Simon Gathercole’s Failure to Address Mythicism: (#5)

The abstract to Simon Gathercole’s article in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus begins The present article seeks to show that the case for the mythical Jesus is seriously undermined by the evidence of the undisputed Pauline epistles. By way of a thought experiment, these letters are taken in isolation from other … Continue reading “Simon Gathercole’s Failure to Address Mythicism: (#5)”


Earl Doherty’s First Day with Biblical Scholars on Crosstalk Forum

I begin by repeating Earl Doherty’s maiden post to Crosstalk. I have colour coded different discussion threads. Links below are to the archive.org site where Earl’s Jesus Puzzle website is as it existed at the time of the Crosstalk exchange. For the current site see http://www.jesuspuzzle.com/jesuspuzzle/index.htm I have decided to present this early conversation to allow … Continue reading “Earl Doherty’s First Day with Biblical Scholars on Crosstalk Forum”


Some preliminaries before resuming Gmirkin’s Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible

I originally wrote the following as an introduction to my next post on Russell E. Gmirkin’s new book, Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible. On reflection, it was too long to be part of a post addressing the book so here it is a separate introductory post instead. Our historically conditioned deafness to … Continue reading “Some preliminaries before resuming Gmirkin’s Plato and the Creation of the Hebrew Bible


What Biblical Scholars Say About Historical Jesus Studies

Dale C. Allison (November 25, 1955-) is an American New Testament scholar, historian of Early Christianity, and Christian theologian who for years served as Errett M. Grable Professor of New Testament Exegesis and Early Christianity at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is currently the Richard J. Dearborn Professor of New Testament Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. — Wikipedia … Continue reading “What Biblical Scholars Say About Historical Jesus Studies”


Unrecognized Bias in New Testament Scholarship over Christian Origins

From time to time someone – lay person or New Testament scholar – publicly insists that there is no more bias among the professional scholars of the Bible than there is among any other academic guild. The question arose recently on the Bible Criticism and History forum and I found myself scrambling quotations from members … Continue reading “Unrecognized Bias in New Testament Scholarship over Christian Origins”


Hoffmann’s arguments for an historical Jesus: exercises in circularity and other fallacies

One never thinks to engage seriously with ticks so when Hoffmann calls his mythicist opponents “mythtics” it is clear he has no interest in taking them seriously. When he does speak of the arguments of those he has described as “ghetto-dwelling disease carrying mosquitoes/buggers” he necessarily keeps them anonymous and never cites or quotes them, … Continue reading “Hoffmann’s arguments for an historical Jesus: exercises in circularity and other fallacies”


Hypocritical Christ-mythers: Cameron’s response to Neil Godfrey at Vridar — & my response back

Cameron, a critic of Dave Fitzgerald’s Nailed, has responded to my remarks (Are Mythicist Sceptics Hypocritical for Attacking Creationists) about his accusation that those who reject the historicity of Jesus are hypocritical if they also criticize Creationists for rejecting an academic consensus. As seems to be par for the course with these sorts of attacks, … Continue reading “Hypocritical Christ-mythers: Cameron’s response to Neil Godfrey at Vridar — & my response back”


What mythicists need

What mythicists need is a competent, knowledgeable and intelligent historicist to challenge them. One who doesn’t resort to ad hominem or outright insult. One who doesn’t see “mythicism” in every nook and cranny — whether in creationism or the Piltdown man or even Shakespeare! — wherever he or she even half way suspects he/she just … Continue reading “What mythicists need”


It all depends where one enters the circle

Reading Jesus the Healer by Stevan Davies alongside Constructing Jesus by Dale Allison is an interesting exercise in chiaroscuro comparisons. Both agree on the nature of circularity at the heart of historical Jesus studies. Davies begins with a quotation from E. P. Sanders: In regard to Jesus research E. P. Sanders correctly observes, “There is, … Continue reading “It all depends where one enters the circle”


Finding Jesus Under the Stone: The Gospel of Thomas Guide to the Scholarly Search for the Historical Jesus

There is a passage in the Gospel of Thomas that would seem to encapsulate the historical methodology some scholars use to reconstruct the historical Jesus: 77 Jesus said, “I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; … Continue reading “Finding Jesus Under the Stone: The Gospel of Thomas Guide to the Scholarly Search for the Historical Jesus”


Response to McGrath’s circularity and avoidance of the methodological argument

In a “response” to a recent post of mine about historical method, James McGrath illustrates well the very problem and question-begging that my post was intended to highlight. McGrath’s opening statement affirms that he simply fails to grasp the argument I am presenting. [Neil Godfrey’s] post begins by stating and commenting on the principle which … Continue reading “Response to McGrath’s circularity and avoidance of the methodological argument”


Respecting the Honesty of Conservative Historical Jesus Scholarship

I have been catching up with two conservative historical Jesus scholars and once again I find their honest perspectives about their historical methods refreshing. Luke Timothy Johnson in The Real Jesus: The Misguided Quest for the Historical Jesus and the Truth of the Traditional Gospels is quite upfront with stating the obvious: the historical Jesus … Continue reading “Respecting the Honesty of Conservative Historical Jesus Scholarship”


Wrong link to Allison’s discussion of circularity in historical Jesus studies

In my previous post I misdirected anyone interested in following up where I posted on Dale Allison’s discussion of circularity in historical Jesus studies. I have since corrected that link. Here it is again: Clarity about circularity by Dale Allison The point being that Hobsbawm’s insistence on the need for independent evidence is designed to … Continue reading “Wrong link to Allison’s discussion of circularity in historical Jesus studies”


How a biblical scholar uses sleight of hand to argue against mythicism

McGrath has linked to my post critiquing his comments on the Christ myth proposition and managed to avoid totally the whole point of my post — and the whole point of the particular quotation from Hobsbawm in question. But that is the normal way he “responds” to such critiques. He also seeks to imply that … Continue reading “How a biblical scholar uses sleight of hand to argue against mythicism”