Well, since he couldn’t cope with me in the exchanges over his review of my book on his own blog (responses to chapter 1; to chapter 2; to chapter 3; to chapter 4; to chapter 5), Jim regrettably has had to have recourse to a garbage review on Amazon. The following was the result of his reading 5% of the book, addressing none of the key chapters or issues involving my case, and ignoring the feedback arguments I gave him on the five chapters he did review. He also ignored all of the negative reactions from others on his blog who were less than sympathetic to his rabidly hostile, and usually irrational, treatment of mythicists and mythicism. What he wrote on Amazon he could have written—and would have—even before opening Jesus: Neither God Nor Man. Instead of anything approaching a substantive criticism of my book or parts of my case, which might have given pause to those in doubt, this thoroughly condemnatory and arrogant dismissal has actually demonstrated where is coming from (his resume attached to the review helps make that clear) and the untrustworthiness of any review at his hands or others like him. I ought to thank him for making my point.
“This self-published book contains nothing that someone well-informed about the tools of historical scholarship, ancient Judaism, and/or the New Testament will be able to take seriously. Evidence that runs counter to Doherty’s predetermined conclusion is dismissed or dealt with unpersuasively, in much the manner that conservative Christian apologists deal with evidence that disagrees with their assumptions. Mythicism is to historical scholarship what young-earth creationism is to biology, and this volume is just one disappointing example of it.”
It’s too bad that Jim did not use his “well-informed” knowledge of the tools of historical scholarship to actually refute the arguments I made throughout the book. What he gave us for the first five chapters was simply laughable. (Paul’s readers already knew everything! was a good example. Talk about your “well-informed knowledge”!) Unfortunately, Amazon readers will assume that he read the entire thing, and that he could show that the totality of all the evidence is indeed “dismissed or dealt with unpersuasively.” (In fact, Amazon allows a thousand words, sometimes more, for a review; too bad he didn’t use some to actually demonstrate what he claims.) Jim ought to be ashamed of his own lack of honesty, but he’s in good company, and none of it ever shows any shame. Regrettably, authors don’t have the opportunity to comment or rebut on Amazon itself.
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10 thoughts on “Earl Doherty responds: “It’s too bad Jim did not actually refute the arguments . . .””
You can mark the review as not helpful and then go into one of the other reviews and mark it as being more helpful. At the very least this will keep this smear from being one of the prominent reviews listed.
James McGrath is a known apologist for supernaturalism. He seems to be quickly losing respect of scholars in the field.
McGrath used to blame his Blogger system for critical posts going missing from his blog. I understand that Doherty’s post here was originally posted on his new blog site and, um, disappeared!
McGrath has a known history of manipulating his blog. He has been shown to have deleted people’s posts, and then denying that he did so, a number of times in the past. He has a history of very bad behavior.
It might be worth putting out here a reminder that I do moderate comments on my own blog, and in cases where someone regularly posts abusive comments or is attempting to use the comments to promote an agenda in a way I do not consider consistent with norms of rational discourse (e.g. conspiracy theories, preaching) I do usually relegate those posts to spam.
I figure that the best way to correct such slanderous bullocks is to find a qualified relevant historian who gives any one of your books a positive review.
How does the lack of such a review diminish McGrath’s responsibility? Are the rules of integrity and honesty somehow relaxed whenever one is attacking fringe scholarship?
McGrath and all his defenders need to get a grip on some basic logic. The viability of Doherty’s thesis is irrelevant to the issue of McGrath’s malfeasance.
Doesn’t this review count?
Wow, this is just embarrassing. Has anyone told McG. that he accidentally posted his review before he pretended to finish reading the book?