Gathercole Dabbles with Counterfactual History

Let me state at the outset here that I fully understand the actual merits of Simon Gathercole’s recent article in the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus do not matter. Its mere existence suffices for the task at hand. In other words, it is not necessary for mainstream scholarship to demonstrate that Paul’s … Continue reading “Gathercole Dabbles with Counterfactual History”


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)”


Addressing S. Gathercole’s Case for Jesus’ “Humanity” continued: Misrepresentations (#4)

A frequent line of argument by scholars and others attempting to “prove” the historicity of a Jesus behind the gospel narratives is to focus on biblical passages pointing to the “humanity” of Jesus, and sometimes his geographical and temporal location. It often appears that such people assume that a figure who is human and said … Continue reading “Addressing S. Gathercole’s Case for Jesus’ “Humanity” continued: Misrepresentations (#4)”


Addressing S. Gathercole’s Case: “Born from a Woman” (#3)

In the previous post we concluded with Earl Doherty stressing what he sees as the importance of keeping in mind the distinction between Christ’s sacrifice (the time and place of this are never specified – a point that is argued elsewhere) that enabled freedom from the law (Galatians 3:13) and the application of that freedom … Continue reading “Addressing S. Gathercole’s Case: “Born from a Woman” (#3)”


Addressing S. Gathercole’s Case for Jesus’ Humanity: “Born from a Woman” (#2)

We introduced this series in the previous post. Simon Gathercole begins his case with Galatians 4:4 where we read that God sent his Son, “born of a woman, born under the law”. To Gathercole, the meaning of the verse is obvious: In Galatians 4, Paul says that God sent his son, ‘born from a woman’ … Continue reading “Addressing S. Gathercole’s Case for Jesus’ Humanity: “Born from a Woman” (#2)”


Addressing Simon Gathercole’s “Historical and Human Existence of Jesus” (#1)

To state the argument against one hypothesis using the presuppositions and terminology of the competing hypothesis involves a circularity that undermines any hope for a fair assessment of the evidence. — Mark Goodacre, 2002 (82) Simon Gathercole has had an article published behind the paywall of the Journal for the Study of the Historical Jesus opposing … Continue reading “Addressing Simon Gathercole’s “Historical and Human Existence of Jesus” (#1)”


Review part 10: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Conclusion)

As I read each chapter or section of Raphael Lataster’s book, Questioning the Historicity of Jesus, I wrote about it here, but now that I have read the concluding pages I discover that Lataster anticipated some of the points I made along the way. Especially this one, the final footnote on the final page: The … Continue reading “Review part 10: Questioning the Historicity of Jesus / Lataster (Conclusion)”


Understanding the Hostility to the Christ Myth Theory

Questioning the historical existence of Jesus attracts something other than mere curiosity or intellectual debate among many biblical scholars and some of the public who don’t even have any personal interest in religion. I can understand people with a personal faith in Jesus either simply ignoring the question with disdain or amusement or responding with … Continue reading “Understanding the Hostility to the Christ Myth Theory”


Three New(ish) Things

New on René Salm’s site: The Hermann Detering Legacy—Introduction I have decided to devote part of this website to a repository of Dr. Detering’s work, particularly his articles that have been translated into English. Not all of that material is to be found on his German website, and the success and extent of this undertaking … Continue reading “Three New(ish) Things”


The Poverty of Jesus Historicism (sorry, Popper)

A spirit of obsession these past few days has possessed me with an intent to find something good and positive among mainstream biblical scholars of the historical Jesus and Christian origins. I fear I have proven to be a leaky and soon sunk vessel. All I discovered this past week was a post titled Revision … Continue reading “The Poverty of Jesus Historicism (sorry, Popper)”

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