Initiation into the Mysteries

Jim Spinti drew attention to a new book by Jan Bremmer, Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World, published by De Gruyter and open access in ebook form. The books discusses the problems with the categories encountered in nineteenth century scholarship (which continues to be used by mythicists today), and covers topics such as whether [Read More...]

Ephesians 4:21 and Mythicism

Mythicism claims that the lack of details about Jesus in the epistles are an indication that their authors did not think Jesus was historical. I’ve pointed out before that this is silly nonsense – the relative silence in the epistles is silence about a celestial Jesus myth, if there was such a thing, every bit as much as [Read More...]

Paul’s Human Jesus

In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul makes a contrast between two human beings, Adam and Jesus. One is mythical. Is the other? And did Paul think that one or both of them were mythical? Interestingly, on this point, if none other, concerns of young-earth creationists and mythicists intersect. Is “human” ever applied without qualification to beings [Read More...]

Science Denial Mad Libs

Also note how well this works: The scholarly consensus regarding the historical Jesus leaves something to be desired. If Jesus is historical, then why are the details of his life absent from Paul’s letters? Besides, Richard Carrier, Robert Price, and others have challenged the views of scholars like Mark Goodacre and James Dunn, proving that the historicity [Read More...]

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...]


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