Josephus did say something about Jesus. Feldman states that amazement Origen expresses in Book X, Chapter 17 of his Commentary on Matthew about Josephus' refusal to accept Jesus as "the Christ" makes no sense if Josephus had not referred to Jesus at all.
The works of Josephus refer to at least twenty different people with the name Jesus, and in chapter 9 of Book 20, there is also a reference to Jesus son of Damneus who was a High Priest of Israel but is distinct from the reference to "Jesus called Christ" mentioned along with the identification of James. John Painter states that phrase "who was called Christ" is used by Josephus in this passage "by way of distinguishing him from others of the same name such as the high priest Jesus son of Damneus, or Jesus son of Gamaliel" both having been mentioned by Josephus in this context. Richard Carrier argues that the words "the one called Christ" resulted from the accidental insertion of a marginal note added by some unknown reader and James was the brother Jesus ben Damneus.
The Testimonium Flavianum (meaning the testimony of Flavius [Josephus]) is the name given to the passage found in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities in which Josephus describes the condemnation and crucifixion of Jesus at the hands of the Roman authorities. Scholars have differing opinions on the total or partial authenticity of the Testimonium Flavianum. The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus with a reference to the execution of Jesus by Pilate which was then subject to Christian interpolation.
Although the exact nature and extent of the Christian redaction in the Testimonium Flavianum remains unclear there is broad consensus as to what the original text of the Testimonium by Josephus would have looked like, and that there was a reference to the crucifixion of Jesus within it. Myth theorists such as G. A. Wells continue to criticize the Testimonium Flavianum, although Wells acknowledges that since Shlomo Pines' discovery most other scholars hold that Testimonium had a genuine reference to Jesus which was later interpolated. However, in the quest for the historical Jesus, the Testimonium Flavianum is not used to establish the existence of Jesus, but to study the circumstances of his death.
The Roman historian and senator Tacitus referred to Christ, his execution by Pontius Pilate and the existence of early Christians in Rome in his final work, Annals (written c. AD 116), book 15, chapter 44. The context of the passage is the six-day Great Fire of Rome that burned much of the city in AD 64 during the reign of Roman Emperor Nero.
Scholars generally consider Tacitus's reference to the execution of Jesus by Pontius Pilate to be both authentic, and of historical value as an independent Roman source about early Christianity that is in unison with other historical records. Eddy and Boyd state that it is now "firmly established" that Tacitus provides a non-Christian confirmation of the crucifixion of Jesus. Although a few scholars question the passage given that Tacitus was born 25 years after Jesus's death, the majority of scholars consider it genuine. William L. Portier has stated that the consistency in the references by Tacitus, Josephus and the letters to Emperor Trajan by Pliny the Younger reaffirm the validity of all three accounts.
Myth theorist Acharya S discounts the Tacitus reference by arguing that the entire Annals have been forged by 15th century Italian author Poggio Bracciolini (1380–1459) at Hersfeld Abbey in Germany. This hypothesis had been proposed in the 19th century by Polydore Hochart and also by John Wilson Ross.
While Bracciolini had discovered three minor works at Hersfeld in 1425, Zanobi da Strada who died in 1361 (before the birth of Bracciolini) discovered Annals 11-16 (the reference to Christians appears in book 15) at Monte Cassino. That the Annals were discovered before the birth of Bracciolini is also evidence by the writings of da Strada's friend Giovanni Boccaccio (1313–1375) who was commissioned by the city of Florence to write Commento di Dante which he completed c. 1374, where he made clear use of the Annals when he gave an account of the death of Seneca the Younger directly based on the Tacitus account in Annals book 15. According to Van Voorst the forging of the Annals by Poggio Bracciolini was an extreme hypothesis which never gained a following among modern scholars.
Fantasms and myths 
Incorporeal Jesus 
During the first three centuries some Christian sects claimed Jesus Christ did not exist as a physical being and was considered to be an incorporeal deity. For instance, Docetists (a heretical Christian sect) held the view that Jesus only seemed to exist. Docetists believed in the divinity of Jesus, but held that he was a pure spirit and hence could not physically die.
Building on the theological notions of the rejection of the flesh in the Pauline Epistles, in the second century Marcion of Sinope (who was expelled from the Church for proclaiming Jesus to be above Yahweh) promoted the doctrine that Jesus did not really take human flesh, and was not even born, but simply appeared on earth during the reign of Tiberius. Similarly, Basilides promoted the idea that Simon of Cyrene substituted Jesus at the crucifixion, and that Jesus himself took the form of Simon, and stood by and laughed at them. However, the teachings of Marcion and Basilides had the theological aspect of exalting Jesus rather than a historical basis, e.g. the views of Basilides exalted Jesus to the point that man could not even say if he existed.
Comparative mythology 
For over a century, a number of parallels have been drawn between the life of Jesus in Christian sources and other religious or mythical domains. In 1800–1801 Friedrich Hölderlin suggested similarities between the Greek god Dionysus (later called Bacchus by the Romans) and Jesus.
Early in the 20th century, Gerald Massey argued for similarities between the Egyptian god Horus and Jesus. But Massey's work was at times non-sensical, e.g. he held that the biblical references to Herod the Great were based on the Egyptian myth of "Herrut" the evil hydra serpent, while the existence of Herod the Great can be well established without reliance on Christian sources. More recently Tom Harpur (who believes Jesus existed, but his life story is fiction) has expressed similar views, building on Massey's work.
Building on analogies with solar deities, a number of scenarios for the selection of the date December 25 as the date of birth of Jesus have been proposed, Massey and his followers such as Alvind Kuhn suggesting that it was selected based on the birth of Horus. However, the New Testament does not include any reference to the date or season of the birth of Jesus and the earliest known source recognizing the 25th of December as the date of birth of Jesus is by Hippolytus of Rome, written around the beginning of the 3rd century, based on the assumption that the conception of Jesus took place at the Spring equinox. Hippolytus placed the equinox on March 25 and then added 9 months to get December 25, thus establishing the date for festivals. The Chronography of 354 then included an early reference to the celebration of a feast for the birth of Jesus in December. A sermon by Gregory of Nyssa in 386 specifically places the feast on December 25.
However, the construction of analogies with solar deities has continued, e.g. J. M. Robertson suggested that Jesus was based on the Israelite astral cult of Joshua whose representation was the lamb and the ram. William Benjamin Smith has argued that Jesus (as Agnus Dei, the Lamb of God) was based on the Hindu god Agni. Modern myth theorist Acharya S provides an extended list of mythological candidates whose life may be seen to parallel Jesus, including the Egyptian Horus, the Druid Hesus, Dažbog of the Slavs, Krishna of India, Wōden of Scandinavia, Indra of Hinduism, Fo-Hi of China, and Quetzalcoatl of Mexico among others. Modern scholarship generally rejects these analogies. Jewish scholar Samuel Sandmel views the conclusions drawn from the simple observations of similarity as less than valid, and has named the extravagance in hunting for similarities "parallelomania" – a phenomenon where authors first notice a supposed similarity and then "proceeds to describe source and derivation as if implying a literary connection flowing in an inevitable or predetermined direction".
In his 1949 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces Joseph Campbell advanced the theory that a single myth stood behind the stories of Krishna, Buddha, Apollonius of Tyana, Jesus and other hero stories. In his later The Masks of God Campbell stated that the legend of the Crucified and Risen Christ was similar to the old motifs of the beloved Tammuz, Adonis, and Osiris cycles. However, a number of biblical scholars reject these parallels and hold that the early material related to Jesus can not be explained with reference to pagan mythological parallels. Summarizing the scholarly views, Paula Fredriksen (who rejects Christianity but embraces Judaism) states that no serious scholarly work places Jesus outside the backdrop of 1st century Palestinian Judaism.
Mainstream scholarship also generally rejects the concept of homogenous dying and rising gods, the validity of which is often presupposed by advocates of the Christ myth theory, such as New Testament scholar Robert Price. Eddy and Boyd state that there are at least three separate problems with the dying and rising god analogy:
- First, that most modern scholars question that there is even a category called "dying and rising gods". Eddy and Boyd states that upon analysis it turns out that either there is no death, no resurrection or no god in the examples used to construct the category. Jonathan Z. Smith states that the category of dying and rising gods is a "misnomer based on imaginative reconstruction". The Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion states that Smith is correct in pointing out many discontinuing within the category and although some scholars support the category, it is generally seen as involving excessive generalization.
- Secondly, even if the category is accepted, there is no scholarly evidence that Jesus fits that profile. Tryggve Mettinger, one of the scholars who believes the category exists agrees with that assessment and states that Jesus does not fit in the category.
- Thirdly, not only is there no evidence of a historical influence by the pagan myths of dying and rising gods on the gospels authors, most scholars agree that any such historical influence is "entirely implausible". Except for Osiris, all written accounts of the myths of dying and rising gods date to after the birth of Christianity, and could not have influenced it; and scholars generally hold that monotheistic Galilean Jews would not have been open to pagan stories. And the death and rebirth of Osiris repeats every season, based on vegetation cycles and is very different from the death of Jesus.
Parallels have also been drawn with Mithraism, and similarities between Mithraic and Christian rituals were even noticed by Early Christian authors, but they inevitably took an extremely negative view of Mithraism and saw it as evil copies of Christian practices. Yet, Marvin Meyer has stated that the resemblances between Christianity and Mithraism is close enough to make modern Christian apologists scramble to invent creative theological explanations to account for the similarities. However, Stanley Porter notes that Mithraism took hold within the Roman Empire after its expansion and only reached Asia minor via Roman soldiers in the latter part of the first century, after the basic elements of the gospels were in place, and hence could not have influenced the essential elements of the gospels. David Ulansey states that the purported equivalence of Jesus' virgin birth story with Mithras' origin fails because Mithras emerged fully grown, partially clothed, and armed from a rock. S. G. F. Brandon and Bruce M. Metzger state that the idea that early Christians would consciously incorporate pagan myths into their religion is "most improbable", as shown by the strong opposition that Paul encountered from other Christians for even his minor concessions to gentile believers.
History of the concept 
18–19th centuries 
Volney and Dupuis 
The beginnings of the formal denial of the existence of Jesus can be traced to late 18th century France, and the works of Constantin-Volney (1757–1820) and Charles Dupuis (1742–1809). Volney and Dupuis argued that Christianity was an amalgamation of various ancient mythologies and that Jesus was a totally mythical character.
Dupuis argued that ancient rituals in Syria, Egypt and Persia had influenced the Christian story which was allegorized as the histories of solar deities, such as Sol Invictus. He argued that Jewish and Christian scriptures could be interpreted according to the solar pattern, e.g. the Fall of Man in Genesis being an allegory of the hardship caused by winter, and the resurrection of Jesus an allegory for the growth of the sun's strength in the sign of Aries at the spring equinox.
Volney argued that Abraham and Sarah were derived from Brahma and his wife Saraswati, and that Christ was related to Krishna. Volney, published before Dupuis but made use of a draft version of Dupuis' work, and followed much of his argument, but at times differed from him, e.g. in arguing that the gospel stories were not intentionally created as an extended allegory grounded in solar myths, but were compiled organically when simple allegorical statements were misunderstood as history. Volney and Dupuis did not merely criticize Christianity but also attacked Brahmanism and viewed it as having Egyptian roots.
