Lecture on the Infancy Stories in Matthew and Luke

I apologize that the very start of the recording was cut off. Not much was lost, but it makes the beginning a bit abrupt. But with the title provided, hopefully those few introductory words are not really necessary. [Read more…]

The Jesus Blog

Chris Keith and Anthony Le Donne have created a blog, which focuses not only on the upcoming conference about the criteria of authenticity, but more generally on their scholarly research about the historical figure of Jesus. It is called The Jesus Blog.   [Read more…]

Restoring Jesus

I’ve felt like there was some analogy or parable to be made from the recent case of a parishioner trying to do an amateur restoration of a famous painting, with this result: Perhaps the best or at least the most relevant analogy for the sorts of subjects that I deal with is this: The figure [Read More…]

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…]