Category Archives: Uncategorized


2016-05-26

Golden Dawn party attempts to shut down Mythicism Conference

by Neil Godfrey

Golden Dawn party attempts to shut down Mythicism Conference

A translation of part of the letter by Golden Dawn to the Mayor of Athens:

The Greek Constitution stated that the Orthodox Christian Faith is the dominant religion of our homeland. How can the ministry protect protect the holies of 2000 years of our homeland, if it does not intervene and allows the conference to take place, which is potentially heretical and aims to destroy the faith of Greeks?


2016-05-25

A new review of Einhorn’s Shift In Time

by Neil Godfrey

Herman Detering has begun a series of posts reviewing Lena Einhorn’s work at Mythicist Papers.

 

 


2016-05-24

ISIS on the downhill roll, but…

by Neil Godfrey

ISIS just delivered its ‘weakest message’ ever by Pamela Engel (Business Insider Australia, h/t IntelWire)

Indeed, we do not wage jihad to defend a land, nor to liberate it, or to control it. . . . 

We do not fight for authority or transient, shabby positions, nor for the rubble of a lowly, vanishing world. … If we were able to avert a single fighter from fighting us, we would do so, saving ourselves the trouble. However, our Quran requires us to fight the entire world, without exception. . . . 

Do you, oh America, consider defeat to be the loss of a city or the loss of land? Were we defeated when we lost the cities in Iraq and were in the desert without any city or land? And would we be defeated and you be victorious if you were to take Mosul or Sirte or Raqqah or even take all the cities and we were to return to our initial condition? Certainly not!

ISIS is on the ropes. They once propagated a message and aura of invincibility and recruits came to them from around the world. That’s all in reverse now.

Unfortunately other news has pointed to Al Qaeda and its “partner” Al-Nusra re-emerging in Syria (Al Qaeda About to Establish Emirate in Northern Syria and Al Qaeda Blessing for Syrian Branch to Form Own Islamic State). I have almost completed Vanguard of the Imam: Religion, Politics, and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards by Afshon Ostovar. Ostovar has answered a question I had about the exact nature of Iran’s involvement in Syria. Just as an Islamist militia has been built throughout Iran to violently cower dissidents and to be prepared to wage asymmetric warfare against a future invasion, so Iranian trainders have been training Syrians by the thousands to replicate the same type of organized gangs in Syria. Syria is the most depressing news.

 


Fear and desperation from a theologian?

by Neil Godfrey

Christianity may teach us to be honest but as long as dishonesty serves the interests of faith I’m sure God forgives.

A certain Butler University Professor (his blog makes it clear he writes in his capacity as a Butler academic) who is well known for his strident dogmatism on the question of the historicity of Jesus has been at it again.

He writes in response to a “meme” that he realizes is false or flat wrong in every way except one: it scorns mythicism!

First falsehood:

the attempt to argue that because someone is only mentioned in the New Testament, therefore they are not historical, simply does not work.

Of course he cites no instance of anyone arguing this way. No publication putting in a word for the mythicist case that I know of has ever suggested that “because someone is only mentioned in the New Testament, therefore they are not historical”.

But he does say something that is obviously true. I think we can all agree with the following:

Mythicist dogmatists and Christian fundamentalists are not at polar opposite ends of the spectrum, except on the trite matter of what they insist they know. Their approach is an all-or-nothing one that are mirror images of one another, two sides of the same coin.

There certainly are “mythicist dogmatists” who are as, well, dogmatic, as any Christian fundamentalist.

Then he writes something most professional:

Historians, on the other hand, are supposed to deal in a nuanced manner with evidence, and to recognize that each piece of evidence must be assessed separately and on its own terms.

But then he slips off the rails. Two true statements bracketed by two false ones. A nice chiastic structure.

And so the heart of the matter is this: mythicism – the complete dismissal of the historicity not just of accounts but of the individual portrayed in them – is as illogical and indefensible as claims of Biblical inerrancy – the complete acceptance of the historicity of everything in the Bible because the existence of individuals mentioned in it has been confirmed.

Notice where he slipped? At first he made the obvious statement that a “mythicist dogmatist” is as bad as a “Christian fundamentalist”, but here he speaks of “mythicism” generically. Mythicism itself is as bad as Christian fundamentalism. I would have thought “mythicism” would stand in this context as a counter to “Christianity”: just as Christianity has its fundamentalists so does mythicism have its dogmatists. Both stand outside the realm of serious discussion.

