Tom Dykstra on Mythicism: Erhman, Brodie and Scholarly Conduct

Tom Dykstra writes “a cautionary tale” concerning the unpleasant rift between mythicists (those who dispute the historicity of Jesus) and historicists (those who defend the historicity of Jesus). His primary exemplars are “historicist” Bart Ehrman and “mythicist” Thomas Brodie, Ehrman and Brodie on Whether Jesus Existed: A Cautionary Tale about the State of Biblical Scholarship. His first warning is … Continue reading “Tom Dykstra on Mythicism: Erhman, Brodie and Scholarly Conduct”


The Real Jesus Challenge, Bart Erhman, and Nazareth

The Real Jesus Challenge “I think it is historically virtually certain that Jesus existed.”—Bart D. Ehrman See René Salm’s Reply to Bart Erhman on Nazareth and The Real Jesus Challenge Award. This is an excerpt from the American Freethought podcast with Bart Ehrman, hosted by John C. Snider. Professor Ehrman’s remarks have led to the … Continue reading “The Real Jesus Challenge, Bart Erhman, and Nazareth”


Nazareth

Most Vridar posts on Nazareth focus on the archaeological evidence for its existence in the first-century, but also address the historical likelihood of Jesus being identified as from that town and the place of Nazareth in the nativity accounts of the gospels. –o0o– A more complete response to the previous post on the relevance of … Continue reading “Nazareth”


Review part 9: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Case for Mythicism – the Evidence)

The third part of Raphael Lataster’s Questioning the Historicity of Jesus is where he presents his case for mythicism, and since his case is essentially a review of Richard Carrier’s arguments in On the Historicity of Jesus, this post is a review of a review. Lataster has is differences from Carrier and several times points … Continue reading “Review part 9: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Case for Mythicism – the Evidence)”


Review part 5: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Case for Agnosticism – 2, Sources)

I discuss here my reading of Chapter 5 of Raphael Lataster’s Questioning the Historicity of Jesus. Here he looks at the problematic nature of the gospels and extra-biblical sources for Jesus. Lataster discusses how historical Jesus scholars attempt to get around the problem that there are no primary sources for a historical Jesus. This absence … Continue reading “Review part 5: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Case for Agnosticism – 2, Sources)”


Review part 3: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Addressing the Case FOR)

Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. — Isaac Asimov Properly read, the books arguing for the historicity of Jesus by Bart Ehrman and Maurice Casey present a strong case for being agnostic about the existence of Jesus. — paraphrasing Raphael Lataster Part One of Questioning the Historicity of … Continue reading “Review part 3: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Addressing the Case FOR)”


Gospel of John as the turning point in a New Religion and a New God

Eight years ago I posted Starting a New Religion with The Gospel of John. In that post the punch line was:  Where the Gospel of John is different: Where the fourth evangelist differs from all of these [books written in the names of other prophets], as well as from those who exploited the Moses tradition, is … Continue reading “Gospel of John as the turning point in a New Religion and a New God”


Mythicist Papers: Resources for the Study of Christian Origins – Update

This blog is now entering ‘sleep’ mode… — that’s the heading for René Salm’s final post at least for a while. René explains his decision to retire from posting and publishing his research into Christian origins. Fortunately his blog with its many resources will remain online for some time yet. I think René’s strongest contribution to … Continue reading “Mythicist Papers: Resources for the Study of Christian Origins – Update”


Jesus in Josephus: Testimonium Flavianum

Here is an annotated list of Vridar posts addressing the famous passage in Josephus’s Jewish Antiquities, commonly known as the Testimonium Flavianum (TF). –o0o– The Jesus reference in Josephus: its ad hoc doctoring and various manuscript lines (2009-03-06) From various sources I have set out chronologically the earliest evidence we have for knowledge of the … Continue reading “Jesus in Josephus: Testimonium Flavianum


How Ehrman’s Gospel “Truth” Gives a Pass to Trump’s “Truth” of Fake Videos

At least one of the videos was later described as “fake” by a Dutch news outlet. Sanders said that didn’t matter. “Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real,” Sanders told reporters. “[Trump’s] goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”Sanders continued, criticizing reporters for pressing her on whether Trump should verify … Continue reading “How Ehrman’s Gospel “Truth” Gives a Pass to Trump’s “Truth” of Fake Videos”


The Question of whether Paul was the founder of Christianity: Responding to Bart Ehrman

A welcome visitor to the blog has raised a question along with an answer by Bart Ehrman and I have promised to respond with my own thoughts. My first impression is that Ehrman’s response talks down to lay readers and protects them from the reality of the complexity of arguments and the debates among scholars. … Continue reading “The Question of whether Paul was the founder of Christianity: Responding to Bart Ehrman”


Is Ehrman’s Pre-Pauline Quotation an Anti-Marcionite Interpolation?

Recently Bart Ehrman debated Michael Bird the question of how Jesus became God. Just as he had written in his book How Jesus Became God: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee Erhman argued that the earliest devotees of Jesus viewed him as a normal man, a human messiah, who had been exalted to become God’s … Continue reading “Is Ehrman’s Pre-Pauline Quotation an Anti-Marcionite Interpolation?”


Jesus Did Not Exist — A New Contribution

I am finding Raphael Latater’s book, Jesus Did Not Exist: A Debate Among Atheists, a most invigorating and fresh approach to the topic. Caveat: I am taking it slowly and so far have not even completed the first chapter. I have read Richard Carrier’s introductory remarks and Raphael Lataster’s own background introduction and am only … Continue readingJesus Did Not Exist — A New Contribution”


Nazzeyes, Clavdivs, and the Pentatoik

I grew up in a small city in eastern Ohio, right on the border with Pennsylvania, a tiny place called East Palestine. The story goes that back in the 19th century to escape higher taxes in their home states, a number of industrialists set up shop in the first town on the Ohio and Pennsylvania Railroad (later called the … Continue reading “Nazzeyes, Clavdivs, and the Pentatoik”