“He May Well Be On To Something… This Argues for Historicity” — Daniel B. Wallace

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Daniel B. Wallace, a leading New Testament scholar, responds to my recent Touchstone article on the historicity of Jesus:

The May/June 2014 issue of Touchstone has come out. In it is a provocative and, I might say, Lewis-esque piece of writing by Tom Gilson, the National Field Director of Ratio Christi…. He may well be on to something. In turn, this argues for historicity.

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6 Responses to “ “He May Well Be On To Something… This Argues for Historicity” — Daniel B. Wallace ”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed what you wrote, and can understand why Wallace praised it. Your defeat of the “Jesus as presented by the Gospels is a legend” argument was complete. You showed that while it is superficially wise, it is, upon any reasonable inspection, absurd.

  2. Well, while you claim that it argues for historicity, I don’t perceive how it succeeds in demonstrating historicity. I understand what it is like to argue for something one believes in, and needs to believe is true. When I examined why I believed in something, and therefore would use whatever I could (and believed in in my arsenal) to argue in favor of it, I discovered that I was willing to accept just about anything which favored support for what I believed in. I also learned that once I removed my belief, it was easier to see that my position didn’t stand up to scrutiny and critical examination. Once I was able to remove belief and faith from the equation, I was able to dispense with the material that was, how shall we say, based on wishful thinking.
    My responses of course are directed to Tom Gilson and Mike Gantt.
    I was raised and therefore indoctrinated into believing this story from my earliest youth, and that this book was documentation of a man and a true story of him, and that these two aspects of the book, old and new, were connected and part of the same story. However, the older I got, the more I asked questions, the more those questions were answered poorly (over and over, and over again), or remained unanswered, the more I realized that it is a myth created by people who were neither honest nor sincere.

    I have obtained numerous copies of various versions of this text, and began, especially once the internet became a part of our experience, to read what others have had to say throughout history, including philosophers, apologists, theologians, believers of all kinds and stripes etc., and et al.

    My conclusions, even more so since reading Wallace’s piece in Touchstone, continue to show evidence that this whole story is a myth, and a fraud perpetrated on mankind by its members throughout history.

  3. It is certainly a well written article.
    I would agree that Jesus is certainly unique in all of history and fiction.
    I am not sure if this necessarily proves that Jesus as portrayed in the gospels can not be a legend.
    I would agree that it is unlikely but perhaps still a possibility.
    However I guess the burden of proof would shift to the person claiming that Jesus is a legend to demonstrate how the legend could have developed in the short period of time available as well as the historical context.

  4. Michael,

    I note that you have chosen to double down on the legend thesis – and in two signficant ways. First, you go beyond Ehrman et al in insisting that all – not just parts – of the Jesus story are concocted. Second, you go beyond Ehrman et al in asserting that one of the most sublime moral protagonists in all of literature was created not merely by committees, but by committees populated with dishonest and insincere men – that is, you believe wicked men have conspired to paint a portrait of humanity’s greatest moral emblem.

    Thus, contrary to your claim that “scrutiny and critical examination” are part of your intellectual arsenal, you demonstrate that plausibility is not a requirement of that in which you are willing to believe.