I really liked this presentation. It seems like we need it, because there’s been an idea circulating around our culture that Jesus is just a “pure myth.” He never existed in the first place. I first heard this idea in the 2000s, when I heard archaeologists say they found no inscriptions of Jesus’s name anywhere in Israel. There was historical evidence for Peter’s existence, but that was it. From my own research, reading people who understand how to read ancient historical accounts, this is not true. There is historical evidence for Jesus’s existence, and for the New Testament story about him, that these people have ignored.
A point Maier made is that you have to understand the culture in which contemporary history was written. Imposing modern cultural understandings of history on it misconstrues it. He doesn’t say that the New Testament in the Bible is to be taken as history, but rather says that secular historical accounts support some elements in the New Testament story. This goes along with what I used to hear, which is that myths often have some basis in history. The stories are embellished, but they’re likely based on real people, and real events in some way.