Was Jesus a Real Person?

Did Jesus Christ really exist, or is Christianity a legend built upon a fictitious character like Harry Potter?

For nearly two thousand years most of our world has considered Jesus a real man who had exceptional character, leadership and power over nature. But today some are saying he never existed.

The argument against Jesus’ existence, known as the Christ-myth theory, began seventeen centuries after Jesus is said to have walked the rocky hills of Judea.

Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, summarizes the Christ-myth view on CNN TV Larry King Live:

There is not one shred of secular evidence there ever was a Jesus Christ … Jesus is a compilation from other gods…who had the same origins, the same death as the mythological Jesus Christ.
The stunned host, replied, “So you don’t believe there was a Jesus Christ?”

Johnson fired back, “There was not…there is no secular evidence that Jesus Christ ever existed.”

King immediately requested a commercial break. The international television audience was left wondering.[1]

In his early years as an atheist Oxford literary scholar C. S. Lewis also considered Jesus a myth, thinking all religions were simply inventions.[2]

Years later, Lewis was sitting by the fire in an Oxford dorm room with a friend he called “the hardest boiled atheist of all the atheists I ever knew.” Suddenly his friend blurted out, “The evidence for the historicity of the Gospels was really surprisingly good…It almost looks as if it had really happened once.”[3]

Lewis was stunned. His friend’s remark that there was real evidence for Jesus prompted Lewis to investigate the truth for himself. He writes about his search for truth about Jesus in his classic book Mere Christianity.

So, what evidence did Lewis’ friend discover for Jesus Christ?

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