Volney's perspective was not purely religious, but had a sociopolitical component, which in the short term acted against it, in that the association with the ideas of the French Revolution and Volney's influence on Napoleon hindered the acceptance of these views in England. Although Volney and Dupuis viewed Hinduism as "obscene", they used it to criticize Christianity as a sham championed by the counter-revolutionary British and Russians. Despite its short term setbacks, the work of Volney gathered significant following among British and American radical thinkers during the 19th century.
David Strauss 
David Strauss (1808–1874) was a German theologian whose 1835 book The Life of Jesus caused an uproar in Europe, and he became known as the founder of myth theory, his approach having been influenced by the epistemological views of Leibniz and Spinoza. Strauss did not deny the existence of Jesus as a person, but viewed the miraculous accounts of his life in the gospels as "mythical". Strauss did not view the gospel narratives and their miraculous accounts as fraudulent inventions, but as the product of a community's imagination, and ideas represented as stories. Struass' view is in contrast to modern arguments about the impossibility of miracles in the bible, for he saw the biblical accounts as retellings of important events clothed as miraculous happenings.
Strauss' interpretation of the Baptism of Jesus provides an example of his approach, in that Strauss believed that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and that the encounter had influenced the views of Jesus regarding his preachings thereafter, but held that the additional elements of the sky opening, the dove descending on Jesus as the Holy Spirit, etc. were subsequent miraculous embellishments by the authors of the gospels intended to emphasize the importance of a key event in the life of Jesus.  Strauss' views were not inherently non-theological, for he believed that the divine spirit was embedded in all of humanity, but his arguments proved to be highly controversial at his time, and resulted in the loss of his position at the University of Zurich.
Bruno Bauer 
Bruno Bauer (1809–1882), who taught at the University of Bonn, took David Strauss' arguments further and became the first author to systematically argue that Jesus did not exist. Bauer's writings presented the first use of the threefold argument used in much of myth theory in later years (but often rediscovered independently), namely the denial of the historical value of the New Testament accounts; pointing to the scarcity of references to Jesus in first century non-Christian sources and accusing Christianity of relying on syncretism from its earliest days.
Bauer initially left open the question of whether an historical Jesus existed at all. Later, in A Critique of the Gospels and a History of their Origin, (1850–1851) Bauer argued that Jesus had not existed; and in 1877 in Christ and the Caesars he suggested that Christianity was a synthesis of the Stoicism of Seneca the Younger and of the Jewish theology of Philo as developed by pro-Roman Jews such as Josephus. Bauer's work was heavily criticized at the time, in 1839 he was removed from his position at the University of Bonn and his work did not have much impact on future myth theorists.
Radical Dutch school 
In the 1870s and 1880s, a group of scholars associated with the University of Amsterdam, known in German scholarship as the Radical Dutch school who rejected the authenticity of the Pauline epistles, and took a generally negative view of the Bible's historical value. Within this group, the existence of Jesus was rejected by Allard Pierson, the leader of the movement, S. Hoekstra, and Samuel Adrian Naber. A. D. Loman argued in 1881 that all New Testament writings belonged to the 2nd century, and doubted that Jesus was an historical figure, but later said the core of the gospels was genuine. The group wrote in Dutch and focused mostly on the Old Testament. They had some notable followers, but by the early part of the 20th century they had faded out.
Early 20th century 
During the early 20th century, several writers published arguments against Jesus' historicity, often drawing on the work of liberal theologians, who tended to deny any value to sources for Jesus outside the New Testament, and limited their attention to Mark and the hypothetical Q source. They also made use of the growing field of religious history which found sources for Christian ideas in Greek and Oriental mystery cults, rather than Palestinian Judaism. Joseph Klausner wrote that biblical scholars "tried their hardest to find in the historic Jesus something which is not Judaism; but in his actual history they have found nothing of this whatever, since this history is reduced almost to zero. It is therefore no wonder that at the beginning of this century there has been a revival of the eighteenth and nineteenth century view that Jesus never existed."
The work of social anthropologist Sir James George Frazer (1854–1941) has had an influence on various myth theorists, although Frazer himself believed that Jesus existed. In 1890 he published the first edition of The Golden Bough which attempted to define the shared elements of religious belief. This work became the basis of many later authors who argued that the story of Jesus was a fiction created by Christians, although Frazer himself did not share that view. After a number of people claimed that he was a myth theorist in the 1913 expanded edition of The Golden Bough Frazer expressly stated that his theory assumed a historical Jesus.
J. M. Robertson 
J. M. Robertson (1856–1933), a Scottish journalist who became a Liberal MP, argued in 1900 that Jesus never existed but was an invention by a first century messianic cult. In Robertson's view religious groups invent new gods to fit the needs of the society of the time. Robertson argued that a solar deity symbolized by the lamb and the ram had been worshiped by an Israelite cult of Joshua for long and that this cult had then invented a new messianic figure, Jesus of Nazareth. Roberson argued that a possible source for the Christian myth may have been the Talmudic story of the executed Jesus Pandera which dates to 100 BCE. Robertson considered the letters of Paul the earliest surviving Christian writings, but viewed them as primarily concerned with theology and morality, rather than historical details. He viewed references to the twelve apostles and the institution of the Eucharist as stories that must have developed later among gentile believers who were converted by Jewish evangelists like Paul.
John Remsburg 
John Remsburg (1848–1919) was a school teacher, author, and an ardent religious skeptic who in 1909 put out a book called The Christ which explored the range and possible origins of the "Christ Myth". While The Christ along with The Bible and Six Historic Americans is regarded as an important freethought book, Remsburg made the distinction between a possible Jesus of history ("Jesus of Nazareth") and the Jesus of the Gospels ("Jesus of Bethlehem"). Remsburg's position was that while there was good reason to believe the "Jesus of Nazareth" existed, the "Christ of Christianity" was a mythological creation. In his book The Christ Myth Remsburg stated that although Jesus may have existed, we know nothing about him, and provided a list of 42 names of "writers who lived and wrote during the time, or within a century after the time" who Remsburg felt should have written about Jesus if the Gospels account was reasonably accurate but who did not. This Remsberg list has appeared in a handful of books regarding the nonhistoricity hypothesis by authors such as James Patrick Holding, Hilton Hotema, Jawara D. King, Madalyn Murray O'Hair, Asher Norman, D. M. Murdock and Robert M. Price, Frank Zindler, and Tim C. Leedom et al.
William Benjamin Smith 
William Benjamin Smith (1850–1934), was a mathematics professor at Tulane University who around the turn of the 20th century argued that it was implausible that there had been a human Jesus and that the story of Jesus was composed by merging elements from a pre-Christian cult, a solar deity cult and the Hindu god Agni transformed to the Latin used Agnus (the lamb). Smith argued for a symbolic interpretation of the stories about Jesus. He argued that Christianity was a monotheistic Israelite cult that opposed polytheism and as a result had to mask itself and could only speak in symbols. Thus the message of Christianity needs to be decoded, and references to Jesus can only be seen in abstract terms, e.g. in the parable of the Jesus and the rich young man there never was a young man, and the young man symbolizes the nation of Israel. In the ideas of Smith found sympathetic ears in Germany, with Arthur Drews and Albert Kalthoff soon following along the same path early in the 20th century.
Arthur Drews 
Arthur Drews (1865–1935) was a professor of philosophy at the Technische Hochschule in Karlsruhe, Germany. In his 1909 book The Christ Myth he argued that Christianity had been a Jewish Gnostic cult that spread by appropriating aspects of Greek philosophy and life-death-rebirth deities. 
In The Witnesses to the Historicity of Jesus (1912) and later in The Denial of the Historicity of Jesus in Past and Present (1926) Drews reviewed biblical scholarship as well as the work of other myth theorists of his time, and wrote that his purpose was to show that everything about the historical Jesus had a mythical character. Nikolai Berdyaev stated that Drews as an anti-Semite argued against the historical existence of Jesus for the sake of Aryanism. Drews took part in a series of public debates with theologians and historians who opposed his arguments.
Drew's work—which had popularized the ideas of Bruno Bauer, the tutor and Ph.D. advisor of Karl Marx—found fertile soil in the Soviet Union, where Marxist–Leninist atheism was the official doctrine of the state. Lenin (1870–1924), the Soviet leader from 1917 until his death, argued that it was imperative in the struggle against religious obscurantists to form a union with people like Drews. Several editions of Drews's The Christ Myth were published in the Soviet Union from the early 1920s onwards, and his arguments were included in school and university textbooks. Public meetings asking "Did Christ live?" were organized, during which party operatives debated with clergymen.
Paul-Louis Couchoud 
Physician and philosopher Paul-Louis Couchoud (1879–1959) was influenced by the work of Arthur Drews and argued that Jesus never existed but was invented by Apostle Paul and that Christianity was a schematic branch of the followers of John the Baptist. Couchoud rejected non-Christian sources such as Josephus, the Talmud, Tacitus, and Suetonius and argued that the name Jesus was invented through the transformation of Old Testament references such as Exodus 23:20. Couchoud argued that Paul's affirmation of the divinity of Jesus alongside Yahweh (God) suggested that Jesus was not a historical man, as no Jew could have accepted that relationship.
Couchoud developed his ideas gradually through a series of essays and books, including The Enigma of Jesus (1923, transl. 1924) for which anthropologist James Frazer wrote an introduction, followed by The Mystery of Jesus (1924, no translation), The First Edition of the Paulina [i.e. Paul's epistles] (1928), Jewish Wisdom (1930), Apocalypse (1930, transl. The Book of Revelation, 1932), Jesus: Le Dieu Fait Homme (1937, transl. The Creation of Christ 1939). This embroiled him in public controversies with historian Charles Guignebert and his Jesus (1933) and theologians such as Maurice Goguel, with Jesus the Nazarene: myth or history? (1925/6), and Alfred Loisy, with History and Myth of Jesus-Christ (1938), who all wrote their books to argue against Couchoud.
Other early 20th-century writers 
G. J. P. J. Bolland (1854–1922) argued in 1907 that Christianity evolved from Gnosticism, and that Jesus was simply a symbolic figure representing Gnostic ideas about God. Bolland was an autodidact whose philosophical stance resembled that of Bruno Bauer and he supported a number of the ideas of the Dutch Radical School.
G. R. S. Mead (1863–1933) was a school master who advanced the position that Jesus existed but that he had lived in 100 B.C.E. In his book Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? (1903) Mead argued that the Talmud points to Jesus being crucified c. 100 BCE, and hence the Christian gospels are mythical. Tom Harpur has compared Mead's impact on myth theory to that of Bruno Bauer and Arthur Drews. Robert M. Price cites Mead as one of several examples of alternative traditions that place Jesus in a different time period than the Gospel accounts.
In 1927 Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) stated in "Why I Am Not a Christian" that "historically it is quite doubtful that Jesus existed, and if he did we do not know anything about him, so that I am not concerned with the historical question, which is a very difficult one", though Russell did nothing to develop the idea.
Later 20th century 
John Allegro 
Philologist John M. Allegro (1923–1988) argued in The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross (1970) and The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth (1979) that Christianity began as a shamanic cult centering around the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms, and that the New Testament was a coded record of a clandestine cult. Allegro argued that the authors of the Christian gospels did not understand Essene thought, and had confused the meaning of the scrolls and built the Christian tradition based on the misunderstanding of the scrolls. He also argued that the story of Jesus was based on the crucifixion of the Teacher of Righteousness in the scrolls.
