Rudolf Bultmann and the Jesus Myth

Rudolf Bultmann was no friend of evangelicals. In fact during the mid-twentieth century, we would have been seen by many as the enemy.

Bultmann believed that the New Testament was filled with myth. The virgin birth, miracles and the resurrection were all myths. But how does this fit with the Jesus myth?

Bultmann was no supporter of the Jesus myth. He makes the following statement in his essay, “New Testament and Mythology.”

Now, it is clear from the outset that the event of Christ is of a wholly different order from the cult-myths of Greek and Hellenistic religion. Jesus Christ is certainly presented as the Son of God, a pre-existent divine being, and therefore to that extent a mythical figure. But he is also a concrete figure of history⏤Jesus of Nazareth. His life is more than a mythical event; it is a human life which ended in the tragedy of crucifixion.

While I disagree with Bultmann about Christ being mythical in his supernatural elements, I do agree with the solid historical foundation. This doesn’t prove Jesus existed but it demonstrates that belief in his existence is not limited to conservative scholars.

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