Originally Posted by alexrdias
So what about Shakespear, as Kurgan said. And Caesar?
I'd have to echo Achilles and ask what, particularly, you wanted to know? I'm assuming you want to know if skeptics of the historicity of Jesus are also equally skeptical of these two. To answer that, I'd have to say no. Why should they be? As far as I'm aware, there is no claim being made that Shakespeare or any of the caesars of ancient Rome were born of virgins, walked on deep bodies of water, turned water to wine, healed the blind, cast "demons" from men into pigs, etc. Nor is anyone suggesting that any salvation or "eternal life" depends upon the blind and willing belief in either a caesar or Shakespeare.
Therefore, there are less claims that need to be supported. The claim that centers around Shakespeare is that he authored respected works of fiction and poetry. That a body of work exists written in a literary style consistent with a single person of the 16th-17th century is incontestable. It wouldn't significantly diminish the body of work to discover that the person's name wasn't "Shakespeare."
Nor would it diminish the reach and influence of Roman empire as apparent in the archaeological record if a particular caesar (perhaps the alleged Bard's own Julius
Caesar) was found not to have been a genuinely historical figure.
The historicity of Jesus really isn't about whether or not a person existed named Jesus. Its about whether or not a magical
person existed and whether or not the superstitions surrounding the myth of this person are factual. Did he walk on water? Was he born of a virgin? Did he cast demons from men into pigs? Did he wave a hand, speak a magical incantation and turn water into wine?
The biblical figure of Jesus is the sum of these mythical beliefs and superstitions. There may truly have been a genuine human, with all the fallibilities that humans have, but who was charismatic and perhaps even a cult of personality -that person may have even been named Jesus. But the modern concept of Jesus is a human mythical construct and that
Jesus has no evidence nor is there any good
reason to accept as having existed.
Does that help?