- This Jesus is a man of his time and place, a first century Israelite in his mission and ways, an observant Jew.
- This Jesus was only really semi-public. He was elusive, often telling people not to mention anything special about him, often hitting the road and staying in the countryside to avoid the authorities. (See Mark’s gospel at 1:45, 3:7, 6:31-32, 6:45, 6:53, 7:24, 7:31, 8:10, 8:22, 9:30 and 33.)
- He was someone that people had heard of for only three years, 30-33AD. He spent relatively few days in Jerusalem even then.
- He was never appointed to public office.
- "Many have undertaken to draw up an account
- of the things that have been fulfilled among us,
- just as they [such accounts] were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses
- and servants of the word. With this in mind, since
- I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning,
- I too decided to
- write an orderly account" (emphasis added)
- the gospel of Mark, which Luke has used but shortened;
- some stories and sayings that are in common with Matthew’s gospel, which scholars call ‘Q’; and
- parables that are found only in Luke, not in the other gospels.
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?
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?