Sabbatum Excerpt: Gregory Boyd and Paul R. Eddy on the Historical Jesus


The idea that the Jesus of the Gospels is entirely a midrashic fiction  hinges on our accepting that Paul and his mid-first-century congregations viewed Jesus as a mythic savior figure who came to earth in the distant past. If Christians at the time of Paul’s writing believed that Jesus lived only two decades earlier, that his mother, brother, and original disciples were yet living among them, and the like, it is hard to imagine the Gospel authors fabricating an entirely different Jesus several decades later and impossible to imagine Christians broadly accepting such a fabrication even if certain authors had created one. Unfortunately for the Gospels-as-midrash view, we have very good reasons to conclude that Paul and all mid-first-century Christians viewed Jesus as a recent contemporary…. Neither Paul nor the earliest Christians for whom he wrote viewed Jesus as a mythical cosmic savior figure who lived and redeemed the world “long, long ago and far, far away.” [1]

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[1] Gregory A. Boyd and Paul Rhodes Eddy, Lord or Legend: Wrestling with the Jesus Dilemma (Grand Rapids, MI: BakerBooks, 2007), 87, Print.

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