Scholarly opinions on the Christ Myth

gdon
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Scholarly opinions on the Christ Myth

While there seems to be a belief that the Christ Myth (i.e. there was no historical Jesus) is an idea that is gradually gaining acceptance among Biblical scholars and historians, as far as I know, the opposite is true. The Christ Myth was taken a lot more seriously a hundred years ago, but nowadays the only Biblical scholars and historians who take it seriously are Robert Price and Richard Carrier, and neither have published anything on the topic in peer-reviewed publication. (A number of amateurs have written books on both sides of the issue, of course)

Here are some comments detailing what scholars believe about the Christ Myth and the question of historicity that I've found:
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Professor Graham Stanton of New Testament Studies at Cambridge University:

Today, nearly all historians, whether Christians or not, accept that Jesus existed and that the gospels contain plenty of valuable evidence which as to be weighed and assessed critically. There is general agreement that, with the possible exception of Paul, we know far more about Jesus of Nazareth than about any first or second century Jewish or pagan religious teacher.
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In his book Jesus: An Historian's Review of the Gospels, atheist historian Michael Grant writes:

if we apply to the New Testament, as we should, the same sort of criteria as we should apply to other ancient writings containing historical material, we can no more reject Jesus' existence than we can reject the existence of a mass of pagan personages whose reality as historical figures is never questioned. Certainly, there are all those discrepancies between one Gospel and another. But we do not deny that an event ever took place just because some pagan historians such as, for example, Livy and Polybius, happen to have described it in differing terms.... To sum up, modern critical methods fail to support the Christ myth theory. It has 'again and again been answered and annihilated by first rank scholars.
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Secular scholar Will Durant:

Despite the prejudices and theological preconceptions of the evangelists, they record many incidents that mere inventors would have concealed the competition of the apostles for high places in the Kingdom, their flight after Jesus' arrest, Peter's denial, the failure of Christ to work miracles in Galilee, the references of some auditors to his possible insanity, his early uncertainty as to his mission, his confessions of ignorance as to the future, his moments of bitterness, his despairing cry on the cross... After two centuries of Higher Criticism the outlines of the life, character, and teaching of Christ, remain reasonably clear, and constitute the most fascinating feature of the history of Western man.
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Robert Van Voosrt, professor of New Testament studies, writes in his book "Jesus Outside the New Testament":

Contemporary New Testament scholars have typically viewed their [Christ Myth] arguments as so weak or bizarre that they relegate them to footnotes, or often ignore them completely.... The theory of Jesus' nonexistence is now effectively dead as a scholarly question.
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The editor of "Fourth R", the peer-reviewed journal of the Jesus Seminar, recently wrote:

"If someone wants to doubt the existence of Jesus, my experience is that no evidence or argument will change his mind... [T]he existence of Jesus is not a living issue among historical Jesus scholars. Perhaps it should be, but it just isn't, at least at present."

The "Fourth R" regularly publish articles denying the historicity of events in the NT, so isn't a conservative journal by any means.
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You will notice the same claim being repeated: that the Christ Myth is simply not accepted by Jesus scholars, both secular and non-secular.

So, is there evidence to the contrary? Can we have a list of articles in peer-reviewed journals that support the idea that there was no historical Jesus written in the last 30 years?

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


Sapient
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It's obvious most people

It's obvious most people accept that Jesus existed as a real man which is why it's important for the mythers to speak up. Most people accept that God exists as well. A belief doesn't gain truth as it gains followers or scholars to defend it.

Here is a free download of Carrier making the case that Christ is likely a myth on our show. (right click and save it)

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gdon
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Sapient wrote:It's obvious

Sapient wrote:
It's obvious most people accept that Jesus existed as a real man which is why it's important for the mythers to speak up.

Here is a free download of Carrier making the case that Christ is likely a myth on our show. (right click and save it)


Yes, but sometimes the impression is made that the Christ Myth is gradually gaining acceptance among secular scholars. I'm looking for evidence for that. AFAIK, it is the opposite -- the Christ Myth had more support a hundred years ago, but has gradually been dying out. Certainly, the comments that I've seen from scholars suggest that it is considered to be on the pseudohistorical fringe -- not that this makes it wrong, of course.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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gdon wrote:Sapient

gdon wrote:
Sapient wrote:
It's obvious most people accept that Jesus existed as a real man which is why it's important for the mythers to speak up.

Here is a free download of Carrier making the case that Christ is likely a myth on our show. (right click and save it)


Yes, but sometimes the impression is made that the Christ Myth is gradually gaining acceptance among secular scholars. I'm looking for evidence for that. AFAIK, it is the opposite -- the Christ Myth had more support a hundred years ago, but has gradually been dying out. Certainly, the comments that I've seen from scholars suggest that it is considered to be on the pseudohistorical fringe -- not that this makes it wrong, of course.

Keep in mind, you've presented no evidence that the Christ myth had more strength in the past then it does today. That would be awfully hard to prove, and you haven't. And for what it's worth I am not one of the people who claim it is gaining more strength nor do I think Rook does, or for that matter, anyone on the RRS. You probably should take your argument to someone who's actually making the argument you're attacking. The idea of it gaining strength or losing strength isn't even something that's ever crossed my mind.

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gdon
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The main point is that from

The main point is that from what I know, secular scholars overwhelmingly support the notion of a historical Christ as can be seen in the quotes I gave above. The Christ Myth appears to be the historicist equivalent to creationism. I'm wondering if there is evidence to the contrary.

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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gdon wrote: The Christ Myth

gdon wrote:
The Christ Myth appears to be the historicist equivalent to creationism. I'm wondering if there is evidence to the contrary.

Yeah here it is, feel free to make a website attacking it, as is general protocol for you:

Free download of Carrier making the case that Christ is likely a myth on our show. (right click and save it)

- Brian Sapient


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gdon
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Sapient wrote:Yeah here it

Sapient wrote:
Yeah here it is, feel free to make a website attacking it, as is general protocol for you:

Free download of Carrier making the case that Christ is likely a myth on our show. (right click and save it)


Yes, I'm listening to your interview with Richard Carrier now. Thanks for that! Very interesting -- sounds like Richard will be the first to push this into peer-reviewed publication. I can't wait!

"You can't reason someone out of a position they didn't reason themselves into." -- Author unknown


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Jesus and Horus

 Can I get a specific reference of an Egyptologist or a bunch of Egyptologist dismissing the Jesus horus connection.  I'm having porblems finding one that seems very credible.