Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth

Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth May 3, 2013

Tom Verenna drew a new book to my attention, Bart Ehrman and the Quest of the Historical Jesus of Nazareth. He has now written a very negative review of the volume.

Although Richard Carrier is a contributor to the volume, and says that Tom’s review is too scathing, Carrier’s own review is not much less so. What he writes about the contributions to the volume by people like Rene Salm and Earl Doherty is absolutely priceless!

On the subject of mythicism, see also part two of the review of Carrier’s book on the blog Diglotting.

Of related interest, Kris Komarnitsky has an article in The Bible and Interpretation which tackles Sherwin-White’s “two-generation rule” regarding the development of myth. The fact that Plato was identified as having a divine parent within his own lifetime is more than enough to demonstrate that figures can be mythologized quickly and not just after a long period of time. But as Komarnitsky points out, Sherwin-White’s rule has been misconstrued, as it was about the erasure of history and not the appearance of mythologizing elements. Yet even on this point there is counter-evidence to Sherwin-White’s proposal, as well as reason to think that the case of Jesus of Nazareth may not have had the same constraints present to counterbalance the tendency towards mythologization, which one finds present in other instances. Definitely worth a read by those interested in ancient history in general, and the historical figure of Jesus in particular!

Also of related interest, a Portuguese open access journal, Revista Jesus Histórico e sua Recepção, was mentioned on AWOL.


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