“The ‘Amalgam Jesus’ idea boils down to little more than hand waving. It is a vague and grudging admission that there may be some historical kernels in the story, but a rather muddle-headed attempt to keep this from becoming an acceptance that there was most likely a historical Jesus. As such, it is not so much a coherent argument and more of an emotional defence mechanism. Much like most Jesus Mythicism.” – Tim O’Neill
- @StudyofChrist put out a video last month on bullae from Hezekiah the king of Judah. The bullae are fascinating because they feature Egyptian imagery, somewhat perplexing for the faithful Judahite. But as @StudyofChrist discusses, there are some scholars who think that Yahweh was associated with the sun or that the symbols are merely decorative and not significant at all. @StudyofChrist explains it all. (If you haven’t subscribed to his channel, I highly recommend you do so.)
- On a recent episode of the New Testament Review, Laura Robinson and Ben Sheppard discussed Christian persecution and the work of GEM de Ste Croix. As they show, early accounts of persecution were usually written far later than the events they describe and were often exaggerated for effect.
- Claude Mariottini, an accomplished Old Testament scholar, put out the April 2019 edition of the Biblical Studies Carnival. Check it out! Lots of great stuff.
- Tim O’Neill of History for Atheists wrote a post not long ago responding to the claims of Aron Ra that Jesus is some kind of composite figure. When Aron Ra is talking about evolution I tend to listen, but when he goes off on subjects related to the Bible or historical Jesus I just get a really bad headache.
- Volume 15 of Bible and Critical Theory came out recently and the articles are available for free online. There are pieces by Jill Hicks-Keeton, Sara Parks, and others.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons.
8 thoughts on “The Weekly Roundup – 5.31.19”
Mythicism is not an incoherent and emotional argument. That’s rather snobbish of O’Neill to say especially give n it is backed by plenty of supporting information that’s available for him for review. I would like to see a refutation by O’Neil of Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus. I left that Minimal Mythicism accounts better for the evidence than Minimal Historicity.
There’s a reason few take Carrier seriously and that virtually all historians of antiquity accept the idea of a historical Jesus.
Can you give me two of your best arguments for Historical Jesus?
For one, the apostle Paul seems to have understood Jesus to be a flesh-and-blood figure. As our earliest NT author, this makes it probable that the churches with whom he had contact believed this as well.
For another, our earliest Gospel, Mark’s, is not an invention of its author. That is, Mark seems to be dependent upon earlier traditions which he works into his narrative for his theological aims. Some of these traditions no doubt originated with the disciples themselves and had been passed down orally.
There are many more. The main point is, historians of antiquity don’t just believe Jesus existed because they were told to or because they have to. They do it because the available evidence seems to point to it.
Eventually I’d like to write more on this, particularly Carrier’s take on “born of a woman” in Gal. 4 and his odd view of Paul’s reference to the “seed of David” (i.e. the “cosmic sperm bank”) in Rom. 1. I’ve been blogging less because I’m working on a couple of major projects but maybe I’ll try and write something up soon. We’ll see.
* Damned autocorrect.
Here is my correction:
Mythicism is not an incoherent and emotional argument. That’s rather snobbish of O’Neill to say especially given it is backed by plenty of supporting information that’s available for him for review. I would like to see a refutation by O’Neill of Richard Carrier’s On the Historicity of Jesus. That would be a monumental undertaking and as such given O’Neill’s history of mischaracterizing Carrier’s work and sometimes even going as far as to speak less than truthfully regarding the matter is to me a great tell. I conclude from reading Carrier as well as Ehrman and E. P. Sanders that Minimal Mythicism accounts better for the evidence than Minimal Historicity. I remain unconvinced by any that claim that there is any contemporary evidence outside the NT writings that JC even existed.
Here you go enjoy…
Hi tthanks for posting this