agnostic reader library

Historians Rely on Hearsay for Jesus

An essay about the reliability of historical evidence for Jesus.

This commentary called “Why do historians rely on hearsay for evidence of Jesus” should be of particular interest to agnostics. It strikes directly at the heart of the Bible’s veracity as a true historical reference with regard to what actually happened during the purported lifetime of Jesus. Walker’s matter-of-fact approach as to what constitutes reasonable and reliable evidence parallels that which one would encounter in a modern day court of law.

His tentative conclusions as to why historians rely on hearsay as evidence for Jesus come to one or more of the following:

  1. Those historians who are typically Christians believe Jesus existed because they want him to exist.
  2. Historians do not have a consistent system of determining rules for evidence.
  3. The historian has never been taught not to rely on hearsay.
  4. The historian follows what other historians have done for fear of ostracism, bucking the trend, or damaging his career.
  5. Just because ancient beliefs are written down, historians will use anything to establish history.
  6. The historian is stuck in a two valued belief system, either Jesus existed or he didn't, never a doubt or a probability even if they know it's unreliable.

Jim Walker is a commentator who produces articles and other material for a website called “ for Freethinkers”. A biography and other information related to his works are not available at this time. The website does however provide a number of interesting articles and references pertaining to secularism, atheism, and agnosticism.