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So it makes far more sense that should mention Jesus than some poets in far off Rome.But it is hard to see why even Philo would be interested in mentioning someone like Jesus, given that he also makes no mentions of any of the other Jewish preachers, prophets, faith healers, and Messianic claimants of the time, of which there were many.The opposite idea—that there was no historical Jesus at all and that "Jesus Christ" developed out of some purely mythic ideas about a non-historical, non-existent figure—has had a checkered history over the last 200 years, but has usually been a marginal idea at best.Its heyday was in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when it seemed to fit with some early anthropological ideas about religions evolving along parallel patterns and being based on shared archetypes, as characterized by Sir James Frazer's influential comparative religion study (1890).

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But the list has been widely criticised for being contrived and fanciful.He came close to crushing the Roman Republic, was one of the greatest generals of all time and was famed throughout the ancient world for centuries after his death down to today. So if someone as famous and significant as Hannibal has no surviving contemporary references to him in our sources, does it really make sense to base an argument about the existence or non-existence of a Galilean peasant preacher on the lack of contemporary references to him? So while this seems like a good argument, a better knowledge of the ancient world and the nature of our evidence and sources shows that it's actually extremely weak. This is because we could expect such a meeting to be mentioned in those documents.Yet how many contemporary mentions of Hannibal do we have? Some "Jesus Mythicists" have tried to argue that certain ancient writers have mentioned Jesus and did not, and so tried to make an argument from silence on this basis.But its proponents are almost never scholars, many of them have a very poor grasp of the evidence, and almost all have clear ideological objectives.Broadly speaking, they fall into two main categories: (1) New Agers claiming Christianity is actually paganism rebadged and (2) anti-Christian atheist activists seeking to use their "exposure" of historical Jesus scholarship to undermine Christianity.

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