Memory Studies in Historical Jesus Studies

The folks at The Jesus Blog announced the good news that the exciting session on memory studies and the historical Jesus at SBL this year was recorded. Here they are: I am really sorry that more of the presenters and panelists did not follow Rafael’s lead in trying to reenact in reverse Da Vinci’s Last [Read More...]

Victor Paul Furnish on Mythicism

New Testament scholar Victor Paul Furnish wrote the following in the conclusion to his review of a volume featuring mythicist and minimalist scholars’ perspectives on Jesus: The mythicists, in particular, summarily dismiss prevailing views about Jesus and the Gospels as governed by religious interests; arbitrarily apply paradigms derived from the study of ancient Near Eastern [Read More...]

Dreaming of a White Jesus

The recent statement by a Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly illustrates well why historical Jesus research is so important. Jesus has become a powerful myth, indeed more than one, and has been coopted in the service of a great many ideologies. Nothing provides as effective a counter to the infinite range of things that Jesus [Read More...]

A Mythicist Sympathizer’s Case for a Historical Jesus

A new article in The Bible and Interpretation concludes in the following way: Precisely because I am quite aware of the extent to which the Canonical Gospels are the result of a process of doctoring the historical figure of Jesus – a process which has had wide-ranging distorting effects –, I think I can better [Read More...]

Chris Keith on Social Memory Theory and the Gospels

Chris Keith shared a link to the above lecture on social memory theory and the Gospels, his inaugural lecture at St. Mary’s University College, Twickenham. See also Chris’s own post as well as Mike Kok’s and Tyler Stewart’s posts about a session at SBL in which Chris and others addressed the same topic.   [Read more...]

Studying Jesus without Religion?

Richard Carrier gave a talk which is on YouTube, “Imagining the Study of Jesus without Religion.” Historians have worked hard to set aside those demands and desires arising from religious convictions out of the picture when looking at the figure of Jesus. They have done so so successfully that time and again they have produced [Read More...]

Jesus’ Obituary

Tom Verenna shared a really interesting assignment from a class about the historical Jesus that he is taking. It asked students to write an obituary for Jesus. He did something even more interesting with it, creating an epitaph on the model of ancient funerary inscriptions, rather than a modern-day type of obituary. I won’t summarize [Read More...]

Just How Bad is Mythicism?

Neil Godfrey posted about peer-reviewed journals and how the peer review process is imperfect, if not indeed deeply flawed, and thus even problematic studies manage to get through into peer-reviewed journals in the sciences. And if that is true in the sciences, surely it is also true in the domain of history. And so what [Read More...]

Selective Skepticism

An op-ed piece I wrote about the attention Joseph Atwill has been getting lately has appeared on The Bible and Interpretation website. The title is “Selective Skepticism.”   [Read more...]

Jesus Mythbusting

Several people on Facebook drew my attention to a misleading press release about Joseph Atwill, who is listed there as a “Biblical scholar,” even though there is no evidence that he has relevant qualifications or research to his name. His view is similar to ones that have been discussed on this blog before. The press [Read More...]

No Special Treatment for Jesus

I responded to a comment on a recent post about the historical Jesus, and thought I’d share what I wrote in a separate post, to see if it generates more discussion. There is a common misunderstanding about the plurality of “Jesuses.” This simply shows that there are a lot of people working in the field [Read More...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X