Summary (from the DVD case): "Jesus Christ is likely a fictional character, a legend never based on a real human."
Movie Outline & Key Quotes
The Earth & The Sun
"The Earth revolves around the Sun. But it wasn't always that way. The Sun used to revolve around the Earth. It was like that for hundreds of years until it was discovered to be otherwise, and even for a few hundred years after that. But, ultimately, after much kicking and screaming, the Earth did, in fact, begin to revolve around the Sun. Christianity was wrong about the solar system. What if it's wrong about something else too?" (shows Christ Pantocrator painting)
Faces of Christianity
Story of Jesus
What Happened Next?
(11:22) "Jesus Christ is said to have lived this life, here, in the first three decades of the century, dying somewhere around the year 33. The Gospels all came later. Mark was the first one written and the other three are clearly derived from Mark. Mark mentions the destruction of the Jewish temple, which happened in the year 70, so the Gospels all came later than that, probably much later. There's a gap of four decades or more. Most of what we know about this period comes from a man who says he saw Jesus Christ come to him in a vision. He was the apostle Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus."
(12:49) "Paul wrote lots of letters about Christianity. In fact, he wrote 80,000 words about the Christian religion. These documents represent almost all we have of the history of Christianity during this decades long gap. And here's the interesting thing: If Jesus was a human who had recently lived, nobody told Paul. Paul never heard of Mary, Joseph, Bethlehem, Herod, John the Baptist. He never heard about any of these miracles. He never quotes anything that Jesus is supposed to have said. He never mentions Jesus having a ministry of any kind at all. He doesn't know about any entrance into Jerusalem. He never mentions Pontius Pilate or a Jewish mob or any trials at all. Paul doesn't know any of what we
would call the story of Jesus except for these last three events, and
even these, Paul never places on earth. Just like the other savior gods
of the time, Paul's Christ Jesus died, rose, and ascended all in a
mythical realm. Paul doesn't believe that Jesus was ever a human
being. He's not even aware of the idea. And he's the link between the time frame given for the life of Jesus and the appearance of the first Gospel account of that life. This is why you don't hear many Christian leaders talking about the early days of Christianity. Because once you assemble the facts, the story is that: Jesus lived. Everyone forgot. And then they remembered."
24 major events in Jesus' life, but Paul only wrote about 3 of them
The nativity and adoration of the wise men
The massacre of the innocents
The flight into Egypt
Jesus and the doctors
The wedding feast
Mary Magdalene at the feet of Jesus
Jesus and the woman of Samaria
Raising of the daugher of Jairus
Christ walks on the waters
The wonderful draught of fishes
The raising of Lazarus
Jesus driving out the money-changers from the temple
The last supper
Jesus on the Mount of Olives, the kiss of Judas
Jesus before Caiaphas
Jesus before Pilate
The scourging, the crowning with thorns
Jesus falls under the weight of the cross
Christ put on the cross (Paul wrote about this.)
The resurrection (Paul wrote about this.)
The ascension (Paul wrote about this.)
"If Jesus had been on earth, he would not even have been a priest."
"Now if he had been on earth, he would not even have been a priest, since there are already priests who offer the gifts which the Law prescribes, though they minister in a sanctuary which is only a copy and shadow of the heavenly..."
"When we say that Jesus Christ was produced without sexual union, was crucified and died, and rose again, and ascended to heaven, we propound nothing new or different from what you believe regarding those whom you call the sons of Jupiter."
--Justin Martyr (~155 AD)
Licona says "on three occasions in Paul's letters he shows that he is
familiar with the sayings of Jesus (1 Cor 7:10; 9:14; 11:1, 2,
20-25)." This sounds like something that could destroy Doherty's
entire idea, so I decided to dig into it. The phrase "familiar with
the sayings" sounds to me like Licona thinks that Paul either
paraphrased parts of the Gospels or that Paul claimed to know some
non-Gospel sayings of a Jesus from oral tradition.
'give' is present tense (assuming the translation is accurate) and the
cited authority is 'the Lord', not 'Jesus'. This seems consistent with
Doherty's idea that Paul did not have any idea of a human Jesus having
lived in the past, and that the authority that Paul claimed was direct
revelation from God rather than the sayings of a historical Jesus.
Also, I think Paul's idea that "the wife should not leave her husband"
is not close enough to the Gospel Jesus' idea that divorce and
remarriage is adultery to count as showing familiarity with the
sayings of Jesus.
Although 'directed' is past tense, there's nothing that indicates Paul
is referring to Jesus rather than a past direct revelation. I don't
know if Paul's instructions here match up with anything in the
"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ...
hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you."
--1 Corinthians 11:1-2
'just as I am of Christ' doesn't imply that Christ was human or any
knowledge of Jesus's sayings.
"... For I received from the Lord that which I
also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He
--1 Corinthians 11:20-25
Again 'received from the Lord' sounds like Paul is claiming that his
knowledge comes from direct revelation from 'the Lord', not from
talking to the apostles who ate the Last Supper. The sayings in 1 Cor
11:24-5 do match Mark 14:22-4, so I think Licona's claim that Paul was
familiar with the sayings of Jesus seems fair in this case (given his
assumption of a historical Jesus).
So Licona's claim that Paul was "familiar with the sayings of Jesus"
seems to be supported by only one of Licona's citations. Several of
these verses strongly imply that Paul's knowledge is by direct
revelation, and none of these verses claim that Paul had any knowledge
other than by direct revelation (such as by other people's sayings
about Jesus or by having seen Jesus in person).