[I cut out just the relevant segment of ajbuchan's post, there was a lot more.]
There is an abundance of evidence for the reliability of the New Testament’s eye-witness accounts of his life.
Really? An abundance. Well, in the more than half a decade I’ve been atheist blogging and studying religious claims worldwide I’ve heard about none. Although, I must say, I’ve sure heard a lot of people make these types of cocksure claims about evidence without presenting any.
There really was a man named Jesus of Nazareth who came to be called ‘Christ’.
I deny that, show me a single piece of extra-Biblical evidence of this.
There really was a trial, a sentencing and an execution of a man who didn’t deserve it.
First of all, there’s also no record of that, unless you’d like to produce some. Even the accounts in the Bible vary, probably because they’re slightly different versions of the same myth that had previously been passed down orally.
Second, within the context of the story, what makes you think Jesus didn’t deserve what happened? He wasn’t wrongfully accused, he was truly guilty of the crime he was charged with. You could say that the crime was bullshit or that death was severe, but you make it sound like he was innocent.
There is evidence that what happened next changed that part of the world in a way that meant his followers went around sharing about his life and ministry with the world around them, risking their lives for the sake of their message.
You can’t just say there is evidence and think that that counts. Back it up! Show me the evidence. Of course, this point doesn’t even matter because proving that the spread of the story of Jesus changed the world doesn’t prove the story true. It just proves the story effective. Superstitious people, near cavemen really, living in fearful times under a dictatorship, of course this story of hope and redemption appealed to them. Of course power structure was fearful of it.
What does Minchin think happened instead of this?
I can’t speak for him, but I bet part of what he believes happened was a guy didn’t rise from the dead and promise a magical kingdom of supernatural wonder to the ghosts housed within the bones of all who apologized to him for masturbating.
Why would you create a story and risk your own life in sharing it, and die for it like many have?