Was there a historical Jesus of Nazareth? Or is he best understood as, pardon the expression, a mything person? Infidels, atheists, agnostics, freethinkers, and humanists have been divided for hundreds of years now over whether the scriptural figure of Jesus has some historic veracity (if never as a god-man, at least as a man) or whether Jesus Christ is as utterly fictional as are so many of the claims Christianity has made on his behalf.
In two recent issues, Free Inquiry published critiques of mythicism—the position that Jesus was wholly mythical—by independent scholar/activist and former Center for Inquiry staff member Bill Cooke (“Why Secular Humanists Should Abandon the Myth Theory of Jesus," December 2016/January 2017 and “The Mythical Jesus Argument: What’s the Key Issue?," October/November 2017). In this issue, three advocates of the Christ Myth position fire back.