Mythicism and the Teacher of Righteousness

A comment was left here recently by a mythicist, which asked why, if there was a historical Jesus, he (1) is mentioned for the first time by people other than his followers so much later, (2) none of his contemporaries took an interest in him, and (3) his biography seems pieced together out of parts of the [Read More...]

Did Jesus Die in Outer Space?

Over the past several weeks I’ve been reading Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt, which The Bible and Interpretation kindly sent me a copy of, asking me to provide them with a review. It soon became clear to me that a single review with an overview of [Read More...]

Mythicism’s Methodological Mess

It is funny that some mythicists think that, in pointing out that there are lots of different scholarly proposals about Jesus, they are making a profound observation, and even providing evidence that something is fundamentally wrong with the methods historians currently use. On the one hand, historical details are capable of being interpreted in multiple [Read More...]

Texts as Symptoms

Jonathan Bernier has made a nice analogy between illnesses and historical events - more specifically between tumors and the crucifixion. His point is that doctors, like historians, deal indirectly with underlying causes, at least in the first instance. Eventually a team of surgeons may make incisions and see for themselves what lies at the heart of someone’s symptoms. But [Read More...]

Moss and Baden on the Lastest Mythicist Nonsense

Via Candida Moss, I learned that she and Joel Baden have responded to – and appropriate poked fun at – the latest mythicist volume to appear, Michael Paulkovich’s No Meek Messiah: Christianity’s Lies, Laws and Legacy. After showing that Paulkovich’s list of 126 ancient authors he thinks should have mentioned Jesus, the list includes people [Read More...]

Defining Pseudoscholarship

Scholarship involves the building of consensus and the challenging of thereof, and so it is easy to find oneself confused about when a view is merely a minority or even a fringe scholarly viewpoint, and when it has crossed the line into pseudoscholarship. And so I thought this comment by Paul Regnier deserved to be [Read More...]

Mythicism’s Missing Middle

I remember the powerful ending of the movie The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc, in which she is confronted with questions about why she interpreted the finding of a sword in a field the way she did. That it was lost in a sword fight, or even that some passerby decided to discard it at [Read More...]

The Jesus Birther Movement

I recently had my attention drawn to a rather bizarre web page, connected with the “Jesus Birther Movement.” They oddly dismiss sources like Josephus because they were written somewhat later than Jesus’ time, as though that is uncommon, or normally means that an author writing slightly after a person’s own time is unlikely to be able to [Read More...]

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...]


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