Mark Hall writes that Allegro suggested the Dead Sea Scrolls all but proved that an historical Jesus never existed. Philip Jenkins writes that Allegro was an eccentric scholar who relied on texts that did not exist in quite the form he was citing them, and calls the Sacred Mushroom and the Cross "possibly the single most ludicrous book on Jesus scholarship by a qualified academic". Based on the reaction to the book, Allegro's publisher apologized for issuing the book and Allegro was forced to resign his academic post. A recent article discussing Allegro's work called for his theories to be re-evaluated by the mainstream. In November 2009 The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross was reprinted in a 40th anniversary edition with a 30-page addendum by Carl Ruck of Boston University.
Alvar Ellegård 
Alvar Ellegård (1919–2008), was a professor of English at the University of Gothenburg who in his book Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ argued that Apostle Paul and other early Christians viewed Jesus as a great prophet who had lived in the distant past, not a contemporary figure who was crucified during their own era. Ellegard argued that neither Paul nor any of his contemporaries had seen Jesus, but only imagined him as a heavenly figure who had lived long ago. Ellegard believed that Paul had a vision and that Paul's experience during the vision suggested to him that Jesus had been resurrected and that the vision signaled the day of judgement. Ellegård's argument pivots on the gospels having been written in the second century, and he argued that in the second century the authors of the gospels confused Paul's visions for real events, and dated them to the time of Pontius Pilate. However, Ellegård states that the theory he presents is not the only possible scenario and agrees that other scholars date the events differently.
Ellegård agrees with other scholars that some of the letters of Paul are genuine and that they present the earliest Christian writings. Ellegård states that Paul may have met Apostle Peter in Jerusalem, but that Peter did not tell Paul about Jesus, and it was Paul who constructed the story of the crucifixion based on supernatural knowledge Paul believed he had received in his own visions. Ellegård writes that his position differs from that of Drews and Couchoud, and he develops arguments similar to those of Dupont-Sommer and John Allegro, and suggests that Paul's Jesus may have been based on the Teacher of Righteousness in the Dead Sea Scrolls, but he states that this was not the Jesus of the gospels.
21st century 
G. A. Wells 
Graham Stanton wrote in 2002 that the most thoroughgoing and sophisticated of the proponents' arguments were set out by G. A. Wells, emeritus professor of German at Birkbeck College, London, and author of The Jesus of the Early Christians (1971), Did Jesus Exist? (1975), The Historical Evidence for Jesus (1982), The Jesus Legend (1996), The Jesus Myth (1999), Can We Trust the New Testament? (2004), and Cutting Jesus Down to Size (2009). British theologian Kenneth Grayston advised Christians to acknowledge the difficulties raised by Wells, but Alvar Ellegård writes that his views remain largely undiscussed by theologians.
Wells presented his key arguments in his initial trilogy (1971, 1975, 1982), based on the views of New Testament scholars who acknowledge that the gospels are sources written decades after Jesus's death by people who had no personal knowledge of him. In addition, Wells writes, the texts are exclusively Christian and theologically motivated, and therefore a rational person should believe the gospels only if they are independently confirmed. Wells also argues that Paul and the other epistle writers—the earliest Christian writers—do not provide any support for the idea that Jesus lived early in the 1st century. There is no information in them about Jesus's parents, place of birth, teachings, trial, or crucifixion. For Wells, the Jesus of the early Christians was a pure myth, derived from mystical speculations stemming from the Jewish Wisdom tradition, while the Gospels were subsequent works of historical fiction. According to this view, the earliest strata of the New Testament literature presented Jesus as "a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past".
In The Jesus Myth, Wells argues that two Jesus narratives fused into one: Paul's mythical Jesus and a minimally historical Jesus whose teachings were preserved in the Q document, a hypothetical common source for the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Biblical scholar Robert Van Voorst said that with this argument Wells had performed an about-face while Doherty presented it as another example of the view that the Gospel Jesus did not exist, Carrier classifying it (along with Wells' later Can We Trust the New Testament?) as a book defending ahistoricity in his May 30, 2006 Stanford University presentation, and Eddy-Boyd presenting it as an example of a Christ myth theory book.
Wells writes that he belongs in the category of those who argue that Jesus did exist, but that reports about him are so unreliable that we can know little or nothing about him. He argues, for example, that the story of the execution of Jesus under Pilate is not an historical account. He wrote in 2000: "[J. D. G. Dunn] objected [in 1985] that, in my work as then published, I had, implausibly, to assume that, within 30 years from Paul, there had evolved 'such a ... complex of traditions about a non-existent figure as we have in the sources of the gospels' (The Evidence for Jesus, p. 29). My present standpoint is: this complex is not all post-Pauline (Q in its earliest form may well be as early as ca. AD. 40), and it is not all mythical. The essential point, as I see it, is that what is authentic in this material refers to a personage who is not to be identified with the dying and rising Christ of the early epistles."
Robert M. Price 
American New Testament scholar Robert M. Price questions the historicity of Jesus in a series of books, including Deconstructing Jesus (2000), The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man (2003), Jesus Is Dead (2007), and The Christ-Myth Theory and Its Problems (2012), as well as in contributions to The Historical Jesus: Five Views (2009). Price is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a group of writers and scholars who study the historicity of Jesus, arguing that the Christian image of Christ is a theological construct into which traces of Jesus of Nazareth have been woven. A former Baptist pastor, Price writes that he was originally an apologist on the historical-Jesus question but became disillusioned with the arguments. As the years went on, he found it increasingly difficult to poke holes in the position that questioned Jesus's existence entirely. Despite this, he still took part in the Eucharist every week for several years, seeing the Christ of faith as all the more important because, he argued, there was probably never any other.
Price believes that Christianity is a historicized synthesis of mainly Egyptian, Jewish, and Greek mythologies. He writes that everyone who espouses the Christ myth theory bases their arguments on three key points:
- There is no mention of a miracle-working Jesus in secular sources.
- The epistles, written earlier than the gospels, provide no evidence of a recent historical Jesus; all that can be taken from the epistles, he argues, is that a Jesus Christ, son of God, came into the world to die as a sacrifice for human sin and was raised by God and enthroned in heaven.
- The Jesus narrative is paralleled in Middle Eastern myths about dying and rising gods; Price names Baal, Osiris, Attis, Adonis, and Dumuzi/Tammuz as examples, all of which, he writes, survived into the Hellenistic and Roman periods and thereby influenced early Christianity. Price alleges that Christian apologists have tried to minimize these parallels. He argues that if critical methodology is applied with ruthless consistency, one is left in complete agnosticism regarding Jesus's historicity.
Price argues that "the varying dates are the residue of various attempts to anchor an originally mythic or legendary Jesus in more or less recent history" citing accounts that have Jesus being crucified under Alexander Jannaeus (83 BCE) or in his 50s by Herod Agrippa I under the rule of Claudius Caesar (41–54 CE).
Price points out "(w)hat one Jesus reconstruction leaves aside, the next one takes up and makes its cornerstone. Jesus simply wears too many hats in the Gospels—exorcist, healer, king, prophet, sage, rabbi, demigod, and so on. The Jesus Christ of the New Testament is a composite figure (...) The historical Jesus (if there was one) might well have been a messianic king, or a progressive Pharisee, or a Galilean shaman, or a magus, or a Hellenistic sage. But he cannot very well have been all of them at the same time."
Later on Price states "I am not trying to say that there was a single origin of the Christian savior Jesus Christ, and that origin is pure myth; rather, I am saying that there may indeed have been such a myth, and that if so, it eventually flowed together with other Jesus images, some one of which may have been based on a historical Jesus the Nazorean."
Price acknowledges that he stands against the majority view of scholars, but cautions against attempting to settle the issue by appeal to the majority.
Thomas Brodie 
In 2012 biblical scholar Thomas L. Brodie, former director of the Dominican Biblical Institute, published a book in which he argued Jesus is mythical, and the gospels are essentially a rewriting of the stories of Elijah and Elisha when viewed as a unified account in the Books of Kings. Brodie's argument builds on his previous work in which he stated that rather than being separate and fragmented, the stories of Elijah and Elisha are united and that 1 Kings 16:29–2 Kings 13:25 is a natural extension of 1 Kings 17–2 Kings 8 which have a coherence not generally observed by other biblical scholars. Brodie then views the Elijah–Elisha story as the underlying model for the gospel narratives.
Other 21st-century writers 
Thomas L. Thompson, retired professor of theology at the University of Copenhagen, argues in The Messiah Myth (2005) that the Jesus of the gospels did not exist, and that stories about him are a combination of Near Eastern myths and stories about kingship and divinity. He argues that the contemporaneous audience of the gospels would have understood this, that the stories were not intended as history.
Canadian writer Earl Doherty (B.A. in Ancient History and Classical Languages) argues in The Jesus Puzzle (2005) and Jesus: Neither God nor Man—The Case for a Mythical Jesus (2009) that Jesus originated as a myth derived from Middle Platonism with some influence from Jewish mysticism, and that belief in a historical Jesus emerged only among Christian communities in the 2nd century. He writes that none of the major apologists before the year 180, except for Justin and Aristides of Athens, included an account of a historical Jesus in their defenses of Christianity. Instead the early Christian writers describe a Christian movement grounded in Platonic philosophy and Hellenistic Judaism, preaching the worship of a monotheistic Jewish god and what he calls a "logos-type Son". Doherty argues that Theophilus of Antioch (c. 163–182), Athenagoras of Athens (c. 133–190), Tatian the Assyrian (c. 120–180), and Marcus Minucius Felix (writing around 150–270) offer no indication that they believed in a historical figure crucified and resurrected, and that the name Jesus does not appear in any of them.
D. M. Murdock (also a B.A. in Classics), under the pen name "Acharya S", revives the early 19th century theories of Godfrey Higgins and Robert Taylor, and maintains that the canonical gospels represent a middle to late 2nd century creation utilizing Old Testament "prophetic" scriptures as a blueprint, in combination with a collage of other, older Pagan and Jewish concepts, and that Christianity was thereby fabricated in order to compete with the other popular religions of the time. Her views have been challenged by other mythicists such as Richard Carrier.
In the 2000s, a number of books and films associated with the New Atheism movement questioned whether Jesus existed. The books included The God Delusion (2006) by Richard Dawkins, the former professor for the public understanding of science at Oxford University; God:The Failed Hypothesis (2007) by the American physicist Victor Stenger; and God Is Not Great (2007) by British writer Christopher Hitchens. Dawkins, citing G. A. Wells, sees the gospels as rehashed versions of the Hebrew Bible, and writes that it is probable Jesus existed, but that a serious argument can be mounted against it, though not a widely supported one. Victor Stenger's position is that the gospel writers borrowed from several Middle Eastern cults. Hitchens argues that there is little or no evidence for the life of Jesus, unlike for the prophet Muhammad. Using the modern John Frum cargo cult as an example Dawkins states
Unlike the cult of Jesus, the origins of which are not reliably attested, we can see the whole course of events laid out before our eyes (and even here, as we shall see, some details are now lost). It is fascinating to guess that the cult of Christianity almost certainly began in very much the same way, and spread initially at the same high speed. (...) John Frum, if he existed at all, did so within living memory. Yet, even for so recent a possibility, it is not certain whether he lived at all.
