Questioning Carrier and the Common View of a “Rash of Messianism” at the time of Jesus

It is widely accepted that around the time Jesus is said to have appeared the people of Judea were eagerly anticipating a Messiah to come at any moment and deliver them from their Roman conquerors. I have sought for evidence to support this claim expressed so often in the scholarly land popular literature. To date, … Continue reading “Questioning Carrier and the Common View of a “Rash of Messianism” at the time of Jesus”


Did Josephus Fabricate the Origins of the Jewish Rebellion Against Rome?

Josephus lays the blame for the Jewish rebel movement squarely on the shoulders of Judas the Galilean who led some sort of movement to oppose Roman taxes around the time of the infancy of Jesus — 6 CE. From this Judas arose what Josephus labels the “Fourth Philosophy”. The other three were the Pharisees, the Sadducees … Continue reading “Did Josephus Fabricate the Origins of the Jewish Rebellion Against Rome?”


Constructing Jesus and the Gospels: Messianism and Survival post 70 CE

In the previous post we saw how Clarke W. Owens (Son of Yahweh: The Gospels as Novels) drew the inference that the evangelists created the type of Jesus they did because of the impact of the Jewish War. Just as the Jewish people and their centre of worship had been destroyed through fire and mass … Continue reading “Constructing Jesus and the Gospels: Messianism and Survival post 70 CE”


O’Neill-Fitzgerald “Christ Myth” Debate, #10: Josephus as Evidence & the Arabic Version of the Testimonium

–o0o– All posts in this series are archived in the O’Neill-Fitzgerald Debate –o0o– Tim O’Neill (TO) rightly says of some of the evidence for the historical existence of Jesus: After all, no-one except a fundamentalist apologist would pretend that the evidence about Jesus is not ambiguous and often difficult to interpret with any certainty, and … Continue reading “O’Neill-Fitzgerald “Christ Myth” Debate, #10: Josephus as Evidence & the Arabic Version of the Testimonium”


“Another Mythicist Discussion” Revisited

Responses to some points made in a larger argument for the historicity of Jesus, Another Jesus Mythicism Discussion (I posted then soon deleted much of what follows about three weeks ago. My initial post was couched in a misunderstanding about the background to the original post.) I did return to the original site to continue … Continue reading ““Another Mythicist Discussion” Revisited”


Bad History for Atheists (2) — Troubles Reading the Sources and Engaging with Different Viewpoints

I do care about bad history. — O’Neill (13 min 50 sec) Bad history is carelessly getting basic facts wrong. It is also failing to acknowledge and engage honestly with other points of view concerning the sources. Two instances of “bad history” At about 27 minutes we are told that “mythers” say there is no … Continue reading “Bad History for Atheists (2) — Troubles Reading the Sources and Engaging with Different Viewpoints”


Examining the Evidence for Jesus as an Apocalyptic Prophet

On History for Atheists Tim O’Neill has set out the standard reasons for the view that Jesus was an apocalyptic prophet. He concludes that this particular portrayal of Jesus stands against what conservative and liberal Christians, and even “fringe Jesus Mythicists”, and “many people” generally “would like Jesus to be.” Put that way, one wonders why anyone … Continue reading “Examining the Evidence for Jesus as an Apocalyptic Prophet”


Did Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus Create Christianity to Fool the Judeans?

The title question sounds quite unlikely to most historically informed readers but it is answered in the affirmative by those mythicists I have classified as “type twos“. A Vridar reader asked for my views of the arguments presented on a youtube video featuring Joseph Atwill and D.M. Murdock.     1. About 4 minutes in … Continue reading “Did Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus Create Christianity to Fool the Judeans?”


Why Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah is “Type 2” mythicism

Joseph Atwill, author of Caesar’s Messiah: The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus, from time to time challenges some of my points on this blog and I have tended to respond only in generalities. A week ago I posted what I see is the difference between two types of mythicist arguments: There are two types of … Continue reading “Why Joseph Atwill’s Caesar’s Messiah is “Type 2” mythicism”


Myth of popular messianic expectations at the time of Jesus

I am copying here a post I just submitted on another forum, so with apologies to readers who have already seen this . . . . This topic is not about “Jewish prophecies of the messiah’s arrival”. It is not about the second century Bar Kochba rebellion. Nor is it even about popular beliefs and attitudes at the time of the 66-73 … Continue reading “Myth of popular messianic expectations at the time of Jesus”


Richard Carrier & Lena Einhorn Discuss Shift in Time

Followers of Richard Carrier’s blog will have known of Richard Carrier’s review earlier this month of A Shift in Time by Lena Einhorn: Lena Einhorn on the Claudian Christ Theory I am glad I did not mention it here at the time now because the page became more interesting in the following week with an … Continue reading “Richard Carrier & Lena Einhorn Discuss Shift in Time


Questioning Carrier and the Conventional Wisdom on Messianic Expectations

Here for convenience is an annotated list of the recent posts on “the myth of messianic expectations”. 1. Questioning Carrier and the Common View of a “Rash of Messianism” at the time of Jesus Carrier’s claim “Palestine in the early first century ce was experiencing a rash of messianism” is introduced. His assertion that “The … Continue reading “Questioning Carrier and the Conventional Wisdom on Messianic Expectations”


Questioning Carrier: Was the Book of Daniel Really a “Key Messianic Text”?

I expect this post will conclude my series challenging Richard Carrier’s arguments in On the Historicity of Jesus attempting to justify the common belief that early first century Judea was patchwork quilt of messianic movements. This belief has been challenged by specialist scholars* (see comment) especially since the 1990s but their work has still to … Continue reading “Questioning Carrier: Was the Book of Daniel Really a “Key Messianic Text”?”


How Do You Spot a Messiah? — Myth of Jewish Messianic Expectations continued

I continue to examine the arguments mounted in favour of the view that Jewish messianic expectations at the time of the founding of what became Christianity as set out by Richard Carrier. Even ‘John the Baptist’ (at least as depicted in the Gospels) was a mes­sianic figure (e.g. Jn 1.20; Lk. 3.15), or otherwise telling … Continue reading “How Do You Spot a Messiah? — Myth of Jewish Messianic Expectations continued”