The Case of the Historical Jesus

I’ve appeared on the online show Talk Gnosis before, speaking about the Mandaeans. In this week’s episode, they talked with me about the historical figure of Jesus and mythicism. I hope you enjoy watching it as much as I enjoyed recording it! [Read more…]

Can Mythicism Kill Your Scholarly Career?

Can mythicism kill an academic career? Making a reasoned case as a scholar for that viewpoint won’t. But that’s not what I’m talking about here. I’m asking about the way the behavior – the insults and illogic that characterizes online mythicism – might train one to mistake the modes of self-expression that are passable on [Read More…]

Holy Week History

I spent quite a while simply believing the Gospels. And I have spent quite a while being as skeptical of them as I think is reasonable. Now I am at the point where I recognize the pitfalls at either extreme, and seek to be open to what the evidence suggests – and what the evidence [Read More…]

Venturing Outside One’s Area of Expertise

Everyone is talking about Neil de Grasse Tyson’s problematic tweets – see the recent blog posts by Jerry Coyne, Hemant Mehta, and P. Z. Myers. But I think the most important post on the topic is that by Jonathan Bernier. He points out that, once someone moves outside of their field of expertise, no matter how [Read More…]

Without Using the Bible

Hemant Mehta shared this cartoon from The Atheist Pig: On the one hand, if the point of the cartoon is that one cannot prove a historical point simply by appealing to the Bible as authoritative scripture, then of course that is true. But appealing to Paul’s letters, or other early Christian writings, which happen to have ended up [Read More…]

Mythicism: As Unlikely on Earth as it is in Heaven

I recently received a question in a comment on an older post about mythicism, and thought I would share my answer in a post, since I doubt that many people are still following the post in question, which is from three years ago. Mythicists often emphasize that Paul never explicitly says that Jesus was crucified [Read More…]

Jesus, Sherlock Holmes, and Hercules

Internet apologists for mythicism are always ready to point to Sherlock Holmes and Batman and say “look, here we have stories, so these prove the existence of fictional detectives and comic book heroes, don’t they?” Can they not see that this is absolute silliness, that one could respond with the same trite comeback about anyone [Read More…]

The Continuing Adventures of Space Jesus

Richard Carrier is clearly scraping the bottom of the apologetics barrel once again. In his most recent post, he starts off by insisting that I am badly wrong – for making a point that he himself agrees with, but which I made in words that he decides to interpret in an unnecessarily narrow and frankly [Read More…]

Mythicist Defenders of Christian Orthodoxy

It never ceases to amaze me, when I talk to Jesus mythicists online, how eagerly they embrace and defend Christian orthodoxy. They do not accept that Christian orthodoxy is true, of course. But they accept that it gets the facts right – an odd stance for such so-called skeptics to accept uncritically, never mind do battle about. But they [Read More…]

The Real Difference Between Creationism and Mythicism

Creationists can find 3,000 academics who will sign a statement against evolution. That’s not 3,000 academics in relevant fields, just 3,000 academics, including retired ones. I’ve yet to see mythicism show any sign of even coming close to that. And yet supposedly we are to believe that creationism’s 3,000 are irrelevant, but the 10 or so mythicist [Read More…]