Research and public response 
Bias in historical Jesus research 
Although most biblical scholars agree that Jesus did exist, Joseph Hoffmann has stated that the issue of historicity of Jesus has been long ignored due to theological interests. The New Testament scholar Nicholas Perrin has argued that since most biblical scholars are Christians, a certain bias is inevitable, but he does not see this as a major problem.
Donald Akenson, Professor of Irish Studies in the department of history at Queen's University has argued that, with very few exceptions, the historians of Yeshua have not followed sound historical practices. He has stated that there is an unhealthy reliance on consensus, for propositions which should otherwise be based on primary sources, or rigorous interpretation. He also holds that some of the criteria being used are faulty. He says that the overwhelming majority of biblical scholars are employed in institutions whose roots are in religious beliefs. Because of this, he maintains that, more than any other group in present day academia, biblical historians are under immense pressure to theologize their historical work and that it is only through considerable individual heroism that many biblical historians have managed to maintain the scholarly integrity of their work.
John Meier, Professor of theology at University of Notre Dame, has said "...people claim they are doing a quest for the historical Jesus when de facto they're doing theology, albeit a theology that is indeed historically informed..." Dale Allison, Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary too says, "...We wield our criteria to get what we want...We all see what we expect to see and what we want to see...." However, the Old Testament scholar Bertil Albrektson has stated that a great many biblical scholars do not accept any creed as the foundation of their work and they do in fact honestly try to investigate scientifically the basic documents of Christianity in the same way as other texts from antiquity.
Research projects 
The Jesus Project started at the end of 2007 with the vision of a five year research effort to continue the work of the Jesus Seminar, but was abandoned in 2009. The project envisaged participation among a group of 20 scholars from relevant disciplines to meet every nine months. The project director Joseph Hoffmann wrote that he no longer believed it was possible to answer the historicity question, because of the extent to which history, myth, and religious belief are intertwined. Hoffman said there were problems with the media and blogs sensationalizing stories about the project, with the only possible newsworthy outcome being the conclusion that Jesus had not existed, a conclusion which (he writes) the majority of participants would not have reached.
Contemporary public response 
A 2005 study conducted by Baylor University, a private Christian university, found that one percent of Americans in general, and 13.7 percent of religiously unaffiliated Americans, believe that Jesus is a fictional character. Comparable figures for Britain in 2008 say 13 percent of the general population, and 40 percent of atheists, do not believe that Jesus existed. However, Walter Kania, a former Pastor and Director of a United Campus Ministry at Michigan State University was highly critical of the study saying "the statistics and conclusions in the book were made of fundamentalist concoctions and cooked statistics".
In Italy in 2006, Luigi Cascioli, the atheist author of The Fable of Christ and a former trainee priest, sued Father Enrico Righi for having written in a church newsletter that Jesus was born in Bethlehem to Mary and Joseph and that he lived in Nazareth. Cascioli said the statement was an "abuse of popular belief", and brought the lawsuit against Righi under an Italian anti-fraud law. The case was thrown out. The case was then appealed to the European Court of Human Rights as Cascioli v Italy case # 14910/06 but the file was closed due to the time required to file necessary documentation.
See also 
- Criticism of Jesus
- Jesus Christ in comparative mythology
- Bible conspiracy theory
- Biblical criticism
- Christian mythology
- The Bible and history
- Ehrman 2012, pp. 12–13.
- Wells 2007, p. 446.
- A theory of primitive Christian religion by Gerd Theissen 2003 ISBN 0-334-02913-9 pages 23–27
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 7-11
- Unmasking the Pagan Christ by Stanley E. Porter and Stephen J. Bedard 2006 ISBN 1894667719 page 24
- The Christ Conspiracy: The Greatest Story Ever Sold by Acharya S (Jul 1, 1999) ISBN 0932813747 pages 106-107
- Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions by Thomas William Doane (Nov 1, 2007) ISBN 1602069514 page 119
- Fredriksen, Paula. From Jesus to Christ. Yale University Press, 2000, p. xxvi.
- Dunn, James D. G. "Myth" in Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, & I. Howard Marshall (ed.) Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. InterVarsity, 1992, p. 566.
- Gerald O'Collins, "The Hidden Story of Jesus" New Blackfriars Volume 89, Issue 1024, pages 710–714, November 2008
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 16 states: "biblical scholars and classical historians regard theories of non-existence of Jesus as effectively refuted"
- The Cambridge companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 978-0-521-79678-1 pages 123-124
- Powell, Mark Allan (1998). Jesus as a figure in history: how modern historians view the man from Galilee. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press. p. 168. ISBN 978-0-664-25703-3.
- In a 2011 review of the state of modern scholarship, Bart Ehrman (now a secular agnostic who was formerly Evangelical) wrote: "He certainly existed, as virtually every competent scholar of antiquity, Christian or non-Christian, agrees" B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
- Robert M. Price "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in The Historical Jesus: Five Views edited by James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy, 2009 InterVarsity, ISBN 028106329X page 61
- Can We Trust the New Testament? by George Albert Wells (Nov 26, 2003) ISBN 0812695674 pages 49-50: "In my first books on Jesus, I argued that the gospel Jesus is an entirely mythical expansion of the Jesus of the early epistles. The summary of the argument of The Jesus Legend (1996) and The Jesus Myth (199a) given in this section of the present work makes it clear that I no longer maintain this position", page 50 states that Wells does not agree with Price: "My present standpoint is: this complex is not all post-Pauline (Q, or at any rate parts of it, may well be as early as ca. A.D. 50); and if I am right, against Doherty and Price - it is not all mythical."
- Michael Grant (a classicist) states that "In recent years, 'no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non historicity of Jesus' or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary." in Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels by Michael Grant 2004 ISBN 1898799881 page 200
- Richard A. Burridge states: "There are those who argue that Jesus is a figment of the Church's imagination, that there never was a Jesus at all. I have to say that I do not know any respectable critical scholar who says that any more." in Jesus Now and Then by Richard A. Burridge and Graham Gould (Apr 1, 2004) ISBN 0802809774 page 34
- James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36 states that the theories of non-existence of Jesus are "a thoroughly dead thesis"
- The historical Jesus question by Gregory W. Dawes 2001 ISBN 0-664-22458-X pages 77–79
- The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss 2010 ISBN 1-61640-309-8 pages 39–43 and 87–91
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 11–15
- Stanton, Graham. The Gospels and Jesus, Oxford University Press, 2002, page 143.
- Thomas L. Brodie "Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: Memoir of a Discovery" Sheffield Phoenix Press Ltd (September 6, 2012) ISBN 978-1907534584
- The Crucial Bridge: The Elijah - Elisha Narrative As an Interpretive Synthesis of Genesis-Kings by Thomas L. Brodie (Jan 1, 2000) ISBN 081465942X pages ix-xi
- The Cambridge companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 Cambridge Univ Press ISBN 978-0-521-79678-1 pages 141–144
- A World History of Christianity by Adrian Hastings (Jul 5, 2000) ISBN 0802848753 pages 7 and 277
- Language, Religion and National Identity in Europe and the Middle East: A historical study by John Myhill (Jun 21, 2006) ISBN 902722711X pages 32-33
- Landscapes of Christianity by Frederick Stoutland (2005) ISBN page 349
- Dictionary of biblical criticism and interpretation by Stanley E. Porter 2009 ISBN 0-415-20100-4 page 94
- The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900–1950 by Walter P. Weaver 1999 ISBN 1-56338-280-6 page 45–50
- The making of the new spirituality by James A. Herrick 2003 ISBN 0-8308-2398-0 pages 58–65
- The Blackwell Guide to Continental Philosophy edited by Robert Solomon, David Sherman 2008 ISBN 978-1-4051-4304-2 page 64
- Biographical dictionary of literary influences: the nineteenth century by John Powell 2000 ISBN 0-313-30422-X page 37
- The philosophy and politics of Bruno Bauer by Douglas Moggach 2003 ISBN 0-521-81977-6 page 62
- The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900–1950 by Walter P. Weaver 1999 ISBN 1-56338-280-6 pages 55–59
- Bruno Bauer and Karl Marx: the influence of Bruno Bauer on Marx's thought by Zvi Rosen 1977 ISBN 90-247-1948-8 pages 127–129
- The logic of religion by Jude P. Dougherty 2003 ISBN 0-8132-1308-8 pages 95–96
- Jesus: the complete guide by Leslie Houlden page 729
- Russia after Lenin: politics, culture and society, 1921–1929 by Vladimir N. Brovkin 1998 ISBN 0-415-17991-2 pages 96–98
- Culture and customs of Russia by Sydney Schultze 2000 ISBN 0-313-31101-3 page 28
- The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum and Charles L Quarles (Aug 1, 2009) ISBN 0805443657 pages 111-116
- Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (1 Jan 1999) ISBN 0664257038 pages 13-18
- The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth by Ben Witherington (May 8, 1997) ISBN 0830815449 pages 9-13
- The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria by Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter (Aug 30, 2002) ISBN 0664225373 pages 1-6
- Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (1 Jan 1999) ISBN 0664257038 pages 19-23
- Criteria for Authenticity in Historical-Jesus Research by Stanley E. Porter 2004 ISBN 0567043606 pages 100-120
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 2-6
- The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament by Andreas J. Kostenberger, L. Scott Kellum and Charles L Quarles (Aug 1, 2009) ISBN 0805443657 page 84
- Louis Feldman (2006) Judaism and Hellenism reconsidered ISBN 90-04-14906-6. pages 329-330
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 97-98
- Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazereth (Bible in Its World) by Michael James McClymond (Mar 22, 2004) ISBN 0802826806 page 24-25 and 163
- The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Peter Flint and James VanderKam (10 July 2005) ISBN 978-0-567-08468-2 page 324
- The Mythic Past by Thomas L. Thompson 1999 ISBN 0465006493 page xiii
- Murdock, D. M. The Christ Conspiracy 1999. ISBN 978-0-932813-74-9
- The Jesus Mysteries by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, 1999 ISBN 0609807986
- The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty, 1999 ISBN 0-9689259-1-X
- The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels' by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 14
- The historical Jesus: ancient evidence for the life of Christ by Gary Habermas 1996 ISBN 0-89900-732-5 pages 27–31
- The Evidence for Jesus by James D. G. Dunn (Jan 1, 1986) ISBN 0664246982 page 29
- Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 10-13
- The Evidence for Jesus by R. T. France, 1982 ISBN 0877849862 page 12
- Unmasking the Pagan Christ by Stanley E. Porter and Stephen J. Bedard 2006 ISBN 1894667719 pages 18–29
- B. Ehrman, 2011 Forged : writing in the name of God ISBN 978-0-06-207863-6. page 285
- The Quest for the Plausible Jesus: The Question of Criteria by Gerd Theissen and Dagmar Winter (Aug 30, 2002) ISBN 0664225373 page 5
- The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth by Ben Witherington (May 8, 1997) ISBN 0830815449 page 77
- Amy-Jill Levine in The Historical Jesus in Context edited by Amy-Jill Levine et al. Princeton Univ Press ISBN 978-0-691-00992-6 pages 1-4
- The historical Jesus: ancient evidence for the life of Christ by Gary Habermas 1996 ISBN 0-89900-732-5 pages 47–51
- The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels' by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007, Baker Academic abridged edition: pages 24-27 (note that in this specific reference, page numbers do not refer to the full version)
- The Jesus Quest: The Third Search for the Jew of Nazareth by Ben Witherington (May 8, 1997) ISBN 0830815449 pages 9-13
- The Cambridge History of Christianity, Volume 1 by Margaret M. Mitchell and Frances M. Young (Feb 20, 2006) ISBN 0521812399 page 23
- Images of Christ (Academic Paperback) by Stanley E. Porter, Michael A. Hayes and David Tombs (Dec 19, 2004) ISBN 0567044602 T&T Clark page 74
- Who Is Jesus? by Thomas P. Rausch (Jul 1, 2003) ISBN 0814650783 page 17
- The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels' by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 162
- Price, Robert M. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009. See p. 55 for his argument that it is quite likely Jesus did not exist. See pp. 62–64, 75 for the three pillars.
- Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 129-131
- The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 53-54
- Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans (Jul 2001) ISBN 0391041185 page 40
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 70-71
- The Jesus legend: a case for the historical reliability of the synoptic gospels' by Paul R. Eddy, Gregory A. Boyd 2007 ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 46-47
- Christopher M. Tuckett In The Cambridge Companion to Jesus edited by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 122-126
- Jesus according to Paul by Victor Paul Furnish 1994 ISBN 0521458242 pages 19-20
- "Dying and rising gods" in the Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion by David A. Leeming, Kathryn Madden and Stanton Marlan (Nov 6, 2009) ISBN 038771801X Springer, pages 266-267
- Mettinger, Tryggve N. D. (2001). The Riddle of Resurrection: Dying and Rising Gods in the Ancient Near East ISBN 9122019456 pages 7 and 221
- Can We Trust the New Testament? by George Albert Wells (Nov 26, 2003) ISBN 0812695674 pages 3-4 "The most striking feature of the early documents is that they do not set Jesus's life in a specific historical situation. There is no Galilean ministry, and there are no parables, no miracles, no Passion in Jerusalem, no indication of time, place or attendant circumstances at all."
- John Lange, The Argument from Silence, History and Theory, Vol. 5, No. 3 (1966), pp. 288-301 
- From Reliable Sources: An Introduction to Historical Methods by Martha C. Howell and Walter Prevenier (Apr 26, 2001) ISBN 0801485606 Cornell University Press page 74
- The Routledge Companion to Epistemology by Sven Bernecker and Duncan Pritchard (Dec 2, 2010) ISBN 0415962196 Routledge pages 64-65
- Philo of Alexandria by Peder Borgen (Dec 1, 1997) ISBN 9004103880 page 14
- A Brief Guide to Philo by Kenneth Schenck (Feb 2, 2005) ISBN 066422735X page 99
- Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. ISBN 0-8010-3114-1. page 166
- Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 30-32
- Christianity in Ancient Rome by Bernard Green (Apr 15, 2010) ISBN 0567032507 T&T Clark pages 19-20
- Jesus and the Zealots : A Study of the Political Factor in Primitive Christianity by S. G. Brandon 1967 ISBN 0684310104 page 87
- Constantine and Eusebius by Timothy D. Barnes (Oct 1, 2006) ISBN 0674165314 Harvard Univ Press page 130
- The History of the Church, Books 1-10 by Eusebius ISBN 1-4209-2506-7 2005, (Book II, Chapter 17) page 34 : "It is also said that Philo in the reign of Claudius became acquainted at Rome with Peter, who was then preaching there. Nor is this indeed improbable"
- Legatio Ad Gaium by Philo and E. Mary Smallwood Brill, 1970, page 30
- Philo in Early Christian Literature by D. T. Runia (Jan 1, 1993) ISBN 9023227131 page 4
- Paul's Early Period by Rainer Riesner and Douglas W. Stott (Dec 19, 1997) ISBN 080284166X pages
- Timothy Barnes "Pagan Perceptions of Christianity" in Early Christianity: Origins and Evolution to Ad 600 edited by Ian Hazlett et al (May 1991) ISBN 0687114446 page 232: "Most inhabitants of the Roman Empire in A.D. 100 were either unaware of or uninterested in the Christians in their midst. Even in Rome, where there had certainly been Christians since the reign of Claudius, the varied epigrams of Martial and the satires of Juvenal make no identifiable allusion to the new religion, though both authors deride Jews and Judaism."
- For the reign of Clausius see Aspects of Roman History by Mark Everson Davies 2010 ISBN 0415496942 page 79
- Feldman, Louis H. (1984). "Flavius Josephus Revisited: The Man, his Writings and his Significance". In Temporini, Hildegard; Haase, Wolfgang. Aufstieg und Niedergang der römischen Welt, Part 2. pp. 763–771. ISBN 3-11-009522-X.
- The Jesus Legend by G. A. Wells 1996 ISBN 0-8126-9334-5 pages 41-43
- Exploring Jewish Literature of the Second Temple Period by Larry R. Helyer (Jul 5, 2002) ISBN 0830826785 page 493
- Jewish Responses To Early Christians by Claudia Setzer (Nov 1, 1994) ISBN 080062680X page 215
- In Chapter VIII Trypho's statement: "But Christ —if He has indeed been born, and exists anywhere—is unknown, and does not even know Himself" refers to Christ, which Trypho (as other Jews) still awaited. Justin styled the conversation on John 7:27, with Trypho objecting to Jesus (who was from Galillee) being Christ given that the origins of Jesus were known, but those for Christ could not be, as the Pharisees said of Jesus in John 7:27: "we know this man whence he is: but when the Christ cometh, no one knoweth whence he is." References:Testimony of the Beloved Disciple, The: Narrative, History, and Theology in the Gospel of John by Richard Bauckham (Nov 1, 2007) ISBN 080103485X page 232 & Bible Knowledge Background Commentary: Matthew-Luke by David C. Cook and Craig A. Evans (Feb 27, 2003) ISBN 0781438683 page 285, & The Gospel According to John: An Introduction and Commentary by Colin G. Kruse (Jun 2004) ISBN 0802827713 page 188 & The Gospel of John: A Commentary by Frederick Dale Bruner (Feb 22, 2012) ISBN 0802866352 page 485
- Jesus: The Complete Guide edited by J. L. Houlden (Feb 8, 2006) ISBN 082648011X pages 693-694
- Jesus and the Gospels: An Introduction and Survey by Craig L. Blomberg (Aug 1, 2009) ISBN 0805444823 page 280
- Jesus and the Politics of his Day by E. Bammel and C. F. D. Moule (Aug 30, 1985) ISBN 0521313449 page 393
- Encyclopedia of theology: a concise Sacramentum mundi by Karl Rahner 2004 ISBN 0-86012-006-6 pages 730-731
- Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 15
- Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. ISBN 0-8010-3114-1. page 170
- White 2004, pp. 3–4.
- Christology: A Biblical, Historical, and Systematic Study of Jesus by Gerald O'Collins 2009 ISBN 0-19-955787-X pages 1-3 "As regards the 'things which Jesus did', let me note that he left no letters or other personal documents."
- Edward Adams in The Cambridge Companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 94-96
- Who Was Jesus? by George Albert Wells (Apr 1, 1989) ISBN 0812690966 pages 20-21
- Inventing Jesus: An Interview with Bart Ehrman | (A)theologies | Religion Dispatches
- Ehrman, Bart (2012). Did Jesus Exist?. ISBN 978-0-06-220460-8. page 29
- Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium by Bart Ehrman 2001, ISBN 019512474X Oxford Univ Press page 56: "If we look at the historical record itself - and for the historian there is nothing else to look at - it appears that whatever his influence on subsequent generations, Jesus' impact on society in the first century was practically nil."
- Teresa Okure "Historical Jesus Research in Global Cultural Context" in the Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus by Tom Holmen and Stanley E. Porter (Jan 12, 2011) ISBN 9004163727 pages 953-954
- A Systematic Theory of Argumentation by Frans H. van Eemeren and Rob Grootendorst (Nov 17, 2003) ISBN 052153772X Cambridge Univ Press page 182
- The Blackwell Dictionary of Western Philosophy by Nicholas Bunnin and Jiyuan Yu (Jan 27, 2009) ISBN 1405191120 page 48 "Truth is one thing, and whether or not the truth is known by us is another."
- Arguments from Ignorance by Douglas Walton (Sep 18, 2009) ISBN 027101475X Penn State Press pages 1-4
- Douglas Walton, Nonfallacious arguments from ignorance American Philosophical Quarterly Vol. 29, No. 4, Oct., 1992 pp. 381-387
- Archaeology and the Galilean Jesus: a re-examination of the evidence by Jonathan L. Reed 2002 ISBN 1-56338-394-2 page 18
- "Jesus Research and Archaeology: A New Perspective" by James H. Charlesworth in Jesus and archaeology edited by James H. Charlesworth 2006 ISBN 0-8028-4880-X pages 11-15
- Craig A. Evans (Mar 16, 2012). Jesus and His World: The Archaeological Evidence. Westminster John Knox Press. ISBN 0-664-23413-5.
- Paul's Letter to the Romans by Colin G. Kruse (Jul 1, 2012) ISBN 0802837433 pages 41-42
- The Blackwell Companion to The New Testament edited by David E. Aune 2010 ISBN 1405108258 page 424
- Worship in the Early Church by Ralph P. Martin 1975 ISBN 0802816134 pages 57-58
- Creeds of the Churches, Third Edition by John H. Leith (Jan 1, 1982) ISBN 0804205264 page 12
- Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making, Volume 1 by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 pages 142-143
- Weiss, Johannes. Earliest Christianity: A History of the Period AD 30–150. tr.Frederick C. Grant (1937) Harper Torchbooks, 1967, vol.2, p. 456
- Barnett, Paul. Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times. InterVarsity Press, 2002, pp.183–184.
- Victor Furnish in Paul and Jesus edited by Alexander J. M. Wedderburn 2004 (Academic Paperback) ISBN 0567083969 pages 43-44
- Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 page 143
- Jesus Christ in History and Scripture by Edgar V. McKnight 1999 ISBN 0865546770 page 38
- Can We Trust the New Testament? by George Albert Wells 2003 ISBN 0812695674 pages 49-50
- 'Jesus of Nazareth: An independent historian's account of his life and teaching by Maurice Casey page 39-40
- Jesus & the Rise of Early Christianity: A History of New Testament Times by Paul Barnett 2002 ISBN 0830826998 pages 95-96
- James D. G. Dunn "Paul's understanding of the death of Jesus" in Sacrifice and Redemption edited by S. W. Sykes (Dec 3, 2007) Cambridge University Press ISBN 052104460X pages 35-36
- Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. pages 54-57
- Maier, Paul L. (December 1995). Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war. Kregel Academic. ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 pages 284-285
- Maier, Paul L. (December 1995). Josephus, the essential works: a condensation of Jewish antiquities and The Jewish war. Kregel Academic. ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 page 12
- The Cambridge Companion to Jesus by Markus N. A. Bockmuehl 2001 ISBN 0521796784 pages 121-125
- Kostenberger, Andreas J.; Kellum, L. Scott; Quarles, Charles L. (2009). The Cradle, the Cross, and the Crown: An Introduction to the New Testament ISBN 0-8054-4365-7 pages 104-105
- Louis Feldman (ISBN 90-04-08554-8 pages 55-57) states that the authenticity of the Josephus passage on James has been "almost universally acknowledged".