And then he underscores the point:

Neither mythicism nor Christian fundamentalism is engaged in the practice of history.

Not, “neither mythist dogmatism nor Christian fundamentalism”, nor, of course, “Neither mythicism nor Christianity….”

Then we meet the professional indignation:

And when historians and scholars object to this misuse of their work, mythicists and inerrantists typically respond in the same way: by insisting that the academy is in fact conspiring to cover up the truth or infested with an ideology that blinds us to the truth.

Interesting that he speaks of “historians and scholars”. Is he trying to impress readers once again that theologians like himself really are true historians and scholars? Certainly a good number of theologians do call themselves historians and in one sense they are, but even in their own ranks we find criticisms that their approach to history is quite different from the way other historians work. (Raphael Lataster demonstrated that most emphatically in his book. Recall a paper of his discussing historical Jesus methodology that was rejected by a scholarly Biblical publisher was accepted by a Historical conference.) And of course our Butler Professor cannot be ignorant of the fact that it is theologians themselves, his own peers, who regularly complain about the ideology that blinds them as a whole to seriously radical ideas.

Recall again his point:

Historians, on the other hand, are supposed to deal in a nuanced manner with evidence, and to recognize that each piece of evidence must be assessed separately and on its own terms.

Do I need to quote again here the many instances of nuance and tentativeness and scholarly humility in the way scholarly mythicists (scholarly referring to any mythicist who argues in a scholarly manner — leaving aside the dogmatists) very often present their arguments and set them beside a list the many abusive and dogmatic denunciations of theologian “historians and scholars” like the Butler Professor himself when arguing for the historicity of Jesus?

 

 


2016-05-14

Our Stone Age Mulder Brains

by Neil Godfrey
We're more Mulder than Scully

We’re more Mulder than Scully

Alternet has published an interview with the author of a book I have recently twice posted about:

How Our Stone-Age Brains Get in the Way of Smart Politics

My related posts:

A few excerpts from the interview . . . . First, on evolutionary psychology itself:

Robin Lindley: . . . . What did you learn from neuroscientists and others about why our brain tends to work this way?

Rick Shenkman: Whatever you make of Evolutionary Psychology, and many people hold it in dim regard, its main assumption seems very compelling to me and that is that our brain evolved to address the problems we faced during the Pleistocene, a two and a half million long period. See a leopard in the jungle and you jump. That’s your automatic brain at work. Your instincts. You don’t have to think about jumping, you just do. We jump out of the way because people who jumped when danger approached were more likely to survive and pass along their genes than those who didn’t.

A scientific consensus now exists that the brain works by using either System 1 or 2, as Daniel Kahneman explains in his book, Thinking Fast and Slow. System 1 is automatic thinking, System 2 is reflective. I found this fascinating. It helped explain how we respond to politics. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that we respond to politics most of the time using System 1. This insight wasn’t my own. I first encountered it watching a video lecture by the Cornell social scientist David Pizarro. It made a deep impression. Fortunately, I came across it early on in my research.

We are more Mulder than Scully . . . despite the strongest wishes of us sceptics that it be otherwise.

Robin Lindley: Our trust in leaders is often misplaced. You’re an expert in presidential history and you recount numerous examples of when presidents lied but there was little public reaction, such as when Grover “Jumbo” Cleveland failed to disclose he had cancer and Lyndon Johnson lied about the Gulf of Tonkin incident and Richard Nixon lied about Watergate. The public response was muted and you attribute that response to an innate credulity. How do you explain that?

Rick Shenkman: Human beings are basically believers as Harvard’s Daniel Gilbert has demonstrated. To borrow a line from another social psychologist, we’re more like Mulder than Sculley from the “X Files.” The reason is fairly straightforward. We couldn’t accomplish much if we went around skeptical of everything. Once we decide on a matter we are inclined to consider it settled unless a good reason comes along to make us question it. That gives our brain a chance to focus on threats and opportunities around us. Experiments with sea slugs that I cite in the book show this is a feature of the animal brain. It has to do with our habituation to information. Once we become accustomed to something we stop thinking about it. We grow bored by it. That’s our brain helping us keep focus on what’s new. It’s a survival instinct and it shows up, as I say, even in snails, as the scientist Eric Kandel proved half a century ago.

