First impressions of an “independent historian’s” account of Jesus

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by Neil Godfrey

In several comments on this blog doctoral student Stephanie Louise Fisher alerted me and others to future publications by the University of Nottingham’s Emeritus of New Testament Languages and Literature Professor, Maurice Casey.

My copy of “Jesus of Nazareth: an Independent Historian’s Account of His Life and Teaching” by Maurice Casey has now arrived. I will post on specific points made in this book, but one point I can address now as a general introduction is what appears to be the meaning of Casey’s term “independent historian”.

From the first two chapters and footnote-directed readings to later pages, my first impressions are that an “independent” historian is one who does not need to explain his or her own viewpoint, but merely needs to pronounce that he or she is not an apologist for any particular Christian religious agenda, nor a Moslem, nor a Jew, nor an atheist. Casey also has words to say about the “academic independence” of British universities, pointing out to his American peers that they hire without regard to religious or racial affiliation. Further, Casey singles out names who are known to be “atheist”, and regularly repeats the “atheist” epithet when he mentions them, and associates these names as “atheists” with “Christ-myth” views. Continue reading “First impressions of an “independent historian’s” account of Jesus”