- Van Voorst, Robert E. (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 83
- Richard Bauckham "FOR WHAT OFFENSE WAS JAMES PUT TO DEATH?" in James the Just and Christian origins by Bruce Chilton, Craig A. Evans 1999 ISBN 90-04-11550-1 pages 199-203
- Painter, John (2005). Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. ISBN 0-567-04191-3 pages 134-141
- Sample quotes from previous references: Van Voorst (ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 83) states that the overwhelming majority of scholars consider both the reference to "the brother of Jesus called Christ" and the entire passage that includes it as authentic." Bauckham (ISBN 90-04-11550-1 pages 199-203) states: "the vast majority have considered it to be authentic". Meir (ISBN 978-0-8254-3260-6 pages 108-109) agrees with Feldman that few have questioned the authenticity of the James passage. Setzer (ISBN 0-8006-2680-X pages 108-109) also states that few have questioned its authenticity.
- John E Remsburg, The Christ: a critical review and analysis of the evidence of his existence (New York: The Truth Seeker Company, 1909). Republished by Prometheus Books, 1994. ISBN 0-87975-924-0
- Arthur Drews, The Witness To The Historicity of Jesus, page 9 (London: Watts & Co., 1912).
- The Jesus Legend by G. A. Wells 1996 ISBN 0-8126-9334-5 pages 54-55
- Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition. ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 pages 129-130
- Painter, John (2005). Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. ISBN 0-567-04191-3 pages 143-145
- Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei. Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 90-04-08554-8. page 56
- Feldman, Louis H.; Hata, Gōhei, eds. (1987). Josephus, Judaism and Christianity. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-08554-1. page 56
- Painter, John (2005). Just James: The Brother of Jesus in History and Tradition. ISBN 0-567-04191-3 page 137
- Carrier, Richard (2012). "Origen, Eusebius, and the Accidental Interpolation in Josephus, Jewish Antiquities 20.200". Journal of Early Christian Studies 20 (4).
- Flavius Josephus; Whiston, William; Maier, Paul L. (May 1999). The New Complete Works of Josephus. Kregel Academic. ISBN 0-8254-2948-X page 662
- Schreckenberg, Heinz; Schubert, Kurt (1992a). Jewish Traditions in Early Christian Literature. 2. ISBN 90-232-2653-4 pages 38-41
- Evans, Craig A. (2001). Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 316
- Wansbrough, Henry (2004). Jesus and the oral Gospel tradition. ISBN 0-567-04090-9 page 185
- Dunn, James (2003). Jesus remembered ISBN 0-8028-3931-2 page 141
- Wilhelm Schneemelcher, Robert McLachlan Wilson, New Testament Apocrypha: Gospels and Related Writings, page 490 (James Clarke & Co. Ltd, 2003). ISBN 0-664-22721-X
- G. A. Wells, The Jesus of the early Christians: a study of Christian origins, pages 192–193 (Pemberton books, 1971). ISBN 0-301-71014-7
- The Jesus Legend by G. A. Wells 1996 ISBN 0812693345 page 48: "... that Josephus made some reference to Jesus, which has been retouched by a Christian hand. This is the view argued by Meier as by most scholars today particularly since S. Pines..."
- P.E. Easterling, E. J. Kenney (general editors), The Cambridge History of Latin Literature, page 892 (Cambridge University Press, 1982, reprinted 1996). ISBN 0-521-21043-7
- A political history of early Christianity by Allen Brent 2009 ISBN 0-567-03175-6 pages 32-34
- Robert Van Voorst, Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence, Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2000. p 39- 53
- Stephen Dando-Collins 2010 The Great Fire of Rome ISBN 978-0-306-81890-5 pages 1-4
- Jesus and His Contemporaries: Comparative Studies by Craig A. Evans 2001 ISBN 0-391-04118-5 page 42
- Mercer dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Roger Aubrey Bullard 2001 ISBN 0-86554-373-9 page 343
- Pontius Pilate in History and Interpretation by Helen K. Bond 2004 ISBN 0-521-61620-4 page xi
- Tradition and Incarnation: Foundations of Christian Theology by William L. Portier 1993 ISBN 0-8091-3467-5 page 263
- Eddy, Paul; Boyd, Gregory (2007). The Jesus Legend: A Case for the Historical Reliability of the Synoptic Jesus Tradition Baker Academic, ISBN 0-8010-3114-1 page 127
- Suns of God: Krishna, Buddha and Christ Unveiled by Acharya S (Sep 1, 2004) ISBN 1931882312 page 398
- Polydore Hochart 1890, De L'Authenticité Des Annales Et Des Histoires de Tacite republished by Bibliobazar, 2009 ISBN 1103221256
- John Wilson Ross, Tacitus and Bracciolini: The Annals Forged In The XVth Century ISBN 978-1-4068-4051-3. Originally published London: Diprose and Bateman, 1878.
- Robert Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence 2000 ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 42
- Latin Literature: A History by Gian Biagio Conte, Don P. Fowler, Glen W. Most and Joseph Solodow (Nov 4, 1999) ISBN 0801862531 Johns Hopkins University Press page 543
- Medieval Italy: An Encyclopedia by Christopher Kleinhenz (Nov 2003) ISBN 0415939313 page 1174
- The Deaths of Seneca by James Ker ISBN 0195387031 Oxford Univ Press 2009 page 201
- Boccaccio's Expositions on Dante's Comedy by Giovanni Boccaccio, Michael Papio 2009 ISBN 0802099750 University of Toronto Press page 233, also see PDF file
- History and Heresy: How Historical Circumstances Can Create Doctrinal Conflict by Joseph F. Kelly (Oct 23, 2012) ISBN 0814656951 page 23
- Ed Hindson, Ergun Caner, The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologetics: Surveying the Evidence for The Truth of Christianity, page 179 (Harvest House Publishers, 2008). ISBN 978-0-7369-2084-1
- Jesus: The Complete Guide by J. L. Houlden (Feb 8, 2006) ISBN 082648011X page 313
- Justo L. González, Essential Theological Terms, page 105 (Westminster John Knox Press, 2005). ISBN 978-0-664-22810-1
- Ismo Dunderberg, Christopher Mark Tuckett, Kari Syreeni (editors), Fair Play: Diversity and Conflicts in Early Christianity: Essays in Honour of Heikki Räisänen, page 488 (Brill, Leyden; 2002). ISBN 90-04-12359-8
- Jesus: The Complete Guide by J. L. Houlden (Feb 8, 2006) ISBN 082648011X pages 309-313
- Massey, Gerald (1907). Ancient Egypt, the light of the world. London: T. Fisher Unwin. pp. 728–914. ISBN 978-1-4588-1251-3.
- Sandmel, S (1962). "Parallelomania". Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (1): 1–13. doi:10.2307/3264821. JSTOR 3264821.
- Problem of Christ in the Work of Fredrich Hoelderlin (Text and Dissertations Series) by Mark Ogden (Dec 31, 1991) ISBN 0947623361 page 151
- The Pagan Christ: Recovering the Lost Light by Tom Harpur 2005| ISBN 978-0-8027-1449-7 pages 7–10
- Ancient Egypt – The Light of the World by Gerald Massey (Dec 11, 2008) ISBN 1595476067 page 661
- Lost Light: An Interpretation of Ancient Scriptures by Alvin Boyd Kuhn (Jun 11, 2007) ISBN 1599868148 page 674
- Mercer Dictionary of the Bible by Watson E. Mills, Edgar V. McKnight and Roger A. Bullard 2001 ISBN 0-86554-373-9 page 142
- Faith & philosophy of Christianity by Maya George 2009 ISBN 81-7835-720-8 page 287
- Aspects of the liturgical year in Cappadocia (325-430) by Jill Burnett Comings 2005 ISBN 0-8204-7464-9 pp. 61–71
- Van Voorst, Robert E (2000). Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 pages 11-12
- Metzger, Bruce M. Historical and Literary Studies, Pagan, Jewish, and Christian Brill, 1968, p. 7.
- Bennett, Clinton In search of Jesus: insider and outsider images Page 206
- Campbell, Joseph (2003) The Masks of God: Occidental Mythology Vol. 3 ISBN 978-0-14-019441-8 pg 362
- Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (ed.) "Jesus Christ," The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Eerdmans, 1982, p. 1034
- Price argues that Christ myth theory rests in part on this idea, see Price, Robert M. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, p. 75.
- Smith, Jonathan Z. (1987). "Dying and Rising Gods," in The Encyclopedia of Religion Vol. IV, edited by Mircea Eliad ISBN 0029097002 Macmillan, pages 521-527
- Hopfe, Lewis M.; Richardson, Henry Neil (September 1994). "Archaeological Indications on the Origins of Roman Mithraism". In Lewis M. Hopfe. Uncovering ancient stones: essays in memory of H. Neil Richardson. Eisenbrauns. pp. 147–. ISBN 978-0-931464-73-7. Retrieved 19 March 2011. "... The Christian's view of this rival religion is extremely negative, because they regarded it as a demonic mockery of their own faith."
- Meyer, Marvin (2006). [/books?id=wMbEyeDSQQgC&printsec=frontcover&rview=1#v=onepage&q&f=false "The Mithras Liturgy"] Check
|url=scheme (help). In A. J. Levine, Dale C. Allison, Jr., and John Dominic Crossan. The historical Jesus in context. New Jersey: Princeton University Press. p. 179. ISBN 0-691-00991-0. Retrieved 2011-01-20.
- Unmasking the Pagan Christ by Stanley E. Porter and Stephen J. Bedard 2006 ISBN 1894667719 page 100
- Ulansey, David. The Origins of the Mithraic Mysteries. Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 35.
- Burkert, Walter. Ancient Mystery Cults. Harvard University Press, 1989, p 155 n. 40.
- Brandon, S. G. F. "The Ritual Perpetuation of the Past", Numen, volume 6, issue 1, 1959, p. 128.
- Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Fortress, 2001; first published 1913, p. 355ff.
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 8
- Wells, G. A. "Stages of New Testament Criticism," Journal of the History of Ideas, volume 30, issue 2, 1969.
- British Romantic Writers and the East by Nigel Leask (Jun 24, 2004) ISBN 0521604443 Cambridge Univ Press pages 104 -105
- Stephen Prickett in the Companion Encyclopedia of Theology edited by Peter Byrne, Leslie Houlden (Dec 4, 1995) ISBN 0415064473 page 154-155
- Jesus as a Figure in History: How Modern Historians View the Man from Galilee by Mark Allan Powell (Nov 1, 1998) ISBN 0664257038 pages 15-16
- The Life of Jesus, Critically Examined by David Friedrich Strauss 2010 ISBN 1-61640-309-8 pages 39-43 and 87-91
- Thompson, Thomas L. "The Messiah myth: the Near Eastern roots of Jesus and David", 2005, Basic Books, ISBN 0465085776 p. 4
- Familiar Stranger: An Introduction to Jesus of Nazereth by Michael J. McClymond (Mar 22, 2004) ISBN 0802826806 page 82
- Jesus Remembered: Christianity in the Making, Volume 1 by James D. G. Dunn (Jul 29, 2003) ISBN 0802839312 pages 32-33
- Clive Marsh in the Handbook for the Study of the Historical Jesus edited by Tom Holmen and Stanley E. Porter (Jan 12, 2011) Brill, ISBN page 1016
- Beilby, James K. and Eddy, Paul Rhodes. "The Quest for the Historical Jesus", in James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.). The Historical Jesus: Five Views. Intervarsity, 2009, p. 16.