Another factor comes into play. We want to believe in our leaders. So it takes us quite a bit of time to become convinced that they aren’t all they’re cracked up to be. And once we cast a vote in favor of a leader we tend to come to their defense when attacked. That’s our partisan brain at work. We like being consistent. So if we decided that someone is a good leader we tend to dismiss any evidence to the contrary. Our brain literally shuts off the flow of electricity to neurons telling us something we don’t want to hear that might make us doubt our beliefs.

There are other factors, to be sure. I spend several chapters addressing these.

read more »


2016-05-09

Once more on System 1 and System 2 thinking

by Neil Godfrey

thinkingfastslowWhen I wrote Do You Understand What You Argue Against I had only just finished reading Richard Shenkman’s Political Animals: How Our Stone Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics and was sharing some reflections arising out of that book. In particular, I had been thinking about how Shenkman’s overview of recent findings in psychology and related studies helped us understand why so often we find people with very strong opinions about certain things (evolution, mythicism, Zionism, refugees, Muslims, terrorists, politicians, national history, poverty . . . ) even though they are incapable of explaining the viewpoint about those things that they oppose. I opened with something written by PZ Myers:

I’ve talked to creationists one-on-one about this before, and they can’t tell me what I’m thinking at all accurately — it’s usually some nonsense about hating God or loving Satan, and it’s not at all true. But at the same time, I’m able to explain to them why they’re promoting creationism in a way they can agree with.

I discussed this problem in the context of System 1 and System 2 types of thinking. It didn’t take very many comments on that post to send me looking for the main source for that model of System 1 and 2 thinking raised by Shenkman. Shenkman’s discussion was only second hand information. So I have since started reading the primary source: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (2011). When I first heard of that book I impulsively dismissed it (System 1 reaction) because I thought the title and someone’s comment about it meant it was just another pop psychology book. I have since learned I could not have been more wrong. Daniel Kahneman is not a pop psychologist. See The Guardian’s article Daniel Kahneman changed the way we think about thinking. But what do other thinkers think of him?

Excuse me if I copy and paste some paragraphs from the conclusion of Kahneman’s book. Work pressures and bouts of illness have kept me from posting anything more demanding at this stage. There will be some slight shift of understanding of the nature of System 2 thinking in what follows. (Always check the primary sources before repeating what you think you understand from a secondary source!) Bolding is my own.  read more »


2016-05-04

Do You Understand What You Argue Against?

by Neil Godfrey

I’ve talked to creationists one-on-one about this before, and they can’t tell me what I’m thinking at all accurately — it’s usually some nonsense about hating God or loving Satan, and it’s not at all true. But at the same time, I’m able to explain to them why they’re promoting creationism in a way they can agree with. — PZ Myers

politicalanimalsPZ’s quandary reminds me of my own attempts to discuss political topics (terrorism, Islam, Israel and Palestine) and “religious” ones (methods used by Christian origins scholars, mythicism) with both academics and lay folk. Yesterday I read Jerry Coyne’s complete failure to explain the meaning of Zionism. Coyne has very strong views about Israel but he does not know what Zionism is or why some people oppose it. I have found the same ignorance when it comes to Islamist terrorism and Islam itself in a number of discussions here on this blog. Ironically that ignorance sometimes expresses itself in response to posts where I have cited or directly quoted serious research into the questions. Some people appear to ignore the explanations of the ideas they are supposedly responding to.

I once spent many, many exchanges with a Butler university then associate professor comparing the evidence for Socrates and Jesus. I could not understand why he appeared to keep repeating arguments that I thought I had so clearly demonstrated were false so I asked him to tell me what he understood my argument to be. It took quite a while but eventually he did respond and he stymied me by responding with a nonsensical idea that completely missed my point. I can only assume he was sincere and he really was not registering what I was writing in my exchanges with him. We have seen the same travesty with his inability to explain the most fundamental arguments of Earl Doherty and Richard Carrier even after supposedly reading sections of their books. But that’s no surprise because we saw the same distortions in Ehrman’s and Casey’s claims to have read and responded to mythicist arguments.

They — people like Coyne and McGrath — are not really engaging with the arguments of their opponents. They really do not know what their opponents are arguing.

