The Criterion of Damage Control

In a conversation about mythicism I had recently, some points came up that I want to share here. In addressing the claims of mythicism, I think a key point is to get the criterion of embarrassment right. I do not think anyone has ever said, as mythicists sometimes claim, that the principle is “this makes me [Read More...]

Asking the Right Question

Two blog posts came to my attention yesterday, both focused on the importance of asking the right question, although otherwise on very different topics. First, Ben Irwin highlighted New Testament scholar Dale Martin’s words quoted in the image above. Determining what the loving thing to do is is not simple or challenging. But it is the right [Read More...]

The Criterion of Mortification

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal featured the comic below, which illustrates a popular misunderstanding of the criterion of embarrassment which scholars sometimes use. I’ll share more thoughts below the comic. First, it is worth pointing out that, in historical studies, the fact that an author is honest about something does not automatically mean they are honest about [Read More...]

Mythicists Gain Nothing By Exaggerating

Raphael Lataster has an online article allegedly about the evidence for a historical Jesus. It is incredibly disappointing. Some of what he writes is ridiculous – as for instance when he says: The Pauline Epistles, however, overwhelmingly support the “celestial Jesus” theory, particularly with the passage indicating that demons killed Jesus, and would not have [Read More...]

The Dangers of Rejecting Critical Inquiry

Tim Widowfield has a post at Vridar which he says has nothing to do with mythicism, and yet somehow the post manages to repeat many of mythicism’s standard canards and talking points. In it he claims that that we know nothing about the Gospels’ provenance (this is not any more true in the case of [Read More...]

The “But Keith and Le Donne are Christians” Argument Against Mythicism

Mythicists can try one’s patience, but if you hang in there, they will consistently reward your patience with laugh-out-loud comedy. An example from today: Commenter BretonGarcia posted several comments on a recent post of mine, asserting that Christians are so biased that their results and even their views about methods are untrustworthy. Instead, he suggested, [Read More...]

A Rejoinder in Song to Rafael Rodriguez’s Second Point in Third Place (or Something Like That)

Thanks to Rafael Rodriguez for continuing the conversation in not one but two posts on his blog. I think that there are several issues that are getting entangled, which it would be worth disentangling (to the extent that we can) before proceeding. First, can we identify redactional tendencies in works? I think so, and I [Read More...]


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