René Salm has posted Jesus Mythicism and the Impotence of Biblical Studies on his Mythicist Papers website. He uses The End of Biblical Studies by Hector Avalos as a springboard for many of his points.
Given the recent fiasco of Joseph Hoffmann thinking he could easily toss challenges to his Galatians 4:4 nonsense but then walking away, muttering curses in Hebrew, without addressing a single one of the actual criticisms of his thesis detailed in two posts here it is easy to relate to much of René’s argument. (To avoid unnecessary embarrassment we will overlook that unfortunate attempt to spin a morphological argument presumably intended to befuddle others into thinking how unwrong he really was with his slip-ups over the dictionary meaning of a Greek word and misidentifying another word in the manuscripts.) If this is the historicists’ answer to Ehrman’s dismal attempt to rebut mythicism, mythicism’s future looks promising. By the time hostile critics of mythicism begin to grasp that in certain quarters mythicist arguments really do deal with the scholarship and the scholarly tools and the full range of the evidence, it may be too late to regain control of the wider public agenda. Or maybe deep down they do realize their intellectual vulnerability and that they really do have no weapons other than personal attack and ridicule.
Some excerpts from René Salm’s statement:
aligning themselves with popular opinion and institutional power, scholars continue to steadfastly refuse to seriously consider anything which might shake the tent of tradition . . . . .
biblical researchers who approach the study of Christianity with a posture of faith render themselves intellectually impotent. . . . .
Biblical studies in the U.S. have historically not been “research” so much as a defense of the tradition against the continuing progress of science. At heart, biblical studies as currently conducted are not science but obstructionism. They are a quest for legitimacy. . . . .
The present generation possesses unprecedented tools when it comes to investigating Christian origins. . . . .
We now live in a between-times when the mythicist of yesteryear is emerging from the cellar to the shock and dismay of the prim and proper inhabitants of the upper floors. . . . .
These are just a few snippets. You may not agree with every detail in the full statement, but there is much that may well be prescient.
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