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…]

Does Making Charts Help Mythicism?

I laughed out loud when reading a recent post by Neil Godfrey. Most of it was neither laughable nor surprising. He discusses how we know people in the ancient world existed, with his usual shtick depicting historical Jesus scholars as confused bumblers. Nothing surprising, or interesting, except perhaps for his acknowledgment that historians in most fields do not [Read More…]

Thomas Brodie Not Fired

After the sensational headline from last week, it seemed to some that the Dominican Biblical Institute had required Thomas Brodie to resign because of a book he wrote in which he claims that Jesus never existed: Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus: Memoir of a Discovery. A new article in The Limerick Leader challenges [Read More…]

The “But Keith and Le Donne are Christians” Argument Against Mythicism

Mythicists can try one’s patience, but if you hang in there, they will consistently reward your patience with laugh-out-loud comedy. An example from today: Commenter BretonGarcia posted several comments on a recent post of mine, asserting that Christians are so biased that their results and even their views about methods are untrustworthy. Instead, he suggested, [Read More…]

Religious Studies and Christian Agendas

In a blog post on the Religious Studies Project website, Raphael Lataster, a postgraduate student at the University of Sydney, has suggested that there is a Christian agenda behind even the supposedly secular study of religion. And he makes that claim because of his own experience of wanting to research mythicism at university. From what [Read More…]

Sandy Hook and Jesus Mythicisms

Most of us have watched in horror and dismay as a small handful of people have spun conspiracy theories around the tragic shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Andii Bowsher has noted the connection with another sort of denialism, that which one encounters in Biblical studies. Andii quotes an article from The Guardian which [Read More…]

Wikis, an Index of Mythicist Claims, and the Positive Case for a Historical Jesus

Those who’ve begun tinkering at the wiki I set up on Wikia already disagree on whether the best use of time and space is to address mythicist claims or to present the positive case for there having been a historical Jesus on its own terms. I don’t see the two as mutually exclusive. But since [Read More…]

Kinds of Mythicism

Ian has posted on his blog a range of different views which might be – or be mistaken for – forms of “mythicism.” Obviously most historians find there to be myth in the Gospels, and so if finding myth to be present were all it took for one to be a mythicist, then everyone but [Read More…]