“But surely there was an historical Jesus,
Who walked on the earth, and who died on a cross—
He might have been God, or he might be a prophet,
Whoever he was… what a horrible loss!”
Well, honestly, no. I have heard all the stories,
The claims that the evidence can’t be denied—
But the jury’s still out; there’s no verdict I’ll swear to,
I don’t know he lived, and much less, how he died.
But frankly, the question is really much simpler
Than if there’s a Jesus in whom I believe—
The purpose of Christ is irrelevant, really,
Unless there’s a literal Adam and Eve.
If Eden is only a fable or parable,
Not how the life on our planet begins,
If Adam and Eve are not literal people,
No Jesus is needed to die for our sins.
And here, there’s an answer; there wasn’t an Eden
There wasn’t an apple, there wasn’t The Fall
Original Sin is a fictional concept
So Jesus was never required at all.
So, go ahead—argue that Jesus existed;
Muster your evidence; make me aware—
His reason for being was falsely constructed,
So… “Was there a Jesus?” I really don’t care.
Our own Richard Carrier is featured in a CNN story on the debate over an historical Jesus. Oddly, NPR recently did a story on whether Adam and Eve actually existed. Seems its easier to get evangelicals to question this latter myth (at least according to NPR–CNN reports a survey of Protestant pastors that shows an overwhelming rejection of evolution).
I suspect that part of it is “sophisticated theology”. There is no requirement that your average church congregant actually know what he or she believes, whereas the pastors are expected to be able to answer a few questions about it. So, given the overwhelming evidence for evolution, even most believers accept its truth. They don’t stop to think that, without a literal fall from grace, there is no original sin for Jesus to atone for. No Eden, no need for Jesus. (I know, the whole idea of a god sacrificing himself to himself to account for a mistake he made thousands of years earlier makes no sense to begin with, but it’s not *my* mythology.)
Suddenly, maybe this whole thing is as silly as everybody else’s religion always seemed to be.