Cascoly Books: Historical Jesus

Cascoly Books - Historical Jesus

The Historical Jesus : The Life of a Mediterranean Jewish Peasant -

Dominic Crossan

The Jesus Seminar is a group of over 150 laymen and scholars who have been working for over 245 years to establish a consensus on the historicity and sayings of Jesus. They produce a series of annual publications that try to establish parts of the gospels actually happened and which did not.  They represent a wide array of thinkers and religious points of view.   

Honest to Jesus: Jesus for a New Millennium by Robert W. Funk is  probably the best book about the goals and works of the Historical Jesus movement represented  by the Jesus seminar.  He describes  how these scholars persue their work and their personal goals, while summarizing their  often surprising findings. "Funk's Jesus, in the end, emerges as a revolutionary figure for a new age, without being the least bit New Age-y. "


 I highly recommend the books by Dominic Crossan that examine not only this specific question, but are excellent discussions of life and religion in the mideast at that time:

A controversial and highly readable book by Dominic Crossan which looks at everyday life in the Palestine of the time of Jesus

>>>How does the evidence for Jesus, called the Christ, compare to other key historical figures?

A common rebuttal for Christianity is the claim that there is little to no solid evidence that an historical Jesus ever existed.. How do Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Genghis Khan compare in terms of solid historical evidence? More? or less than Jesus?


The question is really not important as to whether there was an historical Jesus. Skipping the Christian texts, since none are contemporary, there is some contemporary evidence for a person named Jesus who fits some of the later Gospel stories - Josephus mentions him, as do a few other Roman historians. but whether there is historical evidence or not is irrelevant when discussing Christianity. Judaism, Buddhism and Hinduism have even less historical verification, but that doesn't prevent them from being major religions

There is however, much to be learned from a search for this historical person, especially concerning how & why people build their faith.

As to the people mentioned above - there is MUCH more historical, archeological and architectural evidence, much of it contemporaneous and written by people who don't have a reason to promote these figures. These can easily be found with any Google search. No one disputes the historical existence of any of the people mentioned in the original question. This is a common phenomenon - Lincoln, Wellington and Napoleon >are easy to track, while individual soldiers from the millions in their armies are more difficult to document, and they're barely 200 years old.

  • After Jesus and Yahweh : The Names Divine, by Harold Bloom who also wrote the Book of J, delves even further back looking for the origins of gods and religions 

    Bloom is known more for his literary criticsm and it shows in his preference for  Yahweh, with his covenants, tempers, resolutions, sometimes even  the physical where he fights, eats and walks in the cool of the Garden as opposed to the less interesting 'character' character of the  enigmatic Jesus who only comes truly alive for him the non-canonical Gnostic  in the Gospel of Thomas.  When Bloom says "The New Testament frequently is a strong misreading of the Hebrew Bible, and certainly it has persuaded multitudes." he shows he's not afraid of controversy, but is ready to back up his opinions.

    The Birth of Christianity : Discovering... - Dominic Crossan The Birth of Christianity : Discovering What Happened in the Years Immediately After the Execution of Jesus
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