Competing Denialisms

Steve Douglas drew my attention to the above comic from SMBC. As someone who deals both with denialists who attack mainstream science, and denialists who attack mainstream history, I don’t know that I think one is worse than the other. And since both evolutionary biology and ancient history deal largely with theories that make sense [Read More…]

Two Nails in the Coffin of Jesus Mythicism, Coming Soon

The first of the additional nails that are coming soon is Maurice Casey’s forthcoming book, Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths? I’ve known for some time that Casey had a book in the works addressing mythicist claims directly and in detail, and am delighted that its publication is now imminent, as Jim West and Joseph Hoffmann [Read More…]

Maurice Casey responds to Thomas Thompson

James Tabor wrongly refers to an “all-out war among the experts” regarding the question “Did Jesus exist?” At present, the only person who can be considered an expert in New Testament in any sense, and who has disputed the existence of a historical Jesus in academic publications, is Robert M. Price. He teaches at an [Read More…]

Review of Richard C. Carrier, Proving History

I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to review Richard Carrier’s latest book, Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. I am grateful to Prometheus Books for sending me a free review copy. Carrier emphasizes from the outset that this is the first of two books, the second of [Read More…]

Will Time-Travelers Ruin the Passion?

  It is a scenario that some science fiction stories have explored – Gary Kilworth's “Let's Go To Golgotha!” and Michael Moorcock's “Behold The Man” come immediately to mind. Even I have a story involving time travel to first century Judaea that I would love to write. But even if you haven't read such stories, [Read More…]

Why There Are No Guns In The Bible

Today in my Sunday school class, in mentioning the depiction in Nehemiah of armed Israelites wielding both weapons and tools, inadvertently said “guns” instead of “swords.” This led to an important observation: if the Bible were not a collection of texts constrained by the knowledge available to its authors, but included revelation of information not [Read More…]

Tackling Denialism With Painful Logic

Compared to historians and scholars dealing with Jesus mythicists, those who tackle other forms of denialism seem to have it somewhat easier – or would, if denialism could be combated with logic of the sort illustrated in this XKCD cartoon: In related news, while I myself have used the comparison between the tactics used by [Read More…]

Dead, Buried – and Likely to be Believed Resurrected

Thom Stark posted “It Is Finished for Richard Carrier’s Dying Messiah: Part 2.” Joel Watts linked to it with the title “Thom Stark buries Richard Carrier.” Joel also shared 11Q Melchizedek and Wisdom of Solomon as relevant ancient texts to the discussion. So apparently the argument is dead and buried. But I suspect that mythicists [Read More…]

Richard Carrier Illustrates Historical Jesus Methodology

While one might or might not see fit to dispute Richard Carrier’s specific conclusions in his recent post, “The Dying Messiah Redux,” I think that the most important thing to note is the approach to history that it illustrates. Carrier argues that, because certain views expressed in Jewish literature from several centuries after the rise [Read More…]

Happy 175th Anniversary, Crooked Creek Baptist Church!

Yesterday my church, Crooked Creek Baptist Church in Indianapolis, Indiana, in the United States, celebrated its 175th anniversary. There was a special program book about the church’s history, including drawings of the early log cabin building, and a bookmark insert with a list of the pastors that have served the congregation. The service incorporated guest [Read More…]