Joseph Hoffmann on Mythicism, Skepticism, and Historical Reasoning

Joseph Hoffmann posted on whether “anything goes” in mythicism, providing a wonderful discussion of the appropriate and inappropriate sorts of “skepticism” and illustrating how historians reason about the evidence regarding Jesus. Around a lengthy treatment of Hegelianism, he writes things like this: To say that Jesus is a plausible figure is thus merely to say [Read More...]

The Jewishness of Jesus

Several posts related to the Jewishness of Jesus have appeared on blogs I read over the past couple of days. Anthony Le Donne has the first post in a series asking what it means to say that Jesus was Jewish. Joseph Hoffmann provides a list of things that the New Testament says about Jesus which [Read More...]

Class on the Crucifixion and Passion Narratives in the New Testament

Since this is another class without changing powerpoint slides, I’m making this one available as an mp3 podcast as well: [Read more...]

Bias and Bayes’ Theorem in History

Regular commenter Ian has posted two more entries on his blog which relate to the use of Bayes’ Theorem in assessing historical probability, in response to Richard Carrier’s advocacy of the use of Bayesian reasoning. One is entitled “Error in Bayes’ Theorem” and the other “Say What I Want To Hear!“ [Read more...]

3 Jesus’ Wife (With Fill in the Blank at the End)

There’s been even more blogged and discussed about the “Jesus’ wife” Coptic fragment since my last round-up. Most of what I have seen on blogs I read regularly have been wise, balanced, scholarly perspectives. Don Burrows clarifies the difference between absurd media claims and what Karen King and other scholars are saying. Craig Evans offers [Read More...]

Two Nails in the Coffin of Jesus Mythicism, Coming Soon

The first of the additional nails that are coming soon is Maurice Casey’s forthcoming book, Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? I’ve known for some time that Casey had a book in the works addressing mythicist claims directly and in detail, and am delighted that its publication is now imminent, as Jim West and Joseph Hoffmann [Read More...]

Maurice Casey responds to Thomas Thompson

James Tabor wrongly refers to an “all-out war among the experts” regarding the question “Did Jesus exist?” At present, the only person who can be considered an expert in New Testament in any sense, and who has disputed the existence of a historical Jesus in academic publications, is Robert M. Price. He teaches at an [Read More...]

Was the Historical Jesus on Facebook?

A piece of news has been getting attention today, about a study of classic myths, some of which we know from archaeological evidence were based on real people or events. The study suggests that the degree to which the relationships in the story mirror real ones – including those one can observe today in social [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...]

Two Nazarenes

Our tour guide Baligh’s local tour organization which EF works with is called “Nazarene Tours” because Baligh himself is from Nazareth. He made an amusing comment on the first day about the fact that he is more of a Nazarene than Jesus for two reasons: Jesus was born in Bethlehem and lived in Nazareth for [Read More...]

Letter from Ned Ludd to the Mythicists

This important historical document seems to me to be relevant to something mythicists often say, and so I thought I would share it… Dear mythicists, I, Ned Ludd, am writing to request that you kindly stop using my name as though it provided support for your nonsensical ideas. If you don’t, I expect that I [Read More...]