A Peer Reviewed Journal Takes Down Richard Carrier’s Jesus Mythicism

I sit on the editorial board of the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus, ably edited by James Crossley and Anthony Le Donne. The editorial board is quite diverse (though could use a few more women) with Americans, Europeans, and even Australians. It also has people of many different religious affiliations, there are members who identify as Jewish, evangelical Christian, mainline Christian, agnostic, and atheist.  We disagree on just about everything when it comes to Jesus and the sources pertaining to him. However, what we all agree on is that (1) Jesus existed and (2) people who deny his existence are cranks or bad-historians.

Anyway, for all you Jesus Mythicists out there, you need to read this:

Daniel N. Gullotta, “On Richard Carrier’s Doubts:  A Response to Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus:  Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt,” Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus 15 (2017):  310-46.

The Jesus Myth theory is the view that the person known as Jesus of Nazareth had no historical existence. Throughout the centuries this view has had a few but notable adherents such as Bruno Bauer, Arthur Drews, G.A. Wells, and Robert M. Price. Recently, Richard Carrier’s work On the Historicity of Jesus (Sheffield Phoenix Press, 2014) has attempted to reexamine the question in a rigorous academic fashion. According to Carrier, within the earliest days of Christianity, Jesus was not understood as a historic-human figure, but rather as a celestial-angelic being, akin to Gabriel in Islam or to Moroni in Mormonism, and only came to be understood as a historical person later. While Carrier’s hypothesis is problematic and unpersuasive, there are several key points related to his work that this article specifically challenges and critiques.

Finally, let me add, for all those former Jesus Mythicists out there who suddenly feel their bowels becoming loose because this Jesus thing just got “real,” don’t worry, even if Jesus existed, you can still be an atheist, just not a dogmatic dumbass one.

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