But then I have to confess that I sometimes have rushed to conclusions about political and religious claims and other situations on some sort of instinct, or certainly with knee-jerk reactions. I do know that there was a time when I was like PZ Myer’s creationists. I was confident that I knew the fallacies at the heart of evolution and the thinking of scientists who wrote about it. And I know I have a tendency to form instant judgments when I listen to certain politicians speak.

So it was with interest that I read Rick Shenkman’s discussion of two types of thinking in Political Animals: How Our Stone Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics.

[E]volution teaches us to think quickly. In the life-and-death setting common in the world of hunter-gatherers, speed was of the essence in sizing up both people and situations. We couldn’t let anything get in the way of our making up our minds, not even an absence of facts. In circumstances where we lacked facts— a common occurrence in the real world— we found other bases upon which to make a decision. The point was to act. Dillydallying could kill you.

The legacy of this evolutionary inheritance is that today we leap to make decisions even when we don’t need to. Instead of waiting for facts we rush to judgment. Though in the modern world we are seldom called on to render a lightning-fast, life-or-death judgment involving a politician, that’s what we do. We can’t help ourselves. We are hardwired to think fast rather than to reflect at length.

Kahneman

(From Wikipedia)

Fast thinking (also known as System 1), as the pioneering psychologist Daniel Kahneman points out, is easy. It doesn’t require us to dwell. It really doesn’t require us to think at all, at least as most people define thinking. That’s because it mostly happens in the unconscious, where most of our brain functioning actually takes place. As psychologist Michael Gazzaniga informs us, “98 percent of what the brain does is outside of conscious awareness.” When Michael Jordan dunks a ball he doesn’t think through all the steps he needs to take to gain lift, angle his arms, and provide thrust. He performs these tasks automatically. If he suddenly tried to think about what he’s doing when dunking a ball he’d probably stumble. Reflection gets in the way of the performance of tasks that are usually left to the unconscious. Why is that? Reflection takes time. It’s slow thinking (System 2). Literally slow. Operations in the brain involving the unconscious are five times faster than those involving consciousness.

How do we arrive at a quick decision? We use shortcuts, what social scientists refer to as heuristics. Quick— which of these capital cities in Africa has the most people?

1. Libreville

2. Asmara

3. Cape Town

The answer is Cape Town. How do you know this? Because you have heard of Cape Town (pop. 3.74 million), and you probably haven’t heard of Libreville (pop. 797,000) or Asmara (pop. 649,000). Your brain concluded that since you haven’t heard of either city, chances are they aren’t very big. This is an example of the recognition heuristic. If we recognize something, our brain automatically assumes it must be because it’s important. Why do we vote for people whose names we recognize on the ballot even if we know nothing about them? It’s because we recognize their names. Our mere recognition of them must mean that they are known for something, and in the absence of a strong negative cue, we naturally believe it must be something positive. In fact, social scientists have discovered that familiarity seems to have the same effect on us as happiness. We get a charge in the reward center of our brain when we experience the familiar. And when do we become less analytical? When we are engaged in System 1 thinking.

Shenkman, Rick (2016-01-05). Political Animals: How Our Stone-Age Brain Gets in the Way of Smart Politics (pp. 53-54). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

My System 1 thinking is telling me that that is “so true”! But will that snap judgment stand up to the test of System 2 thought? read more »


2016-05-02

Common Reasons for Joining ISIS and Fighting ISIS

by Neil Godfrey

Do not comment on this post unless you are prepared to stay to engage with possible alternative views and defend your own ideas in civil discourse. Angry and fly-by-nighter comments may be deleted.

I recently read an interesting news item about a group of elite veteran volunteers fighting ISIS in Syria. It was a story by Stewart Bell in Canada’s online National PostA secretive unit of international veterans went on its first anti-ISIL mission last fall. Hours later, a Canadian was dead. The article reminded me of other stories about veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan who on their return find they sorely miss the close bonds formed in high adrenalin war situations. One of those stories was of Afghan veterans who join bikie gangs to revive the same depth of close relationships. The National Post article nailed it this way:

But adjusting to non-military life was a struggle. Adrenaline sports like skydiving and motorcycles couldn’t replace the thrill of Afghanistan. “You miss it,” he said. “You miss it so much.”

There’s another motivation drawing in the volunteers:

In a BBC News video he [the American leader of the volunteer force] said he had come to Syria in late 2014 after seeing photos of ISIL atrocities, in particular a 9-year-old boy nailed to a cross. “I need to fight ISIS,” he said. “If it takes someone’s life, even if it takes my life, so be it. This is a worthy cause.

