Studying Jesus without Religion?

Richard Carrier gave a talk which is on YouTube, “Imagining the Study of Jesus without Religion.” Historians have worked hard to set aside those demands and desires arising from religious convictions out of the picture when looking at the figure of Jesus. They have done so so successfully that time and again they have produced [Read More...]

Bias and Bayes’ Theorem in History

Regular commenter Ian has posted two more entries on his blog which relate to the use of Bayes’ Theorem in assessing historical probability, in response to Richard Carrier’s advocacy of the use of Bayesian reasoning. One is entitled “Error in Bayes’ Theorem” and the other “Say What I Want To Hear!“ [Read more...]

Further Problematizing Richard Carrier’s Claims about Jesus

Ian has a further detailed explanation of Bayes’ Theorem on his blog. It problematizes Richard Carrier’s use of it in relation to history in general, and the historical Jesus in particular. I am also grateful to Nick Covington for sharing this video, which shows more of what Richard Carrier thinks about the figure of Jesus [Read More...]

Richard Carrier Responds

Richard Carrier has posted a response to my review of his book, Proving History. I'm not sure that there is anything that needs to be said by me in response, since he clearly is hedging on whether the earliest Jewish Christians thought that Jesus was a God, accepts what is perhaps the clearest example of [Read More...]

A Mathematical Review of Proving History by Richard Carrier

Regular commenter Ian has posted a review of Richard Carrier’s recent book, focused on the use of Bayes’ Theorem. It can be found on his blog Irreducible Complexity. [Read more...]

Review of Richard C. Carrier, Proving History

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to review Richard Carrier’s latest book, Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. I am grateful to Prometheus Books for sending me a free review copy. Carrier emphasizes from the outset that this is the first of two books, the second of [Read More...]

Richard Carrier Illustrates Historical Jesus Methodology

While one might or might not see fit to dispute Richard Carrier’s specific conclusions in his recent post, “The Dying Messiah Redux,” I think that the most important thing to note is the approach to history that it illustrates. Carrier argues that, because certain views expressed in Jewish literature from several centuries after the rise [Read More...]

Mythicism: The Heart of the Matter?

I think that Neil Godfrey’s recent post on “fear of mythicism” raises what may be the most important issue in relation to mythicism. After listing numerous comments on this blog which make comparisons between mythicism and other fringe views such as creationism and holocaust denial, Godfrey writes: I can read rational, evidence-based rebuttals of holocaust [Read More...]

The Last, Best Hope for Mythicism?

Although I never followed the show, catching even a few snippets of Babylon 5 here and there have left me with a memory of the catchphrase that Babylon 5 was the “last, best hope” for peace. And it failed. Perhaps the same sort of phrase would fit what R. Joseph Hoffmann wrote today about Richard [Read More...]


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