Questioning Carrier and the “Myth that the Jews Expected a Messiah” (#3)

This is part 3 of my series arguing against the popular notion that the time of Jesus as narrated in the gospels was ablaze with various cults and movements eagerly expecting a messiah to appear as per prophecies or even time-tables found in the Jewish scriptures. My depiction of this supposition as a myth in … Continue reading “Questioning Carrier and the “Myth that the Jews Expected a Messiah” (#3)”


Questioning Claims about Messianic Anticipations among Judeans of the Early First Century

Let’s take another set of references Richard Carrier cites to support the claim That Jewish expectations of some kind of messiah in the early Roman Empire were widespread, influential, and very diverse . . . has been well established by experts on ancient messianism.15 Carrier 2014, p. 67 I am referencing Carrier because he sets … Continue reading “Questioning Claims about Messianic Anticipations among Judeans of the Early First Century”


Biblical Scholars Reacting . . . Part 2

Continues from part 1 . . . . Philip Jenkins in his reaction, The Myth of the Mythical Jesus, has an even more blunt response to anyone who ventures into the “far swamps of extreme crankery” by pursuing questions that have no place among biblical scholars: “Scholarship is what scholars do, and if they don’t do … Continue reading “Biblical Scholars Reacting . . . Part 2”


Carrier, Lataster and Background Knowledge Element 4: A Quibble

It will be a little while before I set aside the time I would need to prepare a proper review of Richard Carrier’s book, On the Historicity of Jesus, and Raphael Lataster’s Jesus Did Not Exist, but till then I can drop the odd comment on this or that point. But one thing I can … Continue reading “Carrier, Lataster and Background Knowledge Element 4: A Quibble”


Ten Elements of Christian Origin

Richard Carrier addresses the question of the historicity of Jesus in On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt in the following order: First, he defines the points that will identify a historical Jesus and those that will be signs of a mythical one. Second, he set out 48 elements that make up all … Continue reading “Ten Elements of Christian Origin”


Why Historicist/Mythicist Arguments Often Fail — & a Test Case for a Better Way

Ananus [the high priest] . . . thought he had now a proper opportunity. Festus was now dead, and Albinus was but upon the road; so he assembled the sanhedrin of judges, and brought before them the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ, whose name was James, and some others; and when he had … Continue reading “Why Historicist/Mythicist Arguments Often Fail — & a Test Case for a Better Way”


Constructing Jesus and the Gospels: Apocalyptic Prophecy

Passages that for modern fundamentalist readers refer doctrinally to Jesus’ death and some imaginary “end time” in some indefinite future: Luke 12:49-53 49 I came to cast fire upon the earth; and what do I desire, if it is already kindled? 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I … Continue reading “Constructing Jesus and the Gospels: Apocalyptic Prophecy”


Constructing Jesus and the Gospels: How and Why

Once Clarke W. Owens extracts the Gospels from the Bible and studies them as literary creations on their historical context something most interesting happens. (Owens, I should point out, is not a mythicist. I believe on the basis of his entry in the Christian Alternative website that he is a Christian though one with a … Continue reading “Constructing Jesus and the Gospels: How and Why”


Christ among the Messiahs — Part 3b

The previous post surveyed the range of arguments over whether Paul uses the word “Christ” (χριστός) as a personal name for Jesus or as a title. The answer to the question has implications for Paul’s Christology and theology. (Did he view Jesus as a messianic figure in the traditional Jewish sense or not?) I also … Continue reading “Christ among the Messiahs — Part 3b”


Christ among the Messiahs — Part 1

What did Paul — or any of the earliest Christians — mean when they called Jesus “Christ”? I mean before the Gospels were written. If the idea of Christ for earliest Christians and Jews of their day meant a conquering Davidic king, how do we explain why early Christians referred to Jesus as “Christ” and … Continue reading “Christ among the Messiahs — Part 1”


6. Earl Doherty’s Response to Bart Ehrman’s Case Against Mythicism: Jewish Sources

* Earl Doherty’s Response to Bart Ehrman’s Case Against Mythicism – Pt.6 What Did Jews Have to Say? . COVERED IN THIS POST: Philo of Alexandria Josephus the Testimonium: entirely interpolation or an authentic residue? is an authentic residue “neutral”? is the Testimonium intrusive or a digression? silence of Christian commentators on Testimonium before Eusebius … Continue reading “6. Earl Doherty’s Response to Bart Ehrman’s Case Against Mythicism: Jewish Sources”


Popular Messianic(?) Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus and Beyond – Part 3

This continues from Part 2 where I continued discussing what Richard Horsley has to say about popular messianic movements in Israel up to the time of Jesus in Bandits, Prophets & Messiahs. In the last post I covered “social banditry” in Palestine (especially Galilee) and those who were looked upon as rightful kings in the … Continue reading “Popular Messianic(?) Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus and Beyond – Part 3”


Midrash and Gospels 3: What some Jewish scholars say (and continuing ‘Midrash Tales of the Messiah’)

Jewish scholars of midrash have recognized that “midrashic” techniques, methods of interpretation of texts in the Hebrew Bible, have been creatively woven into Christian Gospel narrative and teaching material as much as Jews worked creatively with midrash in their own literature. Jon D. Levenson Jon D. Levenson wrote The Death and Resurrection of the Beloved … Continue reading “Midrash and Gospels 3: What some Jewish scholars say (and continuing ‘Midrash Tales of the Messiah’)”


Popular Messianic(?) and Bandit Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus and Beyond – Part 2

This continues from Part 1 where I began discussing what Richard Horsley has to say about popular messianic movements in Israel up to the time of Jesus in Bandits, Prophets & Messiahs. Previous posts addressed the concept of a future messiah among the literate elites. This post considers what Horsley has to say about the … Continue reading “Popular Messianic(?) and Bandit Movements Up To The Time Of Jesus and Beyond – Part 2”