It’s all very understandable.

It’s also a mirror of the reasons others from the West have gone to Syria to fight on the other side — for ISIS.

Abundant evidence demonstrates that many in the West become radicalised as a result of feeling disconnected from mainstream society. If military personnel returning from Afghanistan often find adjustment to normal life difficult, think how youth, especially a second generation of a Muslim community in a non-Muslim country, can all too often find themselves out of place. Such people are easy targets for idealistic groups that offer a new family relationship. Add to that the moral outrage over what they have seen of death, maiming, torture and destruction in the Middle East, or just Syria alone ….

These well understood mechanisms for the recruitment of radicalised volunteers have been discussed in my series based on FrictionHow Radicalization Happens to Them and Us and several other posts on terrorism.

The anti-ISIS volunteers arrived at their place through the mainstream national channels. The pro-ISIS volunteers through the back channels open to those disaffected by the national mainstream.

For other very human reasons some people have joined ISIS see Joining ISIS: It’s Not Always For Reasons You Might Assume. Now that post reminds me so much of my not so old posts comparing the motivations for joining religious cults with those for joining Islamist extremists.

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(The linked articles came to my attention via http://intelwire.egoplex.com/)


2016-04-27

Myth Conference 2016

by Neil Godfrey

May 22nd, 2016, at the City of Athens Cultural Centre

You may recall the book Jesus Mythicism: An Introduction by freelance journalist Minas Papageorgiou. The book was originally written for Greek readers and now there is a mythicist conference coming up soon in Greece. Some of the same names associated with the book also appear related to the Conference.

From the Conference website:

In November 2013 a group of Greek independent investigators decided to join their forces in the website mythikismos.gr, in an effort to present a fuller picture of the area of study called Mythicism. 

About two and a half years later, this area of investigation is becoming more and more popular in Greek society, attracting numerous scientists of various worldviews and beliefs. We have therefore decided to move one step further and organize, in collaboration with the Mythicist Milwaukee group, on May 22, 2016, in the city of Athens, the 1st Greek Mythicism Conference, with a free entrance to all.

The goal of this innovative conference is to feature the various manifestations of Mythicist concepts, as seen through the particular viewpoint of both Greek and foreign investigators, who do not necessarily embrace the same philosophical line of thought. The international character of the conference undoubtedly increases the value of this venture.

For the schedule: http://mythcon.gr/προγραμμαschedule/

And for the speakers: http://mythcon.gr/ομιλητεσ-2/

And for the translation: http://itools.com/tool/google-translate-web-page-translator

I like the way it goes beyond the historicity of Jesus question. It’s certainly eclectic. I hope some of the presentations will be available online afterwards. I’d personally like to see even more eclecticism in future years so methodological approaches comparable to those of Carrier (and non-secularists like Brodie) can gain a hearing.

 


2016-04-26

Interview

by Neil Godfrey

For the record I was interviewed by Phil Robinson for Nuskeptix. Tech problems mercifully (for me, not being in my comfort zone) cut the interview short and it may be completed at a future date. What I would like to do is expand on some of the questions in future posts. One point in particular was the question regarding the human form of Jesus in the gospels, in particular the first gospel, that of Mark. What I had in mind was that even in Jewish mystical writings (e.g. Ezekiel’s visions) we find the Glory of God depicted in the form of a man who gets up off his chariot and walks around Jerusalem; and then again we have other writings referencing an Ideal Heavenly Man, and a Son of Man figure in heaven — I would think that such a background would make it almost inevitable that at some point someone would imagine, especially in parable form, a celestial figure acting out a human-earthly career. So


2016-04-25

Once more on reactions to Brian Bethune’s Macleans article

by Neil Godfrey

Coincidentally with my own two posts Richard Carrier has been posting on two other reactions to the widening interest in questions about the historicity of Jesus. He takes the trouble to respond to James McGrath’s typically dishonest nonsense (this time against Raphael Lataster’s new book), and to respond point by point to John Tors’ reaction to Brian Bethune’s Macleans’ article.

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On Stanley Porter’s reaction: Biblical Scholars Reacting to Public Interest in Mythicism: Part 1

On Philip Jenkins’ reaction: Biblical Scholars Reacting . . . Part 2

 

 


2016-04-24

“Say My Name” — Anonymous Women in the Bible

by Tim Widowfield
First half of the 17th century

The Wedding at Cana, Simon de Vos (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

During my mother’s last few weeks, I read to her from the Bible. Picking around, I looked for the most comforting passages. As she slipped in and out of consciousness, I tried reading from the Sermon on the Mount, but it wasn’t helpful. In the end I read mostly from the Gospel according to John, especially where Jesus speaks directly about hope, life, light, and the resurrection.

“In my father’s house, there are many mansions.”

To me, John seems the most “Christian” of all the gospels. By that I mean, if I were a Christian and had to choose only one gospel to survive after an asteroid hit the Earth, I would probably pick John. Yet it has quite a bit missing when you compare it to the Synoptics.

For one thing, like Mark, there’s no nativity story. But we can live without that. It also lacks the parables and exorcisms that litter the landscape in the other three gospels. However, in return we get the so-called “signs,” and we gain the long discourses in which Jesus explains himself.

And we get these verses that I read to my mother, over and over again, as she lay dying:

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. (John 14:2-3, KJV)

You could still make a good case for Matthew. With it, we get a family tree and an exciting birth legend. We also get the name of Jesus’ mother, something John omitted. Yes, as odd as it sounds, John never got around to telling us Mary’s name. We know her only by her relationship to men.

Our Blessed Lady of Whoever

She appears to be a woman of some substance, since she commands the servants at the wedding in Cana to “do whatever he tells you.” But she has no identity outside her relationship to her son. Try to imagine Christianity with an anonymous mother of Christ. It’s no easy task. read more »


2016-04-09

The Free Will Question Once More . . .

by Neil Godfrey

There’s an interesting outline of a new experiment to assess processes involved in decision making at the General Religious Discussion section of the Biblical Criticism & History Forum: Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms… (The original article is at Do we have free will? Researchers test mechanisms involved in decision-making.)

I was beginning to think that I no longer have any idea if we have free will or not and after reading the ensuing discussion I felt I could firmly conclude that I really am undecided — though lately beginning to lean a little towards the “yes, we do have it” side of the fence. For now.

 

 


Part 2 of the case for the historicity of Jesus

by Neil Godfrey

Part 2 of Professor McGrath’s discussion on historicity of Jesus is in podcast form. Disappointing in that it is mostly a mocking of mythicism by setting up a series of seriously oversimplified claims and outright straw-men.  I was hoping for a more serious collation of arguments for historicity of Jesus. The strongest they came to that was by saying that “critical scholars” have done “tons of research” and have “concluded some things are more probable than others” on the basis of “the evidence”. Not much detail there. (As some of us are well aware, that research has by and large been into what the Jesus who is assumed to have existed may have said and did — not whether he existed or not.)

Points from part 2 of the Historicity of Jesus podcast follow. [I] = interviewer expresses the idea; [M] = McGrath’s thoughts. Mostly paraphrased, not always word for word.

[I] The crucifixion is a good indicator that the early Christians did not make up Jesus because the crucifixion was actually contrary to the message they were trying to spread about him! (I think the point here is that the Christians wanted to teach Jesus was the Davidic King Messiah and Crucifixion was an embarrassment to that claim so they were compelled to mention it because it was unavoidable because everyone knew about it being historically true.)

[M] Responding to “mythicist claim” that mythicist Jesus is not on the agenda because biblical scholarship is funded by churches, says no, not true, and cites his own university, Butler, as a secular university. McGrath teaches at a secular university so the implication is that there is no religious bias from his quarter. Moreover, what “historians” say about the HJ [=historical Jesus] is not liked by most religious (liberal and conservative Christian) people. Did not claim to be God; he was a rabbi, faith healer, followers thought he was messiah and he expected kingdom to come in his time but he was wrong — so Christians don’t like this Jesus.

Mocking denigration of mythicists skipped here.

[M] Jesus was believed to fit typologies in Jewish scriptures so these were used to depict Jesus — but not so with pagan dying and rising gods like Osiris.

[M] Docetists were not mythicists because they admitted there was a Jesus in history.

[M] Gospel of Matthew uses the Moses typology with the birth of Jesus and his final commission to disciples from the mountain. These sorts of infancy stories (supernatural) were common in ancient biographies. So these are not an indication that Jesus was myth. read more »