Did Jesus Exist? (Wells)

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Did Jesus Exist?
Did Jesus Exist (George Albert Wells book).jpg
Author George Albert Wells
Publisher Prometheus Books
Publication date
Media type Hardcover/Paper
Pages 256 pages
ISBN 0-87975-395-1
OCLC 137341896

Did Jesus Exist? is a 1975 book written by the modern German historian George Albert Wells who speculated on the evidence of Jesus Christ. Wells argues there was no historical evidence of Jesus existing.[1][2] A revised second edition was published in 1986.

Wells has since modified his position, and in 2003 stated that he now disagrees with Robert M. Price on the information about Jesus being "all mythical".[3] Wells now believes that the Jesus of the gospels is obtained by attributing the supernatural traits of the Pauline epistles to the human preacher of Q source.[4]


  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Abbreviations for Books of the New Testament
  • Introduction
    1. Jewish and Pagan Testimony to Jesus
    2. Early Christian Epistles
    3. The Origin and Nature of the Gospels
    4. Christologies
    5. The Twelve
    6. Galilee and John the Baptist
    7. Was Jesus a Political Rebel?
    8. The Pagan and Jewish Background
    9. The Debate Continues
  • Conclusion
  • Numbered List of References
  • Index of New Testament References
  • General Index


Bart Ehrman, in his Did Jesus Exist? (2012) stated: "The best-known mythicist of modern times — at least among the NT scholars who know of any mythicists at all — is George A. Wells...He has written many books and articles advocating a mythicist position, none more incisive than his 1975 book, Did Jesus Exist?. Wells is certainly one who does the hard legwork to make his case: Although an outsider to NT studies, he speaks the lingo of the field and has read deeply in its scholarship. Although most NT scholars will not (or do not) consider his work either convincing or particularly well argued." (p. 19). Wells, 86, provided an answer to these points in an article in Free Inquiry.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Did Jesus Exist?". Prometheus Books. Retrieved 2009-05-13. 
  2. ^ Robinson, John (1976). "Review: Did Jesus Exist?". Journal of Theological Studies. Retrieved 2007-10-17. 
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ Can We Trust the New Testament? by George Albert Wells (Nov 26, 2003) ISBN 0812695674 page 43 states: "In the gospels, the two Jesus figures - the human preacher of Q and the supernatural personage of the early epistles who sojourned briefly on Earth as a man and then, rejected, returned to heaven - have been fused into one. The Galilean preacher of Q has been given a salvific death and resurrection."
  5. ^ G.A. Wells, "Ehrman on the Historicity of Jesus and Early Christian Thinking", Free Inquiry, June–July 2012, p. 58-62. It is a 5-page, 4,100-word answer to Ehrman's book. Excerpts available online Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine., (1,000 words only).

External links[edit]