- See Strauss, David. "The Life of Jesus Critically Examined, Calvin Blanchard, 1860.
- Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Fortress, 2001; first published 1913, pp. 124–128, 139–141.
- Moggach, Douglas. The Philosophy and Politics of Bruno Bauer. Cambridge University Press, 2003, p. 184. *Also see Engels, Frederick. "Bruno Bauer and Early Christianity", Der Sozialdemokrat, May 1882.
- In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images by Clinton Bennett (Dec 1, 2001) ISBN 0826449166 Continuum page 204
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 10
- Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Fortress, 2001; first published 1913, pp. 356–361, 527 n. 4.
- Arvidsson, Stefan. Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science. University of Chicago Press, 2006, pp. 116–117.
- Klausner, Joseph. Jesus of Nazareth. Bloch, 1989; first published 1925, pp. 105–106.
- In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images by Clinton Bennett (Dec 1, 2001) ISBN 0826449166 Continuum page 205
- Deconstructing Jesus by Robert M. Price (2000) ISBN 1573927589 page 207
- J.M. Robertson, 1856-1933 by G.A. Wells (1 Jan 1987) ISBN 0301870020 pages 162-163
- Christianity And Mythology by John M. Robertson London Watts 1900 ISBN 0766187683 (reprinted by Kessinger 2004) page 34
- A Short History of Christianity by John M. Robertson 1902 London: Watts ISBN 0766189090 (reprinted by Kessinger 2004) page 72
- Robertson, J. M. A Short History of Christianity. Watts, 1902, pp. 6–12, 14–15.
- A Short History of Christianity by John M. Robertson 1902 London: Watts ISBN 0766189090 (reprinted by Kessinger 2004) page 18
- J.M. Robertson, 1856-1933 by G.A. Wells (1 Jan 1987) ISBN 0301870020 page 149
- Brown, Marshall G.; Gordon Stein (1978). Freethought in the United States: A Descriptive Bibliography. Published by Greenwood Press, University of California. p. 52. ISBN 0-313-20036-X.
- The Christ Myth by John Remsburg 1909, Chapter 1: "Christ's Real Existence Impossible"
- The Christ Myth by John Remsburg 1909, Chapter 2: "Silence of Contemporary Writers"
- Holding, James Patrick (2008). Shattering the Christ Myth. Xulon Press. p. 52. ISBN 1-60647-271-2.
- Hotema, Hilton (1956). Cosmic Creation. Health Research. p. 178. ISBN 0-7873-0999-0.
- King, Jawara D. (2007). World Transformation: A Guide to Personal Growth and Consciousness. AuthorHouse. p. 35. ISBN 1-4343-2115-0.
- O'Hair, Madalyn Murray (1969). What on earth is an atheist!. Austin, Texas: American Atheist Press. p. 246. ISBN 1-57884-918-7.
- Norman, Asher; Tellis, Ashley (2007). Twenty-six reasons why Jews don't believe in Jesus. Black White and Read Publishing. p. 182. ISBN 0-9771937-0-5.
- Murdock, D. M. and Price, Robert M. (2011). Who Was Jesus? Fingerprints of The Christ. Seattle: Stellar House. p. 296. ISBN 978-0979963100.
- Zindler, Frank (2003). The Jesus the Jews Never Knew. Cranford: American Atheist Press. p. 524. ISBN 1-57884-916-0.
- Leedom, Tim (2007). The Book Your Church Doesn't Want You to Read. New York: Cambridge House Press. p. 446. ISBN 0939040158.
- The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900–1950 by Walter P. Weaver, 1999 ISBN Continuum Publishing Group, 1999, pages 54-56
- Smith, William Benjamin. Der vorchristliche Jesu. Kessinger Publishing, LLC, 2010; first published 1906.
- Also see Smith, William Benjamin. Ecce Deus: Die urchristliche Lehre des reingöttlichen Jesu. Diederichs, 1911; first published 1894.
- Smith, William Benjamin. The Birth of the Gospel, 1911.
- Case, Shirley Jackson. "The Historicity of Jesus: An Estimate of the Negative Argument"], The American Journal of Theology, volume 15, issue 1, 1911.
- Schweitzer, Albert. The Quest of the Historical Jesus. Fortress, 2001; first published 1913, p. 375ff.
- The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900–1950 by Walter P. Weaver 1999 ISBN 1-56338-280-6 page 49–51
- Drews' book was reviewed by A. Kampmeier in The Monist, volume 21, Number 3 (July 1911), pages 412–432. 
- Weaver, Walter P. The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900–1950. Continuum International Publishing Group, 1999, pp. 50 and 300.
- Also see Wood, Herbert George. Christianity and the Nature of History. Cambridge University Press, 1934, p. xxxii.
- Drews, Arthur. Die Christusmythe. Eugen Diederichs, 1910, published in English as The Christ Myth, Prometheus, 1910, p. 410.
- Berdyaev, Nikolai, "The Scientific Discipline of Religion and Christian Apologetics", Put' / Путь vol. 6, 1927
- Gerrish, Brian A. Jesus, Myth, and History: Troeltsch's Stand in the 'Christ-Myth' Debate", The Journal of Religion, volume 55, issue 1, 1975, pp 3–4.
- "Jesus never lived, asserts Prof. Drews", The New York Times, February 6, 1910.
- Thrower, James. Marxist-Leninist "Scientific Atheism" and the Study of Religion and Atheism. Walter de Gruyter, 1983, p. 426.
- Also see Haber, Edyth C. "The Mythic Bulgakov: 'The Master and Margarita' and Arthur Drews's 'The Christ Myth'", Slavic & East European Journal, volume 43, issue 2, 1999, p. 347.
- Nikiforov, Vladimir. "Russian Christianity" in Leslie Houlden (ed.) Jesus in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 2003, p. 749.
- Peris, Daniel. Storming the Heavens. Cornell University Press, 1998, p. 178.
- However Drews was a believer, and a religious activist who wanted to replace obsolete Christianity with a truer, modern form of religion based on his monistic Idealism. The acceptance of his ideas in Moscow and the Soviet Union did not save Drews, a believer, from Lenin's attacks, for being a "reactionary, openly helping the exploiters to replace old and rotten prejudices with new, still more disgusting and base prejudices". In Edyth C. Haber, "The Mythic Bulgakov: 'The Master and Margarita' and Arthur Drews's 'The Christ Myth'", Slavic & East European Journal, volume 43, issue 2, 1999, p. 347.
- The historical Jesus in the twentieth century, 1900–1950 by Walter P. Weaver, 1999 ISBN Continuum Publishing Group, 1999, pages 300-303
- See, for example, Couchoud, Paul Louis. Enigma of Jesus, translated by Winifred Stephens Whale, Watts & co., 1924.
- The Encyclopedia of the Historical Jesus by Craig A. Evans (Apr 3, 2008) ISBN 0415975697 page 231
- Bolland, G. J. P. J. De Evangelische Jozua", 1907.
- Biographical Dictionary of Twentieth-Century Philosophers by Stuart Brown, Diane Collinson and Robert Wilkinson (Oct 13, 2002) entry for "Gerardus Bolland" ISBN 0415286050 Routledge
- G. R. S. Mead and the Gnostic Quest by Clare Goodrick-Clarke (Aug 10, 2005) ISBN 155643572X pages 1-3
- Did Jesus Live 100 B.C.? by G. R. S. Mead (1903) ISBN 1596053763 (Cosimo Classics 2005) pages 10-12
- Pagan Christ: Is Blind Faith Killing Christianity? by Tom Harpur (2006) ISBN 0802777414 p 163
- Price, Robert. "Jesus as the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, pp. 80–81.
- Russell, Bertrand. "Why I am not a Christian", lecture to the National Secular Society, Battersea Town Hall, March 6, 1927, Retrieved 2010-08-02.
- John Allegro, The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross 1970 ISBN 978-0-9825562-7-6
- John Allegro The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth 1979 ISBN 978-0-879-75757-1
- The Meaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls by Peter Flint and James VanderKam (Jul 10, 2005) ISBN 056708468X T&T Clark pages 323-325
- The Essenes, the Scrolls, and the Dead Sea by Joan E. Taylor (Dec 14, 2012) ISBN 019955448X Oxford Univ Press page 305
- Robert E. Van Voorst Jesus Outside the New Testament: An Introduction to the Ancient Evidence Eerdmans Publishing, 2000. ISBN 0-8028-4368-9 page 77
- Hall, Mark. "Foreword," in Allegro, John M. The Dead Sea Scrolls & the Christian Myth. Prometheus 1992, first published 1979, p. ix.
- Jenkins, Philip. "Hidden Gospels. Oxford University Press, 2002, p. 180.
- A History of the Middle East by Saul S. Friedman (Mar 15, 2006) ISBN 0786423560 page 82
- Hoffman, Michael., ed. by Dr. Robert Price., "Wasson and Allegro on the Tree of Knowledge as Amanita" in Journal of Higher Criticism, 2006.
- The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross, 40th anniversary edition by John M. Allegro, Gnostic Media, 2009. ISBN 978-0-9825562-7-6
- Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ by Alvar Ellegård 1999 ISBN 0879517204 pages 1-4
- Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ by Alvar Ellegård 1999 ISBN 0879517204 pages 13-15
- Ellegård, Alvar. "Theologians as historians", Scandia, 2008, p. 171–172, 175ff.
- Jesus: One Hundred Years Before Christ by Alvar Ellegård 1999 ISBN 0879517204 pages 108-111
- Stanton, Graham. The Gospels and Jesus. Oxford University Press, 2002; first published 1989, p. 143.
- Martin, Michael. The Case Against Christianity. Temple University Press, 1993, p. 38.
- Wells, GA (September 1999). [/library/modern/g_a_wells/earliest.html "Earliest Christianity"] Check
|url=scheme (help). New Humanist 114 (3): 13–18. Retrieved 2007-01-11.
- Wells, G. A. The Jesus Myth. Open Court, 1999.
- Van Voorst, Robert E. "Nonexistence Hypothesis", in James Leslie Holden (ed.) Jesus in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia. ABC-CLIO, 2003, p. 660.
- Doherty, Earl (1999). [/BkrvEll.htm "Book and Article Reviews, The Case of the Jesus Myth: Jesus — One Hundred Years Before Christ by Alvar Ellegard"] Check
|url=scheme (help). Retrieved 2011-10-07.
- Carrier, Richard (2006). Did Jesus Even Exist? Stanford University presentation. May 30, 2006.
- Eddy and Boyd (2007), The Jesus Legend, p. 24.
- For a statement of his position, Wells refers readers to his article, "Jesus, Historicity of" in Tom Flynn's The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief (2007). See Wells, G. A. Cutting Jesus Down to Size. Open Court, 2009, pp. 327–328.
- Wells, G.A. in Tom Flynn. The New Encyclopedia of Unbelief. Prometheus Books, 2007, p. 446ff.
- Wells, G. A. "A Reply to J. P. Holding's 'Shattering' of My Views on Jesus and an Examination of the Early Pagan and Jewish References to Jesus". The Secular Web. 2000. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- Price, Robert M. The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man. Prometheus, 2003, p. 351.
- Also see Jacoby, Douglas A. Compelling Evidence For God and the Bible: Finding Truth in an Age of Doubt. Harvest House Publishers, 2010, p. 97.
