Sunday, November 13, 2011

Agnostics and Skeptics Refute Zeitgeist

John Dominic Crossan is not exactly the person who comes to mind when most of us think of what it means to be a Christian believer. I'm being generous here, in brief, he is really a skeptical postmodern "believer" of sorts. As one of the founding members of the Jesus Seminar, Crossan not only denies the miraculous, but he doesn't even consider the existence of God to be of any relevance. After dismissing any possibility for miracles, he suggests that the only thing that is important is that you just have faith. With this in mind, lets look at this interesting quotation that I found on Apologetics 315's blog:

"Jesus' death by crucifixion under Pontius Pilate is as sure as anything historical can ever be. For if no follower of Jesus had written anything for one hundred years after his crucifixition, we would still know about him from two authors not among his supporters. Their names are Flavius Josephus and Cornelius Tacitus." - John Dominic Crossan, Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, p. 145

With those who have been drawn into the elitest mentality of the Zeitgeist movie and the atheist conspiracists of late, this quote speaks volumes. They enjoy casting doubts on the credibility of Josephus and Tacitus' witness to Jesus as though they are not only unreliable, but even if they were accepted, they like to think that they really weren't talking about Jesus the Christ. If there were any validity to their criticism, one would think that room would be made in their circles for such a critical scholar as Crossan. Unfortunately for them, he doesn't exactly fit the bill. While he refuses to assert the existence of God and rejects the validity of miracles, he does understand something about history. With this in mind, he cannot bring himself to deny the historical person of Jesus. He also affirms the crucifixion as historical fact, which is the single most important detail in considering his messages and proclamations, as well as establishing the resurrection as an historical event. 

Mark Goodacre, a scholar who takes a distinctly historical approach in regard to the life of Christ, has a podcast where he briefly comments on the historical Jesus deniers. You can find it here. Once again, this is someone who leans toward more of a liberal slant who criticizes those who want to build an unfounded controversy. Goodacre appeals to a decisively historical methodology rather than assuming the reliability of the Biblical texts and yet he considers the Gospels to be enough historical evidence to establish Jesus in history, and that even as stand alone texts.

Scholar, F.F. Bruce relates, "Some writers may toy with the fancy of a 'Christ-myth,' but they do not do so on the ground of historical evidence. The historicity of Christ is as axiomatic for an unbiased historian as the historicity of Julius Caesar. It is not historians who propagate the 'Christ-myth' theories." (The New Testament Documents, p. 123)

In the following video, another skeptic, this time agnostic Bart Ehrman, quite clearly rejects the historical revision of new atheists. Listen as he silences another popular Jesus denier:

Additional Resources on Zeitgeist and the myth parallels argument:


Christian Think Tank

King David 8

Evidence For Christianity

Say Hello To My Little Friend


New York Times on Zeitgeist's director, Peter Joseph and Jacque Fresco

More on Jarod Loughner's Obsession

Here's a fun video by Tectonics:

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