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He came close to crushing the Roman Republic, was one of the greatest generals of all time and was famed throughout the ancient world for centuries after his death down to today. So if someone as famous and significant as Hannibal has no surviving contemporary references to him in our sources, does it really make sense to base an argument about the existence or non-existence of a Galilean peasant preacher on the lack of contemporary references to him? So while this seems like a good argument, a better knowledge of the ancient world and the nature of our evidence and sources shows that it's actually extremely weak. This is because we could expect such a meeting to be mentioned in those documents.
He says Jesus was born as a human, of a human mother, and born a Jew (Galatians 4:4). He mentions how he was executed by earthly rulers (1 Cor.In fact, there is only one writer of the time who had any interest in such figures, who also had little interest for Roman and Greek writers.He was the Jewish historian Josephus, who is our sole source for virtually all of the Jewish preachers, prophets, faith healers, and Messianic claimants of this time. Mythicists take comfort in the fact that the first of these references has been added to by later Christian scribes, so they dismiss it as a wholesale interpolation.But it fell out of favor as the twentieth century progressed and was barely held by any scholars at all by the 1960s.
More recently the "Jesus Myth" hypothesis has experienced something of a revival, largely via the internet, blogging, and "print on demand" self-publishing services.He repeats that he had a "human nature" and that he was a human descendant of King David (Romans 1:3). 2:8) and that he died and was buried (1 Cor 15:3-4).He refers to teachings Jesus made during his earthly ministry on divorce (1 Cor. And he says he had an earthly, physical brother called James who Paul himself had met (Galatians ).The opposite idea—that there was no historical Jesus at all and that "Jesus Christ" developed out of some purely mythic ideas about a non-historical, non-existent figure—has had a checkered history over the last 200 years, but has usually been a marginal idea at best.