When Richard Dawkins says "a serious historical case" can be made that "Jesus never lived at all," he no doubt receives applause from his followers, ..., but in departments of Classics, Ancient History, New Testament, Jewish and Near Eastern Studies (the relevant disciplines) such a comment is entirely bemusing - all the more so when one discovers that Dawkins' sole example of this serious history is G.A. Wells. As is well known, Wells is a professor of German language at London University who, in any case, has publicly retracted his argument of the 1970s that Jesus was a myth. I have often wondered what Dawkins would say if I disputed biological evolution and cited a language professor as my sole authority (one that had changed his mind to boot)...... if anyone can find a full professor of Classics, Ancient History or New Testament in any accredited university in the world who thinks Jesus never lived, I will eat a page of my Bible, probably Matthew chapter 1. It's been a year since I first tweeted the challenge and religious critic John Safran retweeted it to his 60,000 followers. My Bible remains safe.
So the question is not, did Jesus ever live?
But, Who was he? How will I respond to him?