This is thesis statement of a critique electronic copy of the entire article. Of the very few who have done so, G. Wells is probably the best known.
In this article, I will outline and then respond to some of his major tenets. Before turning to this topic, I will first note that the vast majority of scholars, both conservative and liberal alike, generally disdain radical theses that question the very existence of Jesus. For example, theologian Rudolf Bultmann asserted, “By no means are we at the mercy of those who doubt or deny that Jesus ever lived. Historian Michael Grant termed the hypothesis that Jesus never lived an “extreme view. He charges that it transgresses the basics of historiography: “if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus’ existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. Digressing to a personal story, a potential publisher once asked me to contact a reviewer.
An influential New Testament scholar at a secular university, he had voted to publish my manuscript, but only if I deleted the section dealing with Well’s hypotheses. He said that Well’s suppositions were virtually devoid of serious historical content. He only relented after I convinced him that Wells still had some popular appeal. Wells is aware of these attitudes towards his works.