The Christ: A Critical Review and Analysis of the Evidence of His Existence
by John E. Remsberg
Was there a Christ who was born of a virgin; worked miracles among the masses; and was tried, crucified, and later resurrected to ascend to heaven? In this nineteenth-century classic of freethought literature, John E. Remsberg reveals that while there may be some historical evidence for the existence of a man named Jesus, the supernatural "Christ" of Christian dogma could not have existed.
Using the tools of textual criticism and applying rigorous logical analysis, Remsberg carefully examines the New Testament scriptures, the writings of well-known pagan authors from the time of Jesus as well as the works of later Christian apologists, he finds precious little evidence for the supposed miracles worked by Jesus, or even for his birth, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection. His conclusion is that the divine, miracle-working Christ of traditional Christianity is a myth, which was developed over many centuries by a community of believers and was heavily influenced by mythic elements of Greek, Roman, and eastern religions. Remsberg concludes this interesting and thorough study with a detailed discussion of the various ancient sources from which the Christ myth evolved. The Christ is both an excellent introduction to biblical criticism and a valuable contribution to freethought.
John E. Remsberg (1848-1919) was one of the most popular and widely travelled freethought lecturers of the late nineteenth century. Among his many books were The Bible, Six Historic Americans, and Thomas Paine:The Apostle of Religious and Political Liberty.