The Jesus Legend

Synopsis

Did Jesus actually exist as a historical personage roughly corresponding to the various stories given in the four New Testament gospels? Was he really born In Bethlehem and crucified by Pilate? These questions are usually answered with an unqualified 'yes', and often with an expression of outrage or ridicule that any such doubts could even be voiced. Yet it is considered quite normal to question the historical existence of other legendary figures, such as King Arthur or William Tell, who, like Jesus, are not attested to by any surviving contemporary records. In The Jesus Legend, G. A. Wells explains how the story of Jesus developed through telling and re-telling, from an early version in the letters of Paul (who does not mention Jesus in connection with any specific time or place) to the more elaborate and detailed pictures later presented in the New Testament gospels. Professor Wells also replies to recent criticisms of his own radical theory of the origin of Christianity.

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