This is becoming extremely interesting and quite challenging for both sides!
Professor Bart Ehrman, (defense of the ‘historical Jesus), “Did Jesus Exist? The Historical Argument for Jesus of Nazareth (2012)
[“In ‘Did Jesus Exist? historian and Bible expert Bart Ehrman confronts these questions vigorously defends the historicity of Jesus and provides a cmpelling portrait of the man from Nazareth. The Jesus you discover here may not be the Jesus you had hoped to meet–but he did exist, whether we like it or not” … “Ehrman’s clarity is something to emulate” — Newsweek — “Ehrman is a lucid exposition” — The New Yorker — “God’s Problem is a serious inquiry … Ehrman pursues it with an energy and good will that invite further conversation with sympathetic and unsympathetic readers alike.” — “Bart Ehrman’s comment is testament to the fact that no one can slice and dice a belief system more surgically than someone who grew up inside it.” — Salon.com ]
VERSUS … the following challengers:
Kersey Graves, The World’s Sixteen Crucified Saviors:
Christianity Before Christ (Cosimo Classics: New York), 1875, 2007
“Many are the cases noted in history of young maidens claiming a paternity for their male offspring by a God.
In Greece it became so common that the reigning king issued an edict, decreeing the death of all young women who should offer such an insult to deithy as to lay to him the charge of begetting their children.”
From Chapter V: Virgin Mothers and Virgin-Born Gods
Publisher on the book jacket:
“Khrisna of India,
Thammuz of Syria,
Esus of the Celtic Druids,
Mithra of Persia,
Quexalcoati of Mexico.
All were crucified gods, and all met their fates hundreds of years before Jesus appeared on the scene. In this foundational work of modern atheism, American spiritualist Kersey Graves (1813-1883) breaks the Christ myth down into its component parts and ably demonstrates how the story of Jesus has its roots in the depths of antiquity.
Here you’ll read about the surprising prevalence throughout global folklore of:
*the miraculous and immaculate conception of the gods
*stars that point out the time and place of a savior’s birth
*angels, shepherds, and magi visiting an infant savior
*the 25th of December as the universal birth date of gods
*saviors who descend into Hell
*and much more
“This is essentiall reading for students of comparative mythology and modern freethinkers.”
n John G. Jackson author of ohn G. Jackson, Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization: A Critical Review of the Evidence of Archaeology, Anthropology, History and Comparative Religion: According to the Most Reliable Sources and Authorities (Black Classic Press: Baltimore, Maryland, John G. Jackson, 1938, 1985;
Dan Barker, Godless: How an Evangelical Preacher Became One of America’s Leading Atheists, Foreword by Richard Dawkins (Ulysses Press: Berkeley), 2008.
“Valuable in the human story are the reflections of intelligent and ethical people who listen to the voice of reason and who allow it to vanquish bigotry and superstition. This book is a classic example.”
n Christopher Hitchens
“The most eloquent witness of internal delusion that I know–a triumphantly smiling refugee from the zany, surreal world of American fundamentalist Protestantism–is Dan Barker.”
n Richard Dawkins author of The God Delusion
“In Godless, Barker recounts his journey from evangelical preacher to atheist activist, and along the way explains precisely why it is not only okay to be an atheist, it is something in which to be proud.”
n Michael Shemer publisher of Skeptic magazine
Craig A. James, The Religion Virus, Why we believe in God: An evolutionist explains religion’s incdredible hold on humanity (O-Books is a imprint of John Hunt Publishing Lt, The Bothy, Deershot Lodge, Park Lane, RopleyHantz, UK), first published by O-Books, 2010.
The End of Christianity, Edited by John W. Loftus (Prometheus Books: New York), 2011.