- Price writes: "Is it ... possible that beneath and behind the stained-glass curtain of Christian legend stands the dim figure of a historical founder of Christianity? Yes, it is possible, perhaps just a tad more likely than that there was a historical Moses, about as likely as there having been a historical Apollonius of Tyana. But it becomes almost arbitrary to think so."
- Van Biema, David; Ostling, Richard N.; and Towle, Lisa H. "The Gospel Truth?". Time magazine. April 8, 1996.
- Price, Robert M. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, pp. 55–56.
- Price, Robert M. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, p. 55ff.
- Also see Price, Robert M. "Book review of "Christ in Egypt: The Horus-Jesus Connection". 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Irenaeus (c. 180 CE). Demonstration (74).
- See Robert M. Price. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point", in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, pp. 80–81.
- Price, Robert M. (2000). Deconstructing Jesus, pp. 15–16.
- Price, Robert M. (2000). Deconstructing Jesus, p. 86.
- Price, Robert M. "Jesus at the Vanishing Point" in James K. Beilby & Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.) The Historical Jesus: Five Views. InterVarsity, 2009, p. 61ff.
- The Crucial Bridge: The Elijah–Elisha Narrative As an Interpretive Synthesis of Genesis-Kings by Thomas L. Brodie (Jan 1, 2000) ISBN 081465942X pages 1-3
- Thompson, Thomas L. "The Messiah myth: the Near Eastern roots of Jesus and David", Basic Books, 2005, back cover.
- Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin, 2006, pp. 96–97.
- Doherty, Earl. "The Jesus Puzzle", Journal of Higher Criticism, volume 4, issue 2, 1997.
- See Stenger, Victor J. God: The Failed Hypothesis. Prometheus, 2007, p. 190.
- Hitchens, Christopher. God Is Not Great. Twelve Books, 2007, p. 127.
- Dawkins, Richard. The God Delusion. Houghton Mifflin, 2006, pp. 202–203.
- Hoffmann, Joseph. [/opeds/hoffman1044.shtml "Threnody: Rethinking the Thinking Behind The Jesus Project"] Check
|url=scheme (help). Retrieved 2011-01-05. "... And second, because I have often made the claim that it has been largely theological interests since Strauss's time that ruled the historicity question out of court. ..."
- [/2009/04/01/jesus-lost-in-transmission-an-interview-with-nick-perrin "Jesus Is His Own Ideology: An Interview with Nick Perrin"] Check
|url=scheme (help). "My point in the book is to disabuse readers of the notion that Jesus scholars are scientists wearing white lab coats. Like everyone else, they want certain things to be true about Jesus and equally want certain others not to be true of him. I'm included in this (I really hope that I am right in believing that Jesus is both Messiah and Lord.) Will this shape my scholarship? Absolutely. How can it not? We should be okay with that."
- Akenson, Donald (1998). Surpassing wonder: the invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. pp. 539–555. Retrieved 2011-Jan-08. "...The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Jesus, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice..."
- Akenson, Donald (1998). Surpassing wonder: the invention of the Bible and the Talmuds. University of Chicago Press. pp. 539–555. Retrieved 2011-Jan-08. "...The point I shall argue below is that, the agreed evidentiary practices of the historians of Yeshua, despite their best efforts, have not been those of sound historical practice..."
- Meier, John. [/Messenger/Dec1997/feature3.asp "Finding the Historical Jesus: An Interview with John P. Meier"] Check
|url=scheme (help). St. Anthony Messenger. Retrieved 2011-Jan-06. "...I think a lot of the confusion comes from the fact that people claim they are doing a quest for the historical Jesus when de facto they're doing theology, albeit a theology that is indeed historically informed. Go all the way back to Reimarus, through Schleiermacher, all the way down the line through Bultmann, Kasemann, Bornkamm. These are basically people who are theologians, doing a more modern type of Christology [a faith-based study of Jesus Christ]..."
- Allison, Dale. [/books?id=WzOfssjUsIIC&pg=PA59&dq=dale+allison+We+wield+our+criteria+to+get+what+we+want&hl=en&ei=uAh2TLKaF4nRccDXpe0F&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CCoQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false The Historical Christ and the Theological Jesus] Check
|url=scheme (help). Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. p. 59. Retrieved 2011-Jan-09. "We wield our criteria to get what we want."
- Albrektson, Bertil; Ellegard, et al. [/ojs/index.php/scandia/article/viewFile/1078/863 "Theologians as historians"] Check
|url=scheme (help). Retrieved 2011-Feb-8. "it is not quite fair as a general description of biblical scholars in university faculties of theology. Many of these do not accept any creed as the foundation of their work; they do in fact honestly try to investigate scientifically the basic documents of Christianity in the same way as other texts from antiquity."
- Csillag, Ron. "For scholars, a combustible question: Was Christ real?". The Toronto Star. December 27, 2008. See the project's website at The Jesus Project. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
- Hoffmann, R. Joseph. "Threnody: Rethinking the Thinking behind The Jesus Project". bibleinterp.com. October 2009. Retrieved 2010-08-06.
- Stark, Rodney. What Americans Really Believe. Baylor University Press, 2008, p. 63; Bader, Christopher, et al. American Piety in the 21st Century. Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, 2006, p. 14.
- Communicate Research. Theos: Easter Survey. February 2008. Retrieved 2010-08-03.
- A Credible Christianity: Saving Jesus from the Church by Walter Kania (14 Jun 2010) ISBN 145202832X Authorhouse pages 189 and 60
- Lyman, Eric. "Italian atheist sues priest over Jesus' existence", USA Today, January 30, 2006; "Italy judge throws out Jesus case", BBC News, February 10, 2006.
- Allegro, John M. The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross. Hodder & Stoughton, 1970.
- Allegro, John M. The Dead Sea Scrolls & the Christian Myth. Prometheus 1992, first published 1979.
- Avalos, Hector. The End of Biblical Studies. Prometheus, 2007.
- Arvidsson, Stefan. Aryan Idols: Indo-European Mythology as Ideology and Science. University of Chicago Press, 2006.
- Bader, Christopher, et al. American Piety in the 21st Century. Baylor Institute for Studies of Religion, 2006.
- Barker, Dan. Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America's Leading Atheists. Ulysses, 2008.
- Barnett, Paul. Jesus and the Logic of History. InterVarsity, 2001.
- Barnett, Paul. Messiah Jesus – the evidence of history. InterVarsity, 2009.
- Barrett, David V. The Gospel According to Bart", Fortean Times issue 221, 2007.
- Bauckham, Richard. Jesus and the Eyewitnesses. Eerdmans, 2006.
- Beilby, James K. and Eddy, Paul Rhodes. "The Quest for the Historical Jesus," in James K. Beilby and Paul Rhodes Eddy (eds.). The Historical Jesus: Five Views. Intervarsity, 2009.
- Bennett, Clinton. In Search of Jesus: Insider and Outsider Images. Continuum, 2001.
- Berdyaev, Nikolai. "The Scientific Discipline of Religion and Christian Apologetics," Put, volume 6, 1927.
- Bevan, Edwyn R. The History of Christianity in the Light of Modern Knowledge. Blackie & Son, 1929.
- Bevan, Edwyn R. Hellenism And Christianity. G. Allen & Unwin, 1930.
- Blomberg, Craig L. "Gospels (Historical Reliability)" in Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight, & I. Howard Marshall (eds.) Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels. InterVarsity, 1992.
- Bolland, G. J. P. J. De Evangelische Jozua", 1907.
- Bornkamm, Günther. Jesus of Nazareth. Fortress, 1995, first published 1959.
- Brandon, S. G. F. "The Ritual Perpetuation of the Past", Numen, volume 6, issue 1, 1959.
- Breen, Tom. The Messiah Formerly Known as Jesus. Baylor University Press, 2008.
- Bromiley, Geoffrey W. (ed.) "Jesus Christ," The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia. Eerdmans, 1982.
- Bruce, F. F. Paul and Jesus SPCK, 1977.
- Brunner, Emil. The Mediator: A Study of the Central Doctrine of the Christian Faith. Lutterworth, 2002, first published 1934.
- Burkert, Walter. Ancient Mystery Cults. Harvard University Press, 1989.
- Cadbury, Henry J. The Eclipse of the Historical Jesus. Pendle Hill, 1964.
- Bushby, Tony, The Bible Fraud, The Pacific Group, 2001.
- Case, Shirley Jackson. "The Historicity of Jesus: An Estimate of the Negative Argument", The American Journal of Theology, volume 15, issue 1, 1911.
- Centre for Public Christianity. "New survey finds over half of Australians think Jesus rose from the dead", 2009, Retrieved 2010-08-04.
- Charlesworth, James H. Jesus and Archaeology. Erdmans, 2006.
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Further reading 
- Books and papers
- Brunner, Constantin. "Criticism", appendix to Our Christ: the revolt of the mystical genius, Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- Case, Shirley Jackson. "The Historicity of Jesus: An Estimate of the Negative Argument", The American Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 1, January 1911, pp. 20–42.
- Case, Shirley Jackson. "Jesus' Historicity: A Statement of the Problem", The American Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 2, April 1911, pp. 626–628.
- Case, Shirley Jackson. "Recent books on the question of Jesus' existence", The American Journal of Theology, Vol. 15, No. 4, October 1911, pp. 626–628.
- Clemen, Carl. Der geschichtliche Jesus: Eine allgemeinverständliche Untersuchung der Frage: Hat Jesus gelebt, und was wollte er?. Töpelmann, 1911.
- Evans, Elizabeth Edson Gibson. The Christ Myth: A Study, Book Tree 2000; first published 1900.
- Habermas, Gary R. The Historical Jesus: Ancient Evidence for the Life of Christ. College Press, 1996.
- Fau, Guy. La fable de Jésus-Christ. Éditions de l'Union rationaliste, 1964.
- Mangasarian, Managasar Mugwiditch. The truth about Jesus. Is he a myth?. Princeton Theological Seminary Library, 1909.
- Alfaric, Prosper. Jésus a-t-il existé?. Coda Publishing 2005; first published 1932.
- Prosper, Alfaric. Le problème de Jésus. Cercle Ernest-Renan, 1954.
- Robertson, John Mackinnon. The Jesus problem; a restatement of the myth theory, 1917.
- Rossington, Herbert J. Did Jesus really live? a reply to The Christ myth, 1911.
- Taylor, Robert. Syntagma of the Evidences of the Christian Religion. London 1828.
- Taylor, Robert. The Diegesis: Being a Discovery of the Origin, Evidences, and Early History of Christianity. A. Kneeland 1834; composed while Taylor was in Oakham Goal after being convicted of blasphemy, 1829.
- Telford, John and Barber, Benjamin Aquila. The London quarterly review, volume 4, 1912, p. 191.
- Troeltsch, Ernst. Die Bedeutung der Geschichtlichkeit Jesu für den Glauben. Mohr, 1911.
- Zindler, Frank R. The Jesus the Jews Never Knew. American Atheist Press, 2003.
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- Religious Tolerance General outline of range of views on Jesus from classical Christian to Jesus a mere man and Jesus entirely mythical
- Washington Post article Ex-Christian Bart Ehrman's defense of Jesus' existence in Washington Post
- The Credibility of the Bible Article discussing falsification hypotheses about Jesus' life, message and resurrection