Craig Evans and Richard Carrier to Debate

It seems that Craig Evans and Richard Carrier will be having a debate about whether Jesus existed. I’m glad to see that it is co-sponsored by two organizations, one Christian and one non-religious or anti-religions, although there is a sense in which that co-sponsorship may simply foster the sense that Carrier’s is the natural or appropriate view for an atheist to adopt, and may obscure that Evans’ view is not a Christian one but one that Christians and non-Christians alike share if they work in the relevant academic fields.

Here are the details from the event’s Facebook page:

On April 13, 2016 Ratio Christi at Kennesaw State University and Atheists, Humanists, and Agnostics at KSU will co-host a public moderated debate between Dr. Richard Carrier and Dr. Craig Evans on the topic “Did Jesus Exist?” As part of the debate there will be an open mic Q and A with the audience.

This event is free and open to the public.

Location: Social Sciences Auditorium 1021

Time: 7:00 pm

Parking: West Parking Deck.

Evans Carrier debate

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  • John MacDonald

    Sounds exciting. May not be taped though. Personally, I don’t think the Christ myth theory will ever catch on in the Academy.

    • psstein1

      It was an actual question in academia over 100 years ago. As scholars learned more about Second Temple Judaism and “dying and rising gods,” it fell out of favor, even among the most radical scholars.

    • Jonathan

      This debate will be recorded and put on YouTube. This will be put on the Ratio Christi at Kennesaw State University’s channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCT5cB5g0EvsybVJ7Uy3cBlA

      • John MacDonald

        I would like to see Ehrman debate Carrier. I agree with Ehrman who makes the point that Paul met Jesus’ brother. I think Bart Ehrman would emphasize Jesus’ humanity over his divinity. For instance, Jesus’ cry of dereliction from the cross quoting Psalm 22 does not portray Jesus as a divine being calmly expecting resurrection. Also, the prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane shows Jesus in despair, disagreeing with God’s plan and petitioning against his being a part of it, clearly showing Jesus is not one and the same with God. Finally, Jesus identifies with humanity in the way he constructs The Lord’s Prayer. Things like this, along with passages that identify Jesus as a failed apocalyptic prophet, are probably the things Ehrman suggests the next wave of atheists should be focusing on (and not things like The Christ Myth Theory). Ehrman would probably contend that Jesus is clearly not depicted as a god or The God, but rather as a human prophet (Mark 6:5) with human failings, such as drinking too much alcohol (Matthew 11:19), and even disagreeing with God’s plan and his role in God’s plan (Mark 14:32-42)

  • jjramsey

    Seems to me like a non-theist would be a better choice to defend the historicity of Jesus, since to some degree it’s the errors and tensions in the New Testament that point to that historicity.

    On the other hand, Evans can at least point to the kludginess of mythicist ideas.

    • antimule

      Non-theist or a liberal Christian.