D.C. Comics recently hired real life Astrophysicist Neal deGrasse Tyson, director of the American Museum of Natural History’s Hayden Planetarium in NYC, to designate a star to be the ideal location for Krypton, the planet Superman is from. Tyson makes his cartoon debut in a cameo in Action Comics Superman #14, titled “Star Light, Star Bright.”
DC Entertainment co-publisher Dan DiDio is reported as saying, “Having Neil deGrasse Tyson in the book was one thing, but by applying real-world science to this story he has forever changed Superman’s place in history. Now fans will be able to look up at the night’s sky and say, ‘That’s where Superman was born.'”
The location Neal deGrasee Tyson selected for the Kryptonian’s home planet is LHS 2520, approximately 27.1 light-years from Earth in the southern constellation Corvus (The Crow).
What tickles me about this combining of fiction with real life history, is that it reflects something I think those who are familiar with Christian history will recognize.
Read that last sentence again and let it sink in to get the full effect.
Besides, all Josephus really wrote about was a religious sect calling themselves Christians who had a leader they referred to a “Christus.” Josephus never confirmed whether or not this Christus was the Jesus Christ of the Gospel stories (most likely because the Gospels weren’t even written yet), some other Christ figure (since Judaism was full of them), or just the religious ravings of a upstart cult (historically speaking, Christianity began as a heretical cult).
The thing is, what biblical historians and Christian scholars consider positive evidence for the existence of Jesus is mostly anecdotal. All we really have are stories about Superman… er… I mean Jesus.
In my estimation it really does us no good to claim he actually existed minus the extemporaneous evidence (i.e., evidence outside of the Christian/Gospel accounts of him) that would convince the most ardent skeptic that he actually existed. Granted there is some internal evidence that seems to suggest Jesus might have been real, but that’s not enough to be convincing, only compelling.
However, such convincing evidence is lacking, and although that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a real historical Jesus having walked the Earth, it doesn’t rule out what we do know: he has nothing in the way of proof to suggest he is any more historical than The Man of Steel.
I am not intending to piss-off Christians by stating Jesus didn’t exist. I can’t know that for sure. Nobody can. But it seems to me, there just isn’t any evidence to *positively claim that he did exist. Assuming Jesus existed in reality is to formulate a belief based on… well… bad or insufficient evidence.
I won’t say the Mythicist view is any less problematic, as it relies far too heavily on negative evidence to validate itself. But it shouldn’t be trivialized like so many are hellbent on doing. Why? Because without the positive evidence to confirm the the historicist’s view the mythicist’s view simply will never be completely overturned. It’s a never ending battle–and a huge waste of time for anyone who even tries.
Oh well, that’s biblical studies for you.