Bible and Interpretation Article on Mythicism

Given the interest generated by Maurice Casey’s book and Richard Carrier’s blogging about it, I thought I should turn my 2013 SBL conference paper on mythicism and academic freedom into an article quickly. And so I am pleased to say that “Mythicism and the Mainstream: The Rhetoric and Realities of Academic Freedom” is now available [Read More...]

Historical Maccabees and Historical Jesus

Mythicists sometimes assert that an account like the Gospels, which features angelic interventions and other such details, ought to be set aside as fiction, rather than setting just the miracles aside and then sifting the rest for potentially useful historical data. As I prepared to touch on the books of the Maccabees in my course [Read More...]

Excellent Historical Fiction or Poor History?

Richard Carrier’s talk about the Acts of the Apostles seems to slip back and forth between two claims. One is that the work is historical fiction. The other is that it is trying to be history but failing. The actual evidence complicates this claim. Carrier mentions Colin Hemer’s classic study of Acts, Book of Acts [Read More...]

Mythicism, Docetism, and the James Ossuary

Hector Avalos published a news article on the historical Jesus, which illustrates the danger of trying to interpret evidence in a field outside one’s own area of specialty. Avalos wonders how anyone could have doubted that Jesus came in the flesh, as 1 John mentions, if the historicity of Jesus was well established. This misses [Read More...]

Richard Carrier on Acts as Historical Fiction

John Loftus drew attention to the lecture above. Here are some comments on it. The presentation starts with best books, mentioning Richard Purvo, Dennis MacDonald, and John Dominic Crossan. This was misleading, because these scholars do not draw the distinctive conclusions that Carrier does. Luke-Acts is said to have been written by the same guy, and [Read More...]

Bart Ehrman Reads Did Jesus Exist?

Via Bart Ehrman [Read more...]

Review of Jesus of Nazareth by Maurice Casey (Part 1)

T&T Clark kindly sent me a review copy of Maurice Casey’s monumental opus Jesus of Nazareth: An Independent Historian’s Account of his Life and Teaching.Since Casey’s more recent book focused on mythicism builds heavily on the treatment of the details of the life of Jesus in this earlie volume from 2010, i thought I had [Read More...]