Finally, There Will Be a Peer-Reviewed Case for Mythicism

Finally, There Will Be a Peer-Reviewed Case for Mythicism July 18, 2013

I’ve long described Richard Carrier as the last, best hope for mythicism. While other mythicists have been content to self-publish shoddy pseudoscholarship online or elsewhere, Carrier has been a voice of sanity, recognizing that a scholarly consensus is not something to be treated lightly, and that, if there is to be a serious case for mythicism, it needs to be made by trained scholars approaching the matter in the appropriate scholarly manner.

His book provisionally titled On the Historicity of Jesus has passed peer review and so can be expected in print within the next half a year or so. As Carrier puts it in his blog post:

The good news is that I believe this will be the first comprehensive pro-Jesus myth book ever published by a respected academic press and under formal peer review. That lends considerable weight to the work and will gain it significant academic attention in the field. Indeed, apart from Brodie’s brief confessional treatise supportive of myth (but not comprehensively arguing for it), which was also published by Sheffield-Phoenix (Beyond the Quest for the Historical Jesus, released last year–see my review: Brodie on Jesus), I think this will be the first pro-Jesus myth book of any kind published by a university press in the last fifty years.

Just so there is no misunderstanding, having an academic book of this sort published does not prove that one is right. It means that one is approaching a question in a rigorous scholarly manner. And to have a mythicist do that is indeed a big deal. Those of us interested in this question will undoubtedly be delighted to finally have a serious academic work to serve as a conversation partner on the topic.


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