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...]

An Odd Diatribe from Thomas L. Thompson

In the latest issue of The Bible and Interpretation, Thomas L. Thompson offers a very odd rebuke to Bart Ehrman. Thompson mentions things like Philo's love of allegory and Qoheleth's assertion of our lack of novelty, as though these somehow will allow one to open the door to any and all interpretations of texts, including [Read More...]

Jesus, John, Paul, George, and Ringo Mythicism

Commenter Admiral Mattbar shared a link to a site, “The Beatles Never Existed.” I got a glimpse of it, but the next time I tried to reload it, it was as though it was not there. I began to wonder if perhaps I should become a “The Beatles Never Existed” web site mythicist… But then there [Read More...]

Talpiot Tombs and New Testament Historical Criticism

A piece I wrote, expanding on my thoughts about the relationship between the recent claims regarding the Talpiot tombs on the one hand, and New Testament historical criticism on the other, has appeared on the ASOR blog. Click through to read it. [Read more...]

Is the New Testament Evidence Compatible with Jesus having been Buried in Talpiot?

Many news outlets and blogs are talking about the second first-century tomb in Talpiot that James Tabor and Simcha Jacobovici have investigated and written about in The Jesus Discovery. Having recently discussed the subject of Jesus’ burial in my book The Burial of Jesus: What Does History Have to Do with Faith?, I have my own [Read More...]

Creationists, Mythicists, and the Schroedinger’s Scholar Fallacy

One feature that young-earth creationists, mythicists, and other proponents of pseudoscholarly ideas have in common in the way they treat the writings of actual experts in the field in question. On the one hand, they will mine the writings of experts for sound bites and quotes that seem to support their viewpoint, and will pepper [Read More...]

Mythicism as Conspiracy Theory

That’s the title of an article in Slate by Evgeny Morozov, and there are a couple of quotes in which a simple substitution can be made so that they apply equally well to creationists, mythicists, and other denialists. Here’s an example: “In other words, mere exposure to the current state of the scientific historical consensus [Read More...]

The New Testament Scholar Who Stole Christmas?

An op-ed piece I wrote, with the title “The New Testament Scholar Who Stole Christmas?”, has appeared in The Bible and Interpretation. Click through to read it, and feel free to share any thoughts you may have about it in the comments section here! [Read more...]

History: Like a Civil Trial or a Criminal Trial?

As many readers will know, I have in the past compared what historians do to what a jury tries to do in a criminal case: prove matters “beyond reasonable doubt.” Today I reported for jury duty. In the end I wasn’t picked to serve. “Many are called but few are chosen.” During the preliminaries, the [Read More...]

Matthew Accuracy, Spurious Quotations and the Historical Jesus

Mark Goodacre has two posts up that are relevant to oral tradition and the historical study of Jesus. One is about a quotation attributed to the Dalai Lama on the internet but which is spurious. Here’s the image that sums the matter up: A while back I had wanted to share this quote, which is [Read More...]

Bart Ehrman on Mythicism

As many of you will be aware, Bart Ehrman is working on an ebook about mythicism. If you would like a foretaste, here is a radio interview on YouTube with Bart Ehrman on the subject, in which the host Reginald Finley tries to suggest mythicism might have some plausibility to it, and digs himself deeper [Read More...]


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