Are The Gospels Historical Or Mythical?

The Vridar blog is an interesting and detailed source for exploration of Christianity's historical basis. While many posts are more suited for the professional historian than the layman, this post is fairly short and presents the issue in easier-to-read language.

The essence of the post may be summed up by this quote from a commenter:
  • Literary Evidence for Socrates: Contemporaneous, independent, authors known by name, eyewitness accounts.
  • Literary Evidence for Jesus: Late, hearsay evidence, unknown provenance, anonymous authorship, layered with dogma and supernatural material, interdependent yet simultaneously contradictory.
And this quote from Richard Carrier in the same comment:
  • [C]ertain characteristics of the Jesus story – even from very early on – are more typically characteristics of mythical people than historical ones. So the prior probability already favors his non-existence. . . So if the prior probability favors myth, even by a little bit. It doesn’t matter how much, even by a little bit, and all the consequent probabilities favor myth. Then by necessary deductive logic, myth is more probable than historicity.
Bottom line in this discussion:   It makes no difference whether or not Jesus is based on a real person. The character is effectively fictional.

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