Is Richard Carrier’s Talk about Acts History?

Is Richard Carrier’s Talk about Acts History? March 20, 2014

I found this comment left on a recent posthere on my blog entertaining. It approaches Carrier’s own talk the way Carrier’s talk approaches Acts:

Carrier’s presentation of Acts is a fake history.

* Lacks key markers of being a real history (Does not reference the primary sources precisely, does not explain his methodology. He reveals his name, but so does Dan Brown so that says nothing. Does mention some qualifications on occasion.)

* Has all the markers of being a fictional novel (The lecture sounds like one of those ridiculously long, dreary monologues from poor novels and other pulp fiction. Contains lots of hyperbole reminiscent of biblical stories.)

* Lies about the historical facts / makes key mistakes (Paul gets resurrected? Not in Acts 14. Jesus flew into outer space? What moon rock fell on ya?)

* Narratives are historically implausible (“Gerazim” becoming “Galileans”, all references to Jesus in Tacitus and Josephus being completely interpolated.)

* Invents stories according to literary needs (See Paul’s resurrection or Mythicists in 2 Peter.)

* Copies other fake stories (even his own) (He copies John the Baptist, Jesus’ resurrection and the word eutheia. No evidence of copying his own stories, though the presentation is full of references to them.)

Something with this level of fancy may be called historical fiction, but it is seriously down-market stuff!



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