Checklist: Evaluating Claims about Jesus – Part 1

A comment by ‘Pulse’ on one of my recent posts about the resurrection, has sparked an idea: the need for a checklist of historical criteria for claims about Jesus.  One purpose for such a checklist is to enable others to think critically about claims about Jesus.  Another purpose would be to enable one (myself included) to think more systematically and objectively about such questions, to avoid ‘cherry picking’ the relevant evidence.Jesus scholars often discuss and use criteria of authe … [Read more...]

Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus: INDEX

PART 7 think the best way to make a case for my skeptical view of the resurrection, is to develop a dilemma, following the lead of the great Enlightenment skeptic David Hume.The main question at issue is: Did God raise Jesus from the dead? But at the crux of my skeptical argument will be the following claim:(JAW) Jesus of Nazareth was alive and walking around unassisted on the first … [Read more...]

New Chick Tracts

Jack Chick celebrates hell, and shows that his version of the Christian God is a seriously nasty character. The sheer obnoxiousness of the divine moral order as envisioned by Chick may even call into question atheistic attempts to use evil to argue against the existence of an omnibenevolent God. If someone can endorse this sort of hell, and such an arbitrary way of consigning people to hell, as central to the schemes of an omnibenevolent God, they shouldn't have too much difficulty shrugging … [Read more...]

Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus – Part 22

In Joseph "Rick" Reinckens's webpage A Lawyer Examines the Swoon Theory we get a short snippet from Origen: In his Commentary on Matthew, Origen, one of the early Church Fathers, says the lance thrust to Jesus was administered "according to Roman custom, below the armpit."  (See Humber, Thomas.  The Sacred Shroud. New York, Pocket Books, 1977)Neither Reinckens nor Humber give us details about where this comment is to be found in Origen's Commentary on … [Read more...]

Liberal pseudoscience

You have to wonder about American liberals, as represented by the Democratic party. Their foreign policy difference from Republicans is that they claim to be even better at slaughtering Muslims and erasing civil liberties. Their economic difference is that their version of neoliberalism tilts more toward certain Wall Street factions and Silicon Valley, rather than other Wall Street factions and extractive industries.I will admit, however, that liberals in power have been more reluctant to attack … [Read more...]

Demographics on our side?

These days I often run into the notion that in the US, demographics is on the side of nonbelief. The excessive politicization of the Religious Right has turned off the poor, minorities, and the young. The new generation of "millennials" or whatever is less identified with organized religion. So if we just ride out this latest, last-gasp wave of theocratic politics such as attacks on contraception, time is on our side.I'm dubious. For a long time now, I have also regularly run into a version of … [Read more...]

Argument Against the Resurrection of Jesus – Part 21

Another bit of historical information allegedly supporting the spear-wound-of-Jesus story in Chapter 19 of the Fourth Gospel is a quote from Origen.  I think I originally came across this information five years ago from a website called A Lawyer Examines The Swoon Theory.  The website is still available: Origen quote is still on the above web page:Roman custom required stabbing under Jesus' circumstances.  It wasn't a … [Read more...]

Assessing evidence for the existence of Jesus

Here is an argument that I present and examine in my paper "Evidence, Miracles and The Existence of Jesus", published in Faith and Philosophy, April 2011. Volume 28, Issue 2. Pages 129-151). The defence of premises P1 and P2 is in the paper, which can be viewed here.William Lane Craig's response is here. In the paper, I make a case for being sceptical about the existence of Jesus (though I am no less scepticial about the mythicist position). The paper challenges the consensus among Biblical … [Read more...]