More or Less Hit or Myth

When I was a good Christian boy, I was taught a legend that really served as the backbone for the beliefs I was taught to have. Most Christians will immediately identify with this legend, because it’s more or less integral. Without it, you devolve into deism or, heaven forbid, the “Love” god. This legend involves a rumor about Señor Jesus Christ… Romanssexintrigue! (Mostly not the last two.)

It goes like this:

Well, you see, lots of non-Christians wrote about Jesus’ resurrection and miracles, and you see, they have no reason to lie. See? It’s all true!

Nope.

There are no credible non-Christian sources, whether Jewish in origin or Roman in origin, which describe, from a first-hand account, Jesus performing miracles, including resurrecting. There are plenty of sources talking about the persecution of Christians, and about the crucifixion of Jesus, and about the evangelizing of Christians. None of them describe first-hand accounts of Jesus performing a miracle. Not one.

The classic example Christians usually give is Josephus, who was a Jewish historian. Problem 1: Josephus was born after Jesus had already been crucified. He couldn’t have witnessed Jesus performing miracles. Problem 2: Most historians believe that most of Josephus’ writings on Jesus were fabricated. Assuming they aren’t, it’s quite clear that Josephus could’ve only known about Jesus second or third-hand. And he doesn’t write anything about miracles performed by Jesus’ followers. What we have, in essence, is a “my cousin’s daughter’s friend said.” Not credible in the least.

So we have a situation where Christians write about the miracles of Jesus, but for some reason no one else does.

Interesting.

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