Friday, 27 February 2009

PDF of Jesus's Dubious Historicity

As promised, I have my essay entitled The Dubious Historicity of Jesus Christ posted as a pdf.

Viewer feedback greatly welcome, seriously.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Can I Have a Witness? The Dubious Historicity of Jesus Christ

Josh McDowell’s book, More Than A Carpenter, is the most-cited script by Southern (American) Baptists whenever questions regarding the authenticity of the historical character called Jesus Christ pops up. I was fortunate enough to get a copy from a white Mississippian Southern Baptist, who claimed to have been born again, after I brought to his attention the pagan origins of the resolution, in the form of an imperial decree, of the still-controversial doctrine of the trinity. He did not want to hear anything about Arius, Athanasius or Emperor Constantine but, after quoting a few Biblical verses that contradicted his stated belief in the dogma, he angrily thrust the little book into my hands. “Read it,” he commanded as he shoved McDowell's book into my hand, “it will answer your darned questions!”

Suffice it to say it is a nice little book but woefully inadequate in terms of addressing or clarifying the historicity of Jesus Christ. All practicing Christian and many practicing Moslems take the scriptural evidence of the existence of Jesus prima facie. If only this was true.

The scriptural narrations are testimonies of individuals so that they are, fortunately, subject to the Biblically mandatory evidence-validation edicts. Pursuant to said edicts, a person who makes a claim must put forth witnesses to verify the validity of his or her claim, viz.; Deuteronomy 13:1-5, Exodus 4:1-9.) and Deut. 18:18-22). In fact, Jesus himself, or a character by that name says in John 5:31, "If I testify about myself, my testimony is not valid." In Matthew 18:16 – 17; he says, "[T]ake with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established." Similarly, the character called Paul, in 2 Corinthians 13-2 says; “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”


I have collated Bible texts of witnesses that seem to prove that the witnesses who testify about Jesus abysmally fail the evidence-validation test. It has been a worthy errand. Every time a group of Mormon missionaries or Jehovah's Witnesses knock at my door, I invite them in and pull out the essay I have written but not published. They cannot rebut the points in the essay and so they leave and promise to return with answers. Unfortunately, they never come back.

I will be posting the essay, as a pdf, in due course. Alternatively, I could offer it to Emmanuel or Ivor, if they do not mind posting rouble-rousing tracts.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Sarudzayi Chifamba-Barnes: Zimbabwean Entrepreneur

by Jonathan Masere

14th February 2009

When it comes to writing and publishing, Sarudzayi, whose interesting interview is shown here, is a trail blazer and her travails have paved a broad path for those of us who are following in her footsteps. I knew she had written a book, The Endless Trail for which she got a pittance but little did I know that she had previously written another one and saw not a single quid for her effort. It is from her experience that I quickly realized that the book business is a jungle in which the operative rule is eat-or-you-will-be-eaten or, as we would say it in Shona: kakara kununa hudya kamwe.

Unfortunately the publisher is always the gorged predator and the poor writer the helpless prey. Publishing is a very tough business. There is no room for sentimentalities. It is deeply disturbing that famous writers are living like paupers as publishers get rich. Once in a while, a writer strikes a rich seam of gold and does very well. Think of J. K. Rowling or Zimbabwe-born Alex McCall Smith. How many J. K. Rowlings are there in the world? I can safely say that Zimbabwe has a whole slough of writers like Alex. However, unlike said Ms Rowling and Smith, many will not get the recognition and the subsequent financial windfall befitting their effort.

Saru could have opted for the easy road of hawking her works to famous publishers but, I suspect, she decided to do it the hard way. With sheer will, she could have struck her own literary Comstoke Lode. Some of us are thankful she opted to take the tough road of starting her own publishing company, The Lions Press Limited. It was a tough gamble but for a tough and resolute Zimbabwean, she has fearlessly grabbed that bull by the horns. The responses have been very encouraging.

It is the story of the underdog boldly taking on the behemoth and doing well. Crooked publishers have been put on notice by Sarudzayi. It is comeuppance time and some of us will be on the side of the underdog. This one small step for this Daughter of the Soil of Zimbabwe is turning into one giant stride for the down-trodden writer.