Richard Carrier’s “Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus” Chapter 1 (A Review)

Till now I’ve always been more curious than persuaded about Carrier’s application of Bayes’s Theorem to what he calls historical questions, so curiosity led me to purchase his book in which he discusses it all in depth, Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus. Before I discuss here his preface and … Continue reading “Richard Carrier’s “Proving History: Bayes’s Theorem and the Quest for the Historical Jesus” Chapter 1 (A Review)”


Jesus Potter Harry Christ, ch. 10: From Mystery to History . . . .

This post covers the final chapter of Derek Murphy’s Jesus Potter Harry Christ. All chapter by chapter reviews are collated here and on the Jesus Mysteries discussion group. I will do one more overview review of the entire book, but that may not be on this blog, but on amazon or such. A special thanks … Continue reading “Jesus Potter Harry Christ, ch. 10: From Mystery to History . . . .”


Has Christianity ever needed a historical Jesus?

I saw this sign hanging in front of a small town church today and those responsible for it might be proud to know that it prompted me to delve into some deep thoughts over what it’s all about. Is not that sign what the gospel is all about? Is it not about effecting a new … Continue reading “Has Christianity ever needed a historical Jesus?”


Correcting some of James McGrath’s misunderstandings

Added more detail to my “advice” a the end of post: 21:11 pm — 4 hours after original post. I have left some corrections to Dr James McGrath’s recent post Overview of Part One of Earl Doherty’s Jesus: Neither God Nor Man (with Baloney Detection) on his site, and repeat them here along with a … Continue reading “Correcting some of James McGrath’s misunderstandings”


Crossan’s absolute certainty in the historicity of Christ Crucified

I take it absolutely for granted Jesus was crucified under Pontius Pilate. Security about the fact of the crucifixion derives not only from the unlikelihood that Christians would have invented it but also from the existence of two early and independent non-Christian witnesses to it, a Jewish one from 93-94 C.E. and a Roman one … Continue reading “Crossan’s absolute certainty in the historicity of Christ Crucified”


Faith in History: a faith for both Christians and Marxists

. . . Modern Christianity must always reckon with the possibility of having to abandon the historical figure of Jesus. Hence it must not artificially increase his importance by referring all theological knowledge to him and developing a ‘christocentric’ religion: the Lord may always be a mere element in ‘religion’, but he should never be … Continue reading “Faith in History: a faith for both Christians and Marxists”


Goguel’s critique of the Christ Myth. Hoffmann’s response. And Doherty

I discuss here Goguel’s critique of the Christ Myth as seen through the eyes of two biblical scholars, mainly R. Joseph Hoffmann, and very briefly Christopher Price. I conclude with my own understanding of the reason (bias) underlying Hoffmann’s perspective of Goguel in his anti-mythicist arguments, and an alternative perspective from Earl Doherty. Hoffmann compares … Continue reading “Goguel’s critique of the Christ Myth. Hoffmann’s response. And Doherty”


History as Science, Not Only Art. (History for Dummies, 2)

In my previous post I cited Leopold von Ranke’s famous explanation for history being an art. (I turned to von Ranke because a biblical scholar quoted von Ranke to me without knowing the source of his quotation, nor its meaning.) Now von Ranke’s philosophy of history and views on the nature of historical facts have … Continue reading “History as Science, Not Only Art. (History for Dummies, 2)”


How Jesus has been re-imaged through the ages to fit different historical needs

There’s a comment by humanist Dwight Jones in response to Hoffmann’s post titled Did Jesus Exist? Yes and No that begins As a Humanist I view Christ as one too, a philosopher who was instructing our species Jones’ and Hoffmann’s concept of humanism is too effete, elitist, esoteric and impractical for my taste, but that … Continue reading “How Jesus has been re-imaged through the ages to fit different historical needs”


Historical Existence Siddhartha Gautama

From an email I received recently: Just out of curiosity, I did a quick web search on the historicity of the Buddha.  Funny thing…  Buddhists don’t really seem to be all that anxious about it.  For them, it seems, the dharma is vastly more important than the person responsible for it.  Possibly a subject for … Continue reading “Historical Existence Siddhartha Gautama”


The mythicist seeks the historical explanation; many historicists are content with the mythical

A standard formula-problem found in historical Jesus works is that the question that needs to be explained is how or why Jesus’ disciples were able to persuade so many Jews that a crucified criminal was indeed the Christ. And of course, to explain why the disciples became convinced of this themselves. These are indeed extremely … Continue reading “The mythicist seeks the historical explanation; many historicists are content with the mythical”


Three approaches to researching the mythical Jesus phenomenon

Here are three methodologies used by mainstream biblical scholars for enquiring into the arguments for the historical Jesus with which I have had some direct contact. The first is by an early twentieth century scholar of some repute even today; the second by an “reverent agnostic” scholar; and the third by a liberal Christian scholar … Continue reading “Three approaches to researching the mythical Jesus phenomenon”


Is This a Freudian Slip from a Professor of Religion?

Has James McGrath given the game away — that the historical study of Jesus is as much a servant of a Faith as the arts and sciences have been (and in some countries still are) in the service of State ideologies? Only the party faithful are allowed to truly sway the directions of both the … Continue reading “Is This a Freudian Slip from a Professor of Religion?”


“Creationist” slurs have no place in an honest mythicist-historicist debate

Following is a silly post, one of the silliest I have ever written. Maybe the silliest. Its only point is to foolishly respond to baseless and ignorant slurs written and spoken by Associate Professor James McGrath against people who argue Jesus was a mythical or legendary figure, not a real historical one. I do not … Continue reading ““Creationist” slurs have no place in an honest mythicist-historicist debate”

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