Finding Jesus discovers fascinating new insights into the historical Jesus, utilizing the latest scientific techniques and archaeological research. Knowledgeable historians, scholars, and scientists explore people, places, and objects connected to the life and times of Jesus of Nazareth.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery - Christ myth theory - Netflix
The Christ myth theory (also known as the Jesus myth theory, Jesus mythicism, mythicism, or Jesus ahistoricity theory) is “the view that the person known as Jesus of Nazareth had no historical existence.” Alternatively, in terms given by Bart Ehrman as per his criticism of mythicism, “the historical Jesus did not exist. Or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity.” According to mythicists, the accounts of Jesus are mostly, or completely, of a mythical nature; and if there was a historical Jesus, close to nothing can be known about him. Most Christ mythicists follow a threefold argument: they question the reliability of the Pauline epistles and the Gospels regarding the historicity of Jesus; they note the lack of information on Jesus in non-Christian sources from the first and early second century; and they argue that early Christianity was syncretistic and mythological from the beginning, as reflected in both the Pauline epistles and the gospels. Therefore Christianity was not founded on the shared memories of a man, but rather a shared mytheme. The Christ myth theory is a fringe theory, supported by few tenured or emeritus specialists in biblical criticism or cognate disciplines. It deviates from the mainstream historical view, which is that while the gospels include many legendary elements, these are religious elaborations added to the accounts of a historical Jesus who was crucified in the 1st-century Roman province of Judea.
Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery - Lack of support for mythicism - Netflix
Graeme Clarke, Emeritus Professor of Classical Ancient History and Archaeology at Australian National University has stated: “Frankly, I know of no ancient historian or biblical historian who would have a twinge of doubt about the existence of a Jesus Christ—the documentary evidence is simply overwhelming”. R. Joseph Hoffmann, who had created the Jesus Project, which included both mythicists and historicists to investigate the historicity of Jesus, wrote that an adherent to the Christ myth theory asked to set up a separate section of the project for those committed to the theory. Hoffmann felt that to be committed to mythicism signaled a lack of necessary skepticism and he noted that most members of the project did not reach the mythicist conclusion.
According to New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman, most people who study the historical period of Jesus believe that he did exist and do not write in support of the Christ myth theory. Maurice Casey, theologian and scholar of New Testament and early Christianity, stated that the belief among professors that Jesus existed is generally completely certain. According to Casey, the view that Jesus did not exist is “the view of extremists”, “demonstrably false” and “professional scholars generally regard it as having been settled in serious scholarship long ago”. In his 1977 book Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels, classical historian and popular author Michael Grant concluded that “modern critical methods fail to support the Christ-myth theory”. In support of this, Grant quoted Roderic Dunkerley's 1957 opinion that the Christ myth theory has “again and again been answered and annihilated by first-rank scholars”. At the same time, he also quoted Otto Betz's 1968 opinion that in recent years “no serious scholar has ventured to postulate the non-historicity of Jesus—or at any rate very few, and they have not succeeded in disposing of the much stronger, indeed very abundant, evidence to the contrary”. In the same book, he also wrote:
Finding Jesus: Faith, Fact, Forgery - References - Netflix