"An Italian judge has ordered a priest to appear in court this month to prove that Jesus Christ existed....Signor Cascioli, author of a book called The Fable of Christ, began legal proceedings against Father [Enrico] Righi three years ago after the priest denounced Signor Cascioli in the parish newsletter for questioning Christ’s historical existence....Signor Cascioli’s contention...is that there was no reliable evidence that Jesus lived and died in 1st-century Palestine apart from the Gospel accounts, which Christians took on faith. There is therefore no basis for Christianity, he claims....Signor Cascioli maintains that early Christian writers confused Jesus with John of Gamala, an anti-Roman Jewish insurgent in 1st-century Palestine. Church authorities were therefore guilty of “substitution of persons”.
The Roman historians Tacitus and Suetonius mention a 'Christus' or 'Chrestus', but were writing 'well after the life of the purported Jesus' and were relying on hearsay."
[Times Online | January 3, 2006]
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