Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?

mythicistMaurice Casey’s book is slated to appear in the early days of 2014.  Here’s the info (or as the kids say, the 411) –

Did Jesus exist? In recent years there has been a massive upsurge in public discussion of the view that Jesus did not exist. This view first found a voice in the 19th century, when Christian views were no longer taken for granted. Some way into the 20th century, this school of thought was largely thought to have been utterly refuted by the results of respectable critical scholarship (from both secular and religious scholars).

Now, many unprofessional scholars and bloggers (‘mythicists’), are gaining an increasingly large following for a view many think to be unsupportable. It is starting to influence the academy, more than that it is starting to influence the views of the public about a crucial historical figure. Maurice Casey, one of the most important Historical Jesus scholars of his generation takes the ‘mythicists’ to task in this landmark publication. Casey argues neither from a religious respective, nor from that of a committed atheist. Rather he seeks to provide a clear view of what can be said about Jesus, and of what can’t.

And here’s what’s in it:

1. Introduction
2. Historical Method
3. The Date and Reliability of the Canonical Gospels
4. What is Not in the Gospels, or Not in ‘Q’
5. What is Not in the Epistles, Especially Those of Paul
6. What is Written in the Epistles, Especially Those of Paul
7. It All Happened Before, in Egypt, India, or Wherever you Fancy, but there was Nowhere for it to Happen in Israel
8. Conclusions
Appendix: Latinisms

It is an absolute gold-mine of mythicist debunking.  It is, to be honest, the funeral dirge sung at the grave of mythicist perspectives.  It’s a great book (and will doubtless be even better in its final form).

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4 thoughts on “Jesus: Evidence and Argument or Mythicist Myths?

  1. Jona Lendering 29 Jul 2013 at 8:38 am

    No Jim, it will not be the mythicists’ dirge. The internet has allowed the return of much quack history and the universities have, over the past fifteen years, done nothing to prevent it. Instead, the have enforced the mechanisms with which “bad information drives out good”.

    This book is nice, because it shows that at least someone cares, but as long as the universities fail to develop prudent media strategies, this book will be futile.

    If we could invent science and scholarship today, we would not invent the universities again. Two centuries after Von Humboldt, it’s a cul de sac.


    • Jim 29 Jul 2013 at 10:48 am

      keep hope alive, brother… keep hope alive. 😉


  2. Bob 29 Jul 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Amy-Jill Levine states that “no single picture of Jesus has convinced all, or even most scholars”

    I know what a myth is. Don’t you think that you should get your act together and decide what a “historical Jesus” is before insisting it is real?


    • Jim 29 Jul 2013 at 1:20 pm

      so you’ve read the book too! fantastic.

      [nb- i seriously doubt that bob has read the book or even seen small portions of it since only a handful of people have. instead, like so many mythicists, he’s simply offering an opinion on something he has never examined].


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