How the Gospel of Mark Retrofitted Jesus into a Pre-Existing Christ Idea

The background to the following post is The Gospel of John as  a form of Jewish Messianism? (Part 2). It presumes some awareness of how in some Jewish quarters Daniel 7’s Son of Man was being interpreted in a way that led to controversial Jewish texts like the Similitudes of Enoch and the Gospel of … Continue reading “How the Gospel of Mark Retrofitted Jesus into a Pre-Existing Christ Idea”


“Logos, a Jewish Word”

Philo’s Logos is neither just the Wisdom (Gk sophia; Heb okhmah) of the Bible, nor is it quite the Platonic logos, nor the divine Word (Heb davar), but a new synthesis of all of these. A response to the post Gospel of John as a Source for Jewish Messianism: This seems interesting. Though the opening … Continue reading ““Logos, a Jewish Word””


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”


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”


Jewish Understandings of a Suffering Messiah before the Christian Era (4)

The witnesses to a Jewish, pre-Christian, belief in a Suffering Messiah that we have heard from so far: Ecclesiasticus, Interpreted the Servant Songs in Isaiah as references to a new coming of Elijah as the messiah. the Testament of Benjamin, Attributed to a messiah from the tribe of Joseph the atoning death found in Isaiah’s … Continue reading “Jewish Understandings of a Suffering Messiah before the Christian Era (4)”


Further Evidence of a Pre-Christian Concept of a Suffering Davidic Messiah

  It is commonly recognized that the Gospels depict Jesus’ crucifixion as an ironic royal enthronement. We know the evidence for this statement: the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem; the riddle of Psalm 110 over the messiah being David’s Lord; the parable of the pounds; the dressing up of Jesus in royal garb; the … Continue reading “Further Evidence of a Pre-Christian Concept of a Suffering Davidic Messiah”


Messiahs and Eschatology in Second Temple Judaism

Some readers will be interested in what Martin Goodman had to say about Jewish concepts of the Messiah in the Second Temple era. As much as I’m tempted to add my own comments I will restrain myself. I have written enough of my own perspective on this question other times I have addressed “messianic expecations” … Continue reading “Messiahs and Eschatology in Second Temple Judaism”


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”


Gullotta’s Misleading Portrayal of Carrier’s claims…. Part 2

For an annotated list of previous posts in this series see the archived page: Daniel Gullotta’s Review of Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus For other Archives by Topic, Annotated see the right margin. In the previous post we began to look at Daniel Gullotta’s treatment of Richard Carrier’s argument that the gospels are … Continue reading “Gullotta’s Misleading Portrayal of Carrier’s claims…. Part 2”


A Redactional Seam in Mark 8:28?

In a recent comment, Giuseppe asked about Mark 8:27-30 (the Confession at Caesarea Philippi). At issue is a grammatical error in the text, mentioned in Robert M. Price‘s Holy Fable Volume 2, but first (apparently) noticed by Gerd Theissen in The Miracle Stories of the Early Christian Tradition. Both Theissen and Price argue that the error reveals … Continue reading “A Redactional Seam in Mark 8:28?”


The Memory Mavens, Part 11: Origins of the Criteria of Authenticity (3)

In the previous post, I promised to discuss a group of scholars who changed the perspective of biblical scholarship. I was referring to those whom we commonly group into the religionsgeschichtliche Schule. In English we call this the History of Religions School. The German term, religionsgeschichtliche, implies a secular, critical-historical approach toward religion. The reputation … Continue reading “The Memory Mavens, Part 11: Origins of the Criteria of Authenticity (3)”


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