Richard Carrier, Jesus, and Heracles

I was struck by a statement Richard Carrier made on his blog, and I wonder whether it is not telling of something fundamentally amiss in his approach to the matter of the historical Jesus. Carrier mentions a talk which he will be giving, in which he will ask “what it might mean to study Jesus [Read More…]

The Historicity of Jesus around the Blogosphere

Here are some mentions of the issue of Jesus’ historicity and related topics from around the blogosphere: Hector Avalos points out that the evidence for Alexander the Great is (not surprisingly to anyone who’s thought about it) more substantial than the evidence for Jesus. In the process, he discusses a number of aspects of how [Read More…]

Like Shooting Feet in a Barrel

I sometimes wonder whether the key promoters of young-earth creationism are atheists trying to make Christians look foolish, and the key promoters of Jesus-mythicism are Christians trying to make atheists look foolish. If not, then there are a lot of people happy to shoot themselves and their stance in the foot. Examples abound… [Read more…]

Mythicism: A Concise Summary

After I mentioned Paul Regnier’s draft on my blog, Jim West complained that he had hoped the post would offer my own definition of mythicism. Since I plan to contribute to the Wiki too, I thought I should offer my own summary. And so I began writing this post. But then a commenter named Ian [Read More…]

What Is Mythicism? TalkHistoricity Wiki Draft

Paul Regnier shared on his blog that he has written an introductory statement for the TalkHistoricity Wiki, and asks for feedback on it. Please do click through, give it a read, and offer feedback and suggestions! [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…]

Alincolnism

Scott Bailey drew my attention to a wonderful parody page on Facebook, taking a mythicist approach to Abraham Lincoln. Here’s one example of what you’ll find there: I also like the parody book cover,¬†Lincoln is Not Great: How Belief in Abraham Lincoln Poisons Everything. ¬† [Read more…]

Dawkins vs. Denialism

Michael Bird shared this Mitchell and Webb video about an imagined conversation between Richard Dawkins and his publisher. It actually gets at a really good point, which connects with an issue I often blog about, namely the embracing of Jesus-mythicism and other such fringe ideas among atheists. There is something enjoyable in denying what others [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…]

Joseph Hoffmann on Mythicism, Skepticism, and Historical Reasoning

Joseph Hoffmann posted on whether “anything goes” in mythicism, providing a wonderful discussion of the appropriate and inappropriate sorts of “skepticism” and illustrating how historians reason about the evidence regarding Jesus. Around a lengthy treatment of Hegelianism, he writes things like this: To say that Jesus is a plausible figure is thus merely to say [Read More…]