Jesus, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercules

Internet apologists for mythicism are always ready to point to Sherlock Holmes and Batman and say “look, here we have stories, so these prove the existence of fictional detectives and comic book heroes, don’t they?”

Can they not see that this is absolute silliness, that one could respond with the same trite comeback about anyone or anything? What if someone compares the case of the Hound of the Baskervilles to the Holocaust? Does that somehow prove the latter did not happen?

No historian thinks that the mere existence of stories about someone proves their existence. And so why do mythicists think this is a meaningful retort? My guess is that, when they were previously fundamentalists, they believed the Bible in a gullible fashion, and so they are addressing their own earlier foolish selves, not realizing that professional historians are not gullible in the same way they had been.

Mythicists mention other figures in a similar fashion, comparing Jesus with Hercules, William Tell, and Robin Hood. But merely mentioning two names in the same sentence does not show them to be similar. One could compare Robin Hood to George Washington, or William Tell to Socrates, or any other two people one wishes. But that proves nothing. What would need to be shown is that the two figures, and the evidence for them, is actually comparable.

Can mythicists not see how ridiculous they look when they offer these comebacks as though they were making a serious point?

Stay in touch! Like Religion Prof on Facebook:

Discussing the Ehrman-Price Debate
How Mythicism can Lead to Trump Support
Written Thoughts on the Ehrman-Price Debate
Listen to the Big Debate Tonight!