Overview:

It's Easter. Jesus was crucified, died and was resurrected. Except that didn't happen. So much of what many people believe is ridiculous.

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Jesus was crucified, died, and was resurrected this weekend many hundreds of years ago. Oh what joy this brings. To Christians.

Except it didn’t happen.

Well, certainly not the resurrection bit.

I’m what I call a “minimal historicist,” which is to say I believe Jesus existed (though I: won’t die on that hill), but that what we are told in the New Testament is so far removed from the nugget of truth about the real itinerant preacher as to be myth.

Or, Jesus existed, but the New Testament is almost entirely mythological.

It’s interesting to see firm historicists like Bart Ehrman retreat on certain claims over time, like the historicity of the empty tomb and the idea that Judas’ actions were predicted in Paul. The Gospels and Paul aren’t the quality historical sources biblical exegetes have long maintained they are.

This is something that I have set out in my recent book The Resurrection: A Critical Examination of the Easter Story, itself the second book in a trilogy, after The Nativity: A Critical Examination. In my resurrection book, I look at the events from multiple angles: philosophical, exegetical, theological, and historical to find that the events are not only historically indefensible for philosophically nonsensical.

It’s funny, though, the longer I keep doing this work and writing about these subjects, the more I have come to realize that belief in these things is ridiculous.

On this last point, it seems wholly problematic that an all-knowing god with full divine foreknowledge of future events, and who is ultimately responsible for designing and creating humanity (knowing exactly what they would do at any given moment), would demand payment for the sins of said creation given that he had knowingly designed and created them such that they would behave so!

I analyze these fundamental problems with atonement to show that we need not pore over the Gospels in terms of historical reliability given that the whole raison d’être for the resurrection is the atonement, and if that makes no sense, then the resurrection likely never happened.

And then there’s the Holy Trinity. That’s another can of worms better left unopened because it invariably makes a whole incoherent mess. Again, without the Holy Trinity making any sense,s it’s hard to see how the resurrection, as understood by modern Christians, makes any sense.

The book has been very well received, gaining some great endorsements, and I have enjoyed serializing it on the MythVision YouTube channel:

It’s funny, though, the longer I keep doing this work and writing about these subjects, the more I have come to realize that belief in these things is ridiculous. When you grow up with these claims thrown around you ubiquitously and believed by peers and authority figures, the more normalized they become. But when you really sit down and evaluate your own religio-cultural claims in ways that you do to those outside of your own context, the more you see them as incredible. INcredible. Not credible. Unbelievable.

  • That OmniGod (foreknowingly) got his design and creation so wrong that he swept his arm across the table and threw his project onto the ground to start again: he sent down a global flood to kill all of humanity bar 8, and countless animals.
  • That OmniGod foreknowingly designed and created Adam and Eve who would knowingly eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (thus before they knew what was good and evil) and God then punished them for so doing.
  • That OmniGod punished all of Egypt, including killing all their firstborn children and countless animals because the Pharaoh said no, even though God hardened Pharaoh’s heart in the first place. Literally killing children. And, even then, the Egyptians didn’t believe in this god!
  • That OmniGod would knowingly design and create a humanity that was so sinful that he demanded payment from a third party for this design and creation shortfall.
  • That (for Catholics, at any rate), every Sunday, believers are to kneel in adulation of this God and eat wafers that magically transform into God’s actual flesh and drink wine that transforms magically into his blood in some repeated ritualistic cannibalism.

So on and so forth. I set out many of the huge problems with such belief in my latest book 30 Arguments Against the Existence of “God”, Heaven, Hell, and Divine Design. It’s a cracker.

The point being that such belief is ever more untenable, and ever more ridiculous with every passing month.

So, happy Easter everyone but it didn’t happen.

I mean, it really and obviously, clearly and honestly, did not happen.

Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...