Daily Archives: 2011-05-14 22:39:42 GMT+0000

Open Letter to James McGrath from Peter Kirby

J’accuse...!, Émile Zola's open letter to the ...
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I encourage everyone interested in James McGrath’s smear campaign against Earl Doherty with his “reviews” of his book to read Peter Kirby’s open letter to McGrath.

Go to Open Letter to James McGrath.

Peter has also indicated on McGrath’s blog that he has posted this open letter, as well as sending him a copy by email.

I am pleased to read Peter’s response. The intellectual dishonesty and betrayal of all that a public intellectual should stand for was so appalling in his recent post supposedly addressing Doherty’s chapter 5 that I needed to avoid attempting to respond this evening just to avoid feeling ill. In his latest “review” he even “justifies” not giving a fair account of what Doherty himself writes. It is clear his sole intention is to stop people reading Doherty’s book and to stifle any serious discussion about mythicism.

For the record, I copy below excerpts from earlier posts of mine offering views by biblical scholars about Doherty’s work that are quite different from McGrath’s. Does McGrath compare Professor Stevan Davies or Hector Avalos — or Professor Thomas L. Thompson for that matter — to “creationists”? read more »

John the Baptist Foreshadowed in Homer’s Odyssey?


Another interesting observation in Bruce Louden‘s Homer’s Odyssey and the Near East is his drawing a possible link between John the Baptist and Halitherses in the Odyssey. Louden explains that Halitherses is an aged prophet, close to the hero Odysseus, who warns the nobles in Odysseus’ absence to stop their evil plans or they will suffer the judgment of Odysseus upon his return.

That was enough to send me back to reading the Odyssey and I think the following passage that depicts Halitherses’  “preaching” worth quoting in full. I conclude with another in which Louden shows us that the message of the return of the king to his kingdom in the Odyssey is in a sense called “good news”, a word very similar to “gospel”. read more »

Jesus: a synthesis of five traditional mythical figures in ancient myths

Bruce Louden is Professor in the Languages and Linguistics Department at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has written several works on Homeric literature and I am sharing here a small extract from his latest, Homer’s Odyssey and the Near East. Louden is a classicist, and what he writes here is similar to other recent studies that are beginning to notice how similar the gospels are to other classical and Near Eastern litearture. Many know of Dennis MacDonald’s work comparing Mark’s gospel to the Homeric epics, but there are several others along the same theme, including Thomas L. Thompsons’ The Messiah Myth, and Derek Murphy’s Jesus Potter Harry Christ.

The following extract is singled out because it is an encapsulation of a broad overview of the role of Christ in the context of mythical heroes. The chapter explores much more detail, but some of that can be addressed in other posts. I have linked to Wikipedia articles most of the names from Greek myth for quick reference. read more »