Posted: Jan 09, 2023 1:08 pm
by proudfootz
dogsgod wrote:
archibald wrote:
proudfootz wrote:I find both the scholars you mention to be persuasive.

Imo Doherty is appallingly bad and best jettisoned. Carrier better, but still deeply unconvincing to me, although to be fair I haven't read much by him lately. But purely non-earthly Jesus (or from the vague and dim and distant past Jesus) does not persuade me, at all, nor seem to fit with the content of the epistles, because (a) the text suggests he died recently and (b) the current followers/readers are being encouraged to expect him to return very soon.

proudfootz wrote:I'm open to there having been some street preacher whose words or deeds could have contributed to the fan fiction churned out in the early days of the christian cult explosion. What exactly that contribution might be is unclear, as there are few confirmed facts that even HJers agree on.


Going by the information in the epistles.... he would have been a Jewish man, in Judea, around that time (ie not long prior to the epistles being written), fringe religious side to him (possibly not even mainly a street preacher, but he could also have been more militant than that) who died (was killed it seems). Had some followers at the time of his death, some of whom seem (from the descriptions given) not to have given up on following him afterwards.

Beyond that. I would not readily speculate. Even that is speculation, but imo, in the end, it seems more likely than that he never existed.

The writer of the epistles doesn't seem to have met the man he's writing about while he was alive, or know much about him. Writer of the epistles is imo an unreliable narrator and a chancer.

Exist? Not exist? In my estimation overall balance of reasonable probabilities favours the first, rather than the second.

It was Doherty's book, The Jesus Puzzle, that convinced Carrier that the earliest Christians, the pre-gospel epistle writers, believed in a mythical Christ. Post-gospel Christianity is a different story. So, did Christianity begin with a mythical Christ? It has been cause for discussion, that much is certain.

I went ahead and purchased Doherty's Jesus: Neither God Nor Man for the full argument and it is immensely useful for an exploration of all the relevant evidence.

Compared to that Ehrman's Jesus book is weak sauce.