An Odd Diatribe from Thomas L. Thompson

An Odd Diatribe from Thomas L. Thompson July 6, 2012

In the latest issue of The Bible and Interpretation, Thomas L. Thompson offers a very odd rebuke to Bart Ehrman. Thompson mentions things like Philo's love of allegory and Qoheleth's assertion of our lack of novelty, as though these somehow will allow one to open the door to any and all interpretations of texts, including those proposed by mythicists, although Thompson seems to be trying to both defend mythicism and distance himself from it.

He points out, as he does in his book, that Jesus in the Gospels is depicted using motifs and echoes from literature about earlier royal figures. It is hard to imagine that anyone could make a claim to kingship in a Jewish context without doing so. And so it is not clear why anyone thinks that the points in Thompson's book have any bearing on the historicity of Jesus.

I will be very surprised if anyone who is not already a mythicist finds the piece to offer any sort of positive contribution to scholarly discussion. Read it and judge for yourself.

Also relevant to mythicism, the members of the newly founded “Jesus Process” have been announced.




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