- Jesus was an Israelite who was descended from the family of King David (Rom 1:3).
- Jesus was born into a family of observant Jews (Gal 4:4).
- Jesus had brothers (Gal 1:19 etc).
- Jesus spent time in Judea and was killed there (1 Thess 2:15).
- Jesus was killed effectively by Judeans (1 Thess 2:15).
- It was death by crucifixion (1 Cor 2:8) and so his execution was in actuality carried out by the Romans.
- Jesus’ body was buried (1 Cor 15:4).
- Jesus came back to life again and
- Jesus was seen by Peter and others (1 Cor 15:1-7).
What was Paul's gospel message?
It was his ‘gospel’ message he got vetted in the 40s. And this message was that Jesus died (to save people from their sins), and came back to life again, and that this was a message that would unite non-Jews with Jews.
What was Paul's information?
Paul's information was the same as the Judean Christians had, according to him. These were the people who could say that Jesus existed and what his life story was, and Paul talked to them. It was they who thought that Jesus was an Israelite who was descended from the family of King David, that Jesus was born into a family of observant Jews (Gal 4:4), that Jesus spent time in Judea and was killed by Judeans, this being death by crucifixion carried out by the Romans, and that Jesus’ body was buried. (That they also said he had risen from the dead I will leave to another blog.)
People who merely ask for 'proof' are missing the point about how history is mostly done. It is a painstaking business of collecting data and establishing the simplest explanation for it. It is evidence that calls for a judgment call on the balance of probabilities, for a reasonable person to say whether the man these people spoke of in the 30s was indeed a historical figure of their own decade. It takes quite an effort to find a simpler explanation.
We have other evidence, apart from the Bible, to back up Paul’s own eyewitness testimony about what was happening in those decades. I’m talking about evidence you may never have heard of before! That’s in the next blog.
Did Jesus Really Exist? 1. A little introduction
Did Jesus Exist? 2a. Did any writers mention Jesus at the time he was alive?
Did Jesus Exist? 2b. Were ancient authors silent about Jesus' existence?
Did Jesus Exist? 2c. Outside the Bible, does anyone else say Jesus existed?
Did Jesus Exist? 2d. What about these authors then, Josephus, Tacitus and Pliny?
Did Jesus Exist? 3a. What did St Paul know about the life story of Jesus?
Did Jesus Exist? 3b. Why didn’t St Paul say more about Jesus?
Did Jesus Exist? 3c. Did Peter and Paul talk about Jesus?
So when did St Paul persecute the church? (And when did Jesus die?)
Did Jesus Exist? 4a. So then: what about the people who were interested in Jesus before Paul was?
You are here - Did Jesus Exist? 4b. What did people know about the life story of Jesus before Paul came on the scene?
Did Jesus Exist? 5. Did Paul invent Jesus?