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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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...]

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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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Mythicism, Miraculous Conceptions and Ancient Historians

Over in a discussion at Debunking Christianity about mythicism and a recent post of mine, a proponent of mythicism claimed that ancient biographers and historians, unlike the authors of the Gospels, were not prone to include legends about such matters as miraculous conceptions. Although at that point we were talking about Socrates, in fact we [Read More...]

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Healing and History

In a discussion of mythicism and of Maurice Casey’s treatment of a miracle story in the Gospel of Mark, the broader issue of what historians can say about accounts of healings and miracles is bound to come up. A historian can never rightly conclude that a miracle or other supernatural event has occurred. But surely [Read More...]

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Mythicist Qum(i)!

Neil Godfrey posted today about Maurice Casey’s treatment of the story of the raising of Jairus’ daughter. Casey very carefully defines what a historian (as opposed to a believer in a religious tradition) can say about an account of a “miracle,” and that the performance of a “remarkable deed” by someone believed to be endowed [Read More...]

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Archaeological Puzzles: Can You Identify These Objects?

A question for anyone interested, but in particular those of you with some archaeological experience: What do you think this might be? It is the same object from three different angles. What about this one? Or this one, which I assume are three pieces of one archaeological “puzzle”? [Read more...]

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To Galilee by way of Armageddon

I was excited when I saw that the route to Tiberias, and to Afula where I would be meeting Eldad Keynan who kindly agreed to show me around the Galilee, was by way of Megiddo, even though not all services stop there. The bus took me straight through the plain of Megiddo. It seems more [Read More...]

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