The National Geographic channel is running a show now titled “The Real Jesus” in which they discuss in great detail the cause of death and other aspects of Jesus’s life. All of this discussion proceeds on the assumption that he really existed. They never once mention that there is very little evidence that he did actually exist.
I don’t know why, but I expected more from NatGeo. I wish they would spend their money on doing a show surveying the primary source evidence for and against the existence of Jesus. It’s research I haven’t found time to do myself but would very much like to see a show on. I don’t know if I can trust their academic integrity now though. How can you have a show entitled, “The Real Jesus,” without including a discussion about whether or not he actually existed?
True, lack of evidence of existence, is not proof of lack of existence, however given the amazing events that were said to attend his live there is a decided dearth of information regarding him in secular and Jewish records. In fact, as far as I can tell there is not a single piece of contemporary primary source evidence for his existence. The one most often brought up by Christian apologists (those that realize that the Gospels aren’t contemporary) was the mention in Testimonium Flavian. Clearly there are significant issues with that one. We don’t accept the existence of any other historical figure without significantly more evidence than there is for Jesus and I think it’s an important point, if not the important point, to raise when discussing a historical Jesus. In any case, that’s a topic worth exploration. The tripe NatGeo is peddling now though is an insult to the intelligence of their viewing audience.