The author of the Raw Story article on historical Jesus, Valerie Tarico, omitted important parts of her article in her Raw Story iteration so I wanted to put out this correction and make a few comments about why I write on the topic of Jesus.
First of all, I should have spent more time on the diary and found the original blog. That context, see below, would have helped keep the diary on a different respectful trajectory. I blame busy schedule but I should have done better so my apologies for that and for causing the ensuing shitstorm.
That said, this topic should be valid for debate, particularly how the the Orthodox version, the basis of most modern Christian denominations, omitted Mary Magdalene as a disciple and partner of Jesus, then branded her a whore, and started Christianity on a path of historical genocide. That is one of many edits to the story of Jesus by the Orthodox and only one version can be historically accurate.
The fact that the story was changed so drastically and that competing sects had such different versions of the same story, shows that early Christians were in the business of religion building, perhaps in relation to the Roman devastation of Israel that started around 70CE. That fact is in and of itself important to the debate about the existence of Jesus: was he created out of whole cloth or his story inspired by other apocalyptic preachers of the time for religion building purposes? Again, only one of the versions of Christianity can be historically correct as they are diametrically opposed (Gnostic vs Orthodox).
Ms Tarico's blog with the original article is here.
Whether she, who is not an antiquities scholar, or the "mythicists" as Dr Ehrman likes to call scholars who question the historical Jesus, are right about the historical Jesus is still an open question. Neither side is yet proven to be valid. But it is a topic that should be open to debate without such vitriol as was displayed after my rather short "messenger" diary.
Anyhow, the most important correction to point out: the Raw Story version did take Dr Ehrman out of context.
Raw Story version:
1. No first century secular evidence whatsoever exists to support the actuality of Yeshua ben Yosef. In the words of Bart Ehrman: “What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing. [snip]Tarico's blog version:
In the words of Bart Ehrman (who himself believes the stories were built on a historical kernel):So the blog version tells we non-scholars that this is an out of context snippet from Dr Ehrman while the sensationalist Raw Story version omits it. Not cool.
“What sorts of things do pagan authors from the time of Jesus have to say about him? Nothing. [snip]
The Ehrman quote is itself from his book Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium. He has a later book dedicated to taking on the "mythicists": Dr Ehrman believes in the historical Jesus and his expert opinion on the matter is important to take into account. His next book continues with this as he looks into oral traditions that precede the earliest writings of Paul (I think).
I will leave it to the scholars to hash out whether Jesus existed or not but it is amazing in and of itself that the debate is happening at these highest levels of scholarship at all. It shows to me as a layman that it is possible that Jesus didn't exist, which is amazing considering the historical trajectory the Catholic Church took the world, and when seen in this context of religion building that was rampant at this point in history, it shows that anything is possible. Again, Elaine Pagels description of how the "Orthodox" christians vastly changed the Gnostic version of early Christianity, banned the other sects, and proceeded to kill off their competition, including Jews, for hundreds and now thousands of years is important context to the debate on whether Jesus was invented for political reasons.
This history is important to understand or else such genocidal history can and will repeat itself. It is outrageous that people get branded as bigots or haters simply for searching for and pointing out these historical truths.
For the sake of truth, I wanted to put this correction out there and apologize for putting out her out-of-context version. I will try to do better next time in my search for the truth.
Ms Tarico did herself a disservice to the cause of truth by removing the parts of her article that she removed.