Jesus never existed. With Easter Sunday approaching, a new trilogy of books by a noted atheist historian now makes that stunning case in even stronger terms than in the same author’s previous book, which sent shockwaves of controversy through both the Christian and atheist communities. David Fitzgerald presented his initial evidence that there was no historical Jesus in his 2010 book, Nailed: 10 Christian Myths That Show Jesus Never Existed at All. But seven years later, Fitzgerald says that his evidence that Jesus never existed has grown even more convincing.
In fact, Fitzgerald says that he has accumulated so much evidence that the existence of Jesus was nothing more than a fabricated myth, that it took not one, not two, but three books to present all of his new findings. His new three-book series is titled Jesus: Mything in Action.
According to Fitzgerald, the first tipoff that no actual, historical figure identifiable as Jesus even existed is the fact that, he says, the gospels of the New Testament depict not a single Jesus — but several.
“There’s no consistency to the portrayal of Jesus in the gospels. Mark’s Jesus is a humble, fallible, suffering human. Matthew’s Jesus is a new and improved take on Mark’s, correcting his mistakes,” Fitzgerald explained in an interview published by Raw Story on Thursday. “By comparison, Luke’s Jesus is a Zen master and John’s is a ridiculously egotistical ‘Super Jesus,’ repeatedly making blasphemous comments that should have had him stoned to death right out of the gate.”
Because the portrayals of Jesus in the New Testament Gospels differ radically from one another, historians who have tried to reconstruct the life of the allegedly historical Jesus have also contradicted each other wildly in many cases, Fitzgerald says.
“It becomes clear that whether intentionally or not, Jesus historians are making things up,” Fitzgerald said in the Thursday interview with writer Valerie Tarico.
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But the Gospels themselves, Fitzgerald argues, are the only historical sources that discuss the existence of Jesus at all — sources that not only contradict each other on many points but were written years after the date when Jesus is supposed to have died.
“The most cited so-called sources outside the New Testament are considered forgeries and… the rest only provide evidence for the existence of Christianity rather than Jesus himself,” Fitzgerald said. “They all draw their information about Jesus from Christian sources.”
Watch Fitzgerald deliver a talk in which he lays out his evidence that Jesus never existed, in the video below.
Fitzgerald’s argument that no sources outside of the gospels provide any reliable or contemporaneous accounts of the existence of Jesus echoes the work of historian Michael Paulkovich, who argued in his 2014 book No Meek Messiah that a close inspection of 126 historical texts from the time when Jesus is supposed to have lived yields no mention at all of a “real” Jesus.
If Jesus never existed, how then did the Christian religion come into existence — and why do Christians celebrate Good Friday and Easter? According to Fitzgerald, the answer is clear from the historical evidence.
“The further we go back in Christian history, the more diverse it appears, and the less likely it began with a single founder,” Fitzgerald said. “Instead there are abundant indications that its origins are tied to the pagan mystery faiths.”
The writer also said that he is not attempting to persuade religious Christians that Jesus never existed. Rather, he says, his argument is with his fellow atheists who deny that Jesus was a divine being but believe that Jesus did, in fact, exist as a historical figure.
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