Discussing Mythicism

My recent posts about mythicism, responding to Larry Moran and Jerry Coyne, has sparked discussion on other blogs. See the posts by Don Burrows, Tim O’Neill at a brand new blog called “History for Atheists,” and Chris Eyre. I also had a piece by Brent Lyons drawn to my attention, in which he discusses the [Read More...]

Sandwalking with Jesus

Larry Moran posted on his blog an excerpt from a conversation we had on Facebook. The conversation showed that he is confused about what historians investigate, because he (like conservative Christians) thinks that “the Jesus of the Bible” – the one who performs miracles and so on – is the only one that matters. I am [Read More...]

How Widespread is Mythicism?

An English conservative Christian website drew on Barna research and put together a study, which includes the statistic that about one in five people without a church background in England think Jesus was a myth, and roughly the same number are uncertain whether there was a historical Jesus. Conservative Christians are concerned for different reasons [Read More...]

Misattributed Sayings and the Historical Jesus

I’ve blogged in the past about sayings which were attributed to various figures – Mother Teresa and Reinhold Niebuhr – while others have addressed Albert Einstein and Josh Groban. One thought that struck me is that we tend to have saying gravitate from less famous people to more famous ones, and new sayings fabricated and attributed [Read More...]

Review of Jodi Magness, Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit

I am long overdue to review Jodi Magness’ book Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus on my blog. It is so full of interesting detail that it simply wouldn’t do to skim through it quickly. Many readers will have encountered at some point a picture book which children [Read More...]

Horus Manure

I’m not sure how I missed it, but a few years ago, Catholic apologist Jon Sorensen came up with a very clever title for a post about alleged Jesus-Horus parallels: Horus Manure. Whatever you think of the post, that’s a pun that was too good not to share. More up to date, Gakusei Don (who [Read More...]

The Historical Jesus Goes To University

I recently had a mythicist troll ask for evidence that Jesus is taught as a historical figure at any secular university. I could have merely offered Butler University and been done with it – and perhaps added the University of North Carolina for good measure. But despite the question coming from someone who was clearly a [Read More...]

Review of Maurice Casey’s Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?

My review of Maurice Casey’s book Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? has been published in Review of Biblical Literature.  Below is an excerpt from the end of the review. Please click through to read the rest. I suspect that many will find the tone of Casey’s volume rather too acerbic—especially if they have never had [Read More...]

CNN Covers Mythicism

CNN has an article about mythicism. Here’s a sample: Crossan…says some Jesus deniers may be people who have a problem with Christianity. “It’s a way of responding to something you don’t like,” Crossan says. “We can’t say that Obama doesn’t exist, but we can say that he’s not an American.  If we’re talking about Obama [Read More...]

Embarrassed by Mythicism/Antievolutionism

Have you ever wondered why the two New Testament scholars to write books directly tackling mythicist claims are Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey, both of whom happen to be atheists? I don’t think it is a coincidence. As atheists, Ehrman and Casey have the most to be embarrassed about when fellow atheists uncritically embrace views that [Read More...]

Myth and Memory

On his blog Genealogy of Religion, Cris Campbell talks about reading Colin Calloway’s book One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark. The crux of the post can be summed up by quoting Campbell: I have no doubt that indigenous oral traditions are remarkable repositories of deep history and ancient knowledge. They are [Read More...]