Professor G.A. Wells has produced three books on Jesus the Jesus of the Early Christians (1971), Did Jesus Exist? (1975), and The Historical Evidence for Jesus (1982). The first has been superseded by its two successors, and the second is now published in a revised, corrected, and expanded edition.
Professor Wells argues that there was no historical Jesus, and in thus arguing he deals with the many recent writers who have interpreted the historical Jesus as some kind of political figure in the struggle against Rome, and calls in evidence the many contemporary theologians who agree with some of his arguments about early Christianity. The question at issue is what all the evidence adds up to. Does it establish that Jesus did or did not exist? Professor Wells concludes that the latter is the more likely hypothesis.
This challenge to received thinking by both Christians and non-Christians is supported by much documentary evidence, and Professor Wells carefully examines all the relevant problems and answers all the relevant questions. He deliberately avoids polemic and speculation, and sticks as far as possible to the known facts and to rational inferences from the facts.
This edition has been brought up to date to take account of the developments during the past decade, and makes an essential companion to The Historical Evidence for Jesus.
G.A. Wells is Professor of German at Birkbeck College, University of London.