Tuesday, 31 July 2012


This letter appears in today's Leicester Mercury (but not on its website):
No evidence of historical Jesus
Mark Jacques's puerile simile comparing the questioning of Christ's existence to being on the same level as a Holocaust denier (Mailbox, July 19) shows just how low he is prepared to sink when rubbishing anyone who dares to question the faith that he so obviously regards as undeniable fact.
The substantive evidence for the Holocaust - the gas chambers, the mass graves, the spoken and written testimony of the survivors, camp officers and guards - is beyond doubt.
There is no substantive evidence to prove that Christ ever existed.
The only thing to even suggest his existence are the stories written about him in the New Testament, which was not published until 400 years after his supposed death, by which time there was no one living to give eyewitness testimony anyway.
Throughout history, writers have chronicled the events of the places, people and events that tell humanity's story.
Strange, then, that contemporary historians living in the places where Christ is said to have lived, preached and travelled, mention nothing of his existence, let alone the effect that his actions are said to have had in riling the authorities of the time leading up to his crucifixion.
When the Christian theologian and writer F W Farrah (1831-1903) read through these writings, he expressed his surprise and dismay when he wrote: "There is no statement in all history that says anyone ever saw Jesus or talked with him.
"Nothing in history is more astonishing than the silence of contemporary writers of contemporary writers about events relayed in the four Gospels."
Astonishing? I'll say it is.
If Jesus did walk among us and had the impact on society as described in the Bible, and a historian of that time had not acknowledged it, it would be like a modern historian writing a comprehensive biographical account of British Prime Ministers of the 20th century and totally failing to include Margaret Thatcher and the impact she had on world politics in the 1980s. It just couldn't happen.
Alan R Pendragon, Leicester

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