Review of Is This Not the Carpenter?

The review I wrote of Is This Not the Carpenter?: The Question of the Historicity of the Figure of Jesus (Sheffield: Equinox, 2012) has appeared in Review of Biblical Literature, and can be read for free online. [Read more...]

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...]