Anti-Christmas grinches have upped the ante in the annual war on Christmas, moving beyond opposition to Nativity scenes and Wise Men to denying the very existence of Jesus.
A new article in Big Think claims that more and more, "historians and bloggers alike are questioning whether the actual man called Jesus existed."
Trendy atheists like Richard Dawkins and the late Christopher Hitchens also dabbled in the denial of the historical Jesus, with Dawkins asserting that it is possible "to mount a serious, though not widely supported, historical case that Jesus never lived at all," and Hitchens averring that Jesus' existence is "highly questionable."
Many of the writings we do have are "tainted," Philip Perry now pronounces in Big Think, and historical sources are few. Even in the Bible, Perry writes, "whole chunks of his life are missing. Jesus goes from age 12 to 30, without any word of what happened in-between."
"What we do have are lots of sources completed several decades after the fact, by authors of the gospels who wanted to promote the faith," he writes.
Moreover, the "gospels themselves are contradictory," he adds, with "competing Easter stories" and no real names attached to many of them, "but rather an apostle's who [is] 'signing off' on the manuscript." There is also "evidence that the gospels were heavily edited over the years."