An Interpolation in 1 Thessalonians?

When we moved from introductory matters to diving into one of the epistles in my Paul class, we started with 1 Thessalonians, usually thought to be the earliest of Paul’s letters. This gave me the opportunity to revisit the question of whether 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16 is a post-Pauline interpolation. It is worth noting that there [Read More...]

The Historical Consensus About Jesus

A commenter on the blog made the assertion that scholars are somehow deferring to popular opinion when it comes to the existence of Jesus. The suggestion is so ludicrous that I thought I had best address it, and am sharing it here as well. Here’s what I wrote: The notion of being “unbiased” is naive. We [Read More...]

Creationism, Mythicism, and University Conspiracies

Creationism says: universities are so much under the grip of atheism that creationism cannot get a fair hearing. Mythicism says: universities are so much under the grip of Christianity that mythicism cannot get a fair hearing. Aren’t these two claims like antimatter? When they collide, don’t they cancel one another out in a spectacular release [Read More...]

Shame on Jerry Coyne

In a comment on his blog, Jerry Coyne responded to my recent post by quoting what I wrote and then writing the following:   This is a complete distortion of what I have said. I never started out by wanting Jesus not to exist. I had no opinion on the matter, and it was only [Read More...]

Does Christianity Disprove Mythicism?

Jerry Coyne has been very candid about the anti-religious motivation that leads him and other atheists to want Jesus not to have existed, to find it advantageous if Jesus did not exist. Of course, he doesn’t seem to have grasped the extent to which solid evidence that Jesus existed but was different from what Christians claim [Read More...]

Neil Carter on the Historicity of Jesus

Neil Carter is concerned about the widespread rejection of a mainstream academic field by fellow atheists. Here is an excerpt from his post on the subject: It feels like here lately a growing number of fellow freethinkers are jumping on the bandwagon of an intellectual position that hasn’t yet earned credibility. Rather than concluding that the [Read More...]

The Myth of Mythicism’s Newness

The year before his book on the subject was published, Shirley Jackson Case wrote an article on the question of the historicity of Jesus. I suspect that few modern mythicists have read either. But the article is now available for free online, courtesy of JSTOR. Take a look at it, see how many mythicists there [Read More...]

Myth of the Gaps

Mythicism doesn’t account for gaps in what Paul writes better than mainstream scholarship does. It just fills those gaps with something different, something which is at odds with what Paul does explicitly say in places. People who did not previously know about a historical Jesus would be left with  questions after reading one of Paul’s [Read More...]

Valerie Tarico’s Historical Denialism

In a recent online article, Valerie Tarico suggests that “a growing number of scholars” are concluding that there was no historical Jesus. It isn’t clear to me that Richard Carrier, Robert Price, and Thomas Brodie represent a “growing number” compared to past generations. If one goes back half a century or more, the idea had [Read More...]

The Carrier Train Wreck Continues

Richard Carrier is continuing to respond at great length to every review of his book, whether largely favorable or not. In his most recent post, about a review by Nick Covington (who has also been commenting here on Exploring Our Matrix about the topic), Carrier wrote the following: The reason Romans cannot be, in any relevant way, using high context discourse [Read More...]

Is Mythicism an Ebola-Like Virus?

Jonathan Bernier wrote a blog post about how people reacted to an instance of “Ebola-like symptoms” and their failure to recognize that such symptoms did not mean that this was a case of Ebola. He uses this as an illustration of parallelomania – the tendency of mythicists, but also an earlier generation of scholars, to assume [Read More...]


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