Bible and Interpretation Article on Mythicism

Given the interest generated by Maurice Casey’s book and Richard Carrier’s blogging about it, I thought I should turn my 2013 SBL conference paper on mythicism and academic freedom into an article quickly. And so I am pleased to say that “Mythicism and the Mainstream: The Rhetoric and Realities of Academic Freedom” is now available [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...]

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...]

Mythicist Language is Designed to Make Lies Sound Truthful

Neil Godfrey's latest rant includes a quote from George Orwell, and describes the fact that I will be addressing mythicism and religious freedom in a conference paper as “Orwellian.” And once again, there is no evidence of awareness of Poe's Law, as a mythicist writes things that seem like a ridiculous parody, something that no [Read More...]

Vridar Returns (and a Review of a Review of a Review)

Before Vridar had been shut down as a result of a copyright complaint from Joel Watts, I had begun to respond to something Neil Godfrey wrote there. Now that his blog is back (at the different address of Vridar.org), I will do so. But let me first direct readers to some discussion of the events that [Read More...]

Mythicism and the Mainstream: The Rhetoric and Realities of Academic Freedom

I’ve been meaning to post for a while that my Society of Biblical Literature paper proposal has been accepted by the “Metacriticism of Biblical Scholarship” section, and so will be presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting in Baltimore. Here is the abstract: Mythicism and the Mainstream: The Rhetoric and Realities of Academic Freedom James F. [Read More...]

Review of Thomas Brodie, Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus

Thomas Brodie’s book Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: Memoir of a Discovery is in fact what the subtitle describes – a memoir of one individual scholar’s life and journey. It illustrates well that an academic career is not an isolated phenomenon, unaffected by the things that may be going on in the context [Read More...]


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