The Real Jesus Challenge
“I think it is historically virtually certain that Jesus existed.”—Bart D. Ehrman
See René Salm’s Reply to Bart Erhman on Nazareth and The Real Jesus Challenge Award. This is an excerpt from the American Freethought podcast with Bart Ehrman, hosted by John C. Snider. Professor Ehrman’s remarks have led to the institution of the Real Jesus Challenge (also known as the 2011 Historicist Prize) sponsored by the Mythicists’ Forum.
On the same page I found these interesting remarks on René Salm’s book on the archaeology of Nazareth — The Myth of Nazareth:
Prof. Thomas Thompson…
…René Salm’s The Myth of Nazareth has been waiting to be written for twenty years now and I am glad to see that someone has finally taken up the challenge.…—Thomas L. Thompson PhD, University of Copenhagen (Emeritus). Author, The Mythic Past: Biblical Archaeology and the Myth of Israel; The Messiah Myth: The Near Eastern Roots of Jesus and David, etc.
Robert M. Price…
…René Salm has shown that we have an utter void of archaeological vestiges of the Galilean home town of Jesus. At least there was no such town in the early part of the first century… Salm examines every bit of known evidence from the Nazareth Plateau. What a disparity between his results (none of them methodologically dubious, none controversial except in result) and the blithe generalizations of certain well-known Bible encyclopedias and Bible archaeology handbooks[!]…
Salm’s archaeological outcome does fit quite well with other literary considerations, namely the entire silence of both Josephus and the Mishnah when it comes to Nazareth…
One fears René Salm will prove as welcome amid the conventional “Nazareth” apologists as Jesus was among the Nazarene synagogue congregation in the gospels. But for others, it must now become apparent that we must bracket the gospel stories till we can independently reconstruct an account of Christian origins from the evidence on the ground—or the lack of it. New Testament minimalism: full speed ahead!—Robert M. Price, PhD, ThD. Author, The Pre-Nicene New Testament, Jesus is Dead, etc.
(For Dr. Price’s full review, please click here)
“I have been looking over your ‘Nazareth’ volume which you sent me and it is, of course, very thorough in your usual manner. But as I told you early on, you don’t have to convince me. I am a believer. I know there was no ‘Nazareth’… at least not where they were talking about it, from the first days I read Josephus who virtually catalogued all the important locations in Galilee and of course, no Nazareth!”—Prof. Robert Eisenman, PhD. Author, James the Brother of Jesus, etc.
H. P. Kuhnen…
(on the critical post-50 CE dating of the Nazareth tombs)
“I have studied your work relating to the archaeology of Nazareth and find your position very interesting. Concerning the [post-50 CE] dating of the known tombs, you are certainly correct.”—Prof. Hans-Peter Kuhnen, PhD. Author, Pälastina in Griechisch-Römischer Zeit, the world’s foremost authority on Roman tombs in the Galilee.
YouTube video (11 min.)
James Randi, Atheist, former magician, and archapostle of skepticism, vigorously supports the growing case against “Christian archaeology,” as this video shows. “The amazing Randi” highlights my book and states, among other things: “The facts are that no demonstrable evidence dating either to the time of Jesus or to earlier Hellenistic times has been found at Nazareth. It is a late Roman-Byzantine village, not a mythical settlement at the turn of the era. As author Salm says: that question has already been answered, and answered convincingly… Of course, the religious faction has reacted furiously to the book.”
Page updated: August 14, 2010
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