All posts in this series are archived in the O’Neill-Fitzgerald Debate.
In Nailed David Fitzgerald (DF) wrote:
It’s true enough that the majority of Biblical historians do not question the historicity of Jesus – but then again, the majority of Biblical historians have always been Christian preachers, so what else could we expect them to say? (p. 16)
Tim O’Neill (TO) responded:
glib, but it is alsotoo simplistic. Many scholars working in relevant fields may well be Christians (and a tiny few may even be “preachers” as he claims, though not many), but a great many are definitely not.
Leading scholars like Bart Ehrman, Maurice Casey, Paula Fredriksen and Gerd Ludemann are all non-Christians. Then there are the Jewish scholars like Mark Nanos, Alan Segal, Jacob Neusner, Hyam Maccoby and Geza Vermes. Even those scholars who describe themselves as Christians often hold ideas about Jesus that few church-goers would recognise, let alone be comfortable with and which are nothing like the positions of people like Geivett and McDowell. Dale C. Allison, E P Sanders and John Dominic Crossan may all regard themselves as Christians, but I doubt Josh McDowell would agree, given their highly non-orthodox ideas about the historical Jesus. (O’Neill 2011)