Paranoid Christians Providing Entertainment

Many of you have probably seen the round-up of “The 35 Best Times Someone on Facebook Thought The Onion Was Real.” I am saddened by how many of them involve gullibility on the part of Christians. Here are some examples: There is an entire web site, “Literally Unbelievable,” dedicated to The Onion being taken seriously on Facebook. Once [Read More...]

Jesus, the Gospels and History

Amanda Witmer has written an article for The Bible and Interpretation about mythicism. Here’s how it begins: In some quarters it is now fashionable to argue that Jesus did not exist! At the opposite end of the spectrum we find the position that every word of the Bible is literally true and that the gospels provide [Read More...]

Mythicism and Parallelomania around the Blogosphere

My recent use of the term “parallelomania” (popularized by Samuel Sandmel) has sparked some discussion in the blogosphere. It’s All Random…Mostly expressed dislike for the term. Ian then responded, writing: I have some sympathy for just using the term ‘parallelomania’ as a term of skepticism. To say, yes it is fine to find parallels, but as [Read More...]

Excerpt from Thomas Brodie

Neil Godfrey has made chapter 7 of Thomas Brodie's recent book, Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus, available online. It provides a wonderful illustration of the sort of forced parallelomania that I recently parodied. There might perhaps be an allusion – whether by Jesus or by the Gospel author – to the stories about [Read More...]

Mythicism, Mimesis, and Pooh Studies

I previously suggested that Thomas Brodie’s work on the composition of the Gospels is problematic because it has no controls, and it is easy to imagine parallels are present where none are likely to have been intended by the author or perceived by ancient readers/hearers of the work. His claim that the entirety of the [Read More...]

Beyond Jesus-Agnosticism

Rick Sumner poses some interesting questions on his blog The Dilettante Exegete – during some of which he has an imaginary gun to his head! One that I think is particularly interesting is the question of what one ought to call the stance that there probably was a historical Jesus – the brother of the [Read More...]

Finally, There Will Be a Peer-Reviewed Case for Mythicism

I’ve long described Richard Carrier as the last, best hope for mythicism. While other mythicists have been content to self-publish shoddy pseudoscholarship online or elsewhere, Carrier has been a voice of sanity, recognizing that a scholarly consensus is not something to be treated lightly, and that, if there is to be a serious case for [Read More...]

The Work of Thomas Brodie

In several recent posts at Vridar, the blog has been focusing a lot of attention on Thomas Brodie’s work. One can find there all the tactics one will expect if one is familiar with mythicism. For instance, they bring up Geza Vermes’ suggestion that the reference to Jesus as a carpenter in the Gospels could reflect a misunderstanding of a [Read More...]

Why Do Mythicists Care So Little About Facts and Details?

Neil Godfrey has a post which claims that I’m unconcerned with facts and details. And unsurprisingly, his post has little interest in facts and details. It repeats Richard Carrier’s claim that mythicism is embraced by individuals like Thomas Thompson (who has distanced himself from mythicism) and Kurt Noll (whose contribution to Is This Not the Carpenter? [Read More...]

SBL Program Book Available

Thanks to Dan McClellan for pointing out that the Society of Biblical Literature 2013 Annual Meeting program book is now online. Below are details of the two sessions in which I’m presenting, and I’ve included links in the titles of my papers to the abstracts for them: S23-228 Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship 11/23/2013 1:00 PM [Read More...]

Breaking News: I May Be Neither Incompetent Nor Dishonest!

Tom Verenna posted a response to some of Neil Godfrey’s name-calling. It includes the following: Now whether or not James McGrath is missing something, or he is not reading Brodie sympathetically, or he is merely interpreting Brodie differently, is obviously an important part of a discussion. But this does not ipso facto implicate James as [Read More...]


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