Daily Archives: 2010-07-31 20:38:50 UTC

“According to the flesh” — Doherty’s mythicist argument

Jesus Christ
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But it’s not that Earl advocates lunacy in a manner devoid of learning. He advocates a position that is well argued based on the evidence and even shows substantial knowledge of Greek. But it cannot be true, you say. Why not? Because it simply can’t be and we shouldn’t listen to what can’t be true. No. Not so quick.

[From Crosstalk message 5438 by Professor of Religious Studies, Stevan Davies of Misericordia University, author of Jesus the Healer and The Gospel of Thomas Annotated and Explained (see homepage) ]

It is easy to come across strong, even hostile, responses to some of Earl Doherty’s arguments for Jesus mythicism, though it seems few have actually read them. One of Doherty’s arguments in particular that has met with considerable scorn is his claim that the NT phrase translated “according to the flesh” does not necessarily mean that Jesus was thought have lived a human life on earth.

I add nothing new in this post, or nothing particularly new. This post is only intended to provide another platform for an opportunity to some facts about Doherty’s arguments to be made known. As I have discussed elsewhere, there are some areas where I find myself at odds with Doherty, and my views on the origins of Christianity are always tentative. But that does not prevent me from acknowledging that Doherty often has much stronger arguments than some of his critics (who often have not even read him) would have others believe.

The passage most often cited in connection with Jesus being “according to the flesh” is Romans 1